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02 March 2019 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Crawley Town

All you need to know ahead of today's clash at Stadium MK...

2 March 2019

MK Dons return to Stadium MK this afternoon as they go in search of their fourth win in as many games.

Crawley Town are the visitors today, as the Red Devils make their first trip to Stadium MK since August 2014.

Gabriele Cioffi and his Crawley side have certainly proven to be a difficult side to overcome on the road this season. They recently held Bury to a 1-1 draw at Gigg Lane, while ran out 1-0 winners over Lincoln City at Sincil Bank.

Elsewhere, only an 88th-minute Tyler Walker goal prevented Crawley taking a point from Mansfield in January.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

THE OPPOSITION!
Crawley enter today's clash unbeaten in their last three away games after taking points from Swindon Town, Bury and Northampton Town respectively.

Although currently at the helm, Cioffi didn't start the season as Crawley manager. It was, in fact, former Harry Kewell, with the former Australian international looking to build on the foundations he had set at the Club in the previous season. He'd depart the Club for Notts County, with Cioffi named his replacement.

He arrived at The People's Pension Stadium with plenty of experience in the game, having played over 400 professional games, while he also assisted Gianfranco Zola during his time at Birmingham City back in 2016.

Ollie Palmer is currently the Red Devils top scorer, he's found the net 11 times in the league this season, while fellow striker Dominic Poleon has scored on five different occasions.

LAST TIME OUT!
Two second-half goals saw MK Dons beat Newport County at Stadium MK and secure their third straight Sky Bet League Two victory last Saturday.

The Dons, who saw a first-half penalty from Kieran Agard saved, edged in front just before the hour-mark courtesy of an Ousseynou Cisse header - his second goal of the campaign.

Paul Tisdale's men then doubled their lead through Chuks Aneke in the final minute of regulation time to seal a victory which keeps them within two points of the automatic promotion places in Sky Bet League Two.

A late Lewis Young goal ensured Crawley Town, drew 1-1 with Macclesfield Town. 

Harry Campbell had opened the scoring for Sol Campbell's side, but Young's goal six minutes from time forced the two sides to share the spoils.

 

FIGHTING TALK
Paul Tisdale: “Crawley have gone to the three teams above us and come close to getting a result against all three. They've done well against those teams. That should be a warning to the players."

TEAM NEWS 
Paul Tisdale wouldn't rule Mathieu Baudry out of today's game but the defender faces a challenge to be fit for the encounter at Stadium MK.

Elsewhere, Russell Martin should be back in contention after missing last Saturday's win over Newport County.

MK Dons will still be without George Williams, Jordan Moore-Taylor and Baily Cargill.

OFFICIALS
Thomas Bramall will take charge of today's affair. It'll be the first time he's overseen an MK Dons game.

Mr Bramall has run the rule over 35 matches this campaign, producing a total of 78 yellow cards and showing three reds.

His assistant referees are Leigh Crowhurst and Robert Atkin while the fourth official is Marc Wilson.

HEAD TO HEAD
This will be the eighth meeting between MK Dons and Crawley Town, with the Dons winning three of the previous encounters.

The last meeting between the two sides took place back in November 2018, with Paul Tisdale's side running out 4-0 winners at The People's Pension Stadium.

Crawley's last visit to Stadium MK came back in 2014.

SKY BET ODDS
Dons win - 4/7
Draw - 3/1
Crawley win - 9/2

Click HERE for more Sky Bet odds, with up to 118 more odds available for this fixture.

ELSEWHERE IN SKY BET LEAGUE TWO
Bury v Macclesfield Town
Crewe Alexandra v Northampton Town
Exeter City v Tranmere Rovers
Forest Green Rovers v Lincoln City
Grimsby Town v Cambridge United
Mansfield Town v Cheltenham Town
Newport County v Carlisle United
Notts County v Port Vale
Oldham Athletic v Stevenage
Swindon Town v Colchester United
Yeovil Town v Morecambe

FOLLOW IT LIVE!
Tickets are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons members. To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office/cash-only ticket booths at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.

Can’t make the match? iFollow MK Dons subscribers will have access to live audio commentary of this game - click HERE to sign up for a Monthly Pass for just £4.49 a month.

Supporters can also stay in touch with the action via mkdons.com’s Match Centre, which can be accessed by visiting the home page from 1pm.

There will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!

A full match report will be available to view on mkdons.com straight after the final whistle along with full reaction from Paul Tisdale and a player. Highlights will be available to view from midnight.

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 1-0 Crawley Town

Agard's first-half goal gives MK Dons all three points...

2 March 2019

Kieran Agard’s first-half goal and a third clean sheet in four games earned MK Dons a fourth straight Sky Bet League Two win.

Agard’s decisive goal came in the closing stages of the first half, as he raced onto a long ball forward from goalkeeper Stuart Moore and netted his 17th of the campaign.

Moore and his defenders did their job at the other end of the field too, to keep Paul Tisdale’s men within two points of the automatic promotion places in Sky Bet League Two. They also extend the gap over fifth place to seven points.

Boss Tisdale made two changes to his starting XI, with Russell Martin returning from a short stint on the sidelines to replace the injured Mathieu Baudry. Chuks Aneke also came in, replacing David Wheeler in attack.

It was Crawley who produced the first shot of the game in the second minute - an ambitious curling effort from George Francomb which cannoned back off the crossbar. MK Dons countered and Agard saw his deflected strike land wide of Glenn Morris’ goal.

Stuart Moore then produced a smart save to keep out David Sesay’s long-range low drive. The Dons goalkeeper then watched as Matty Willock fired harmlessly over from distance before an excellent piece of defending from Joe Walsh denied Ollie Palmer in the area. Palmer later flashed wide as the visitors continued to the threaten in the early moments.

Despite their slow start, the Dons almost took the lead in the 10th minute when Aneke raced onto a through pass. His shot, however, was saved by Morris. Crawley failed to clear and the Dons soon had a penalty shout when Conor McGrandles went down in the area. The midfielder was shown a yellow card for simulation.

Referee Thomas Bramall remained in the thick of the action as within the space of a minute he decided against awarding two fouls, one against either side, which could have resulted in dangerous free-kicks and yellow cards, if not more.

On 22 minutes, Callum Brittain swung in a cross which was just above the head of McGrandles at the far post. Crawley then threatened again through Palmer, who managed to get a foot to Lewis Young’s low cross but could only divert it into the side netting.

Palmer remained tough to handle and on the half hour mark he sent another curling shot just off target. A minute later, at the other end of the pitch, Hesketh forced a save out of Morris with a first-time effort from Aneke’s through pass.

That Hesketh chance seemed to get MK Dons going and soon after, Gilbey had a 20-yard try deflected over the crossbar. From the resulting corner, Ouss Cisse came close to meeting a deep cross from Brittain.

McGrandles then sent a teasing ball into the box which was cleared away right in front of Aneke. The Scotsman then went for goal himself - a low right-footed drive which was palmed away by a diving Morris.

Crawley broke out of their defensive stance to win a corner with eight minutes remaining in the half. Captain Dannie Bulman volleyed over from the delivery sent in from the left.

Then, with four minutes to play before the half-time whistle, the Dons broke the deadlock. Moore claimed the assist as it was his long ball forward which Bulman left for his goalkeeper. Agard pounced and managed to poke the ball past Morris before racing on and finding the crucial touch, moments before colliding with the post, to slot home his 17th goal of the season. 1-0.

MK Dons almost added a second before the break but Aneke was denied twice, first by a Crawley defender and then by Morris - the latter of which was immediately followed by the half-time whistle.

Within a minute of the re-start, a defensive error almost led to an equaliser for the visitors but Moore was able to deny Palmer when one-on-one. It was Reece Grego-Cox who intercepted a backpass but Moore was able to bail his teammates out.

Cisse then got in the way of a try from Willock as Crawley maintained their fast start to the second half. Martin was soon forced to turn behind from a low Palmer cross which later led to a shooting chance for Francomb, who blazed wide.

The Red Devils were then award a free-kick two yards from the edge of the area. Francomb took it but saw his strike blocked by the wall.

Two minutes later, Tisdale’s men were almost gifted a second goal but Joe McNerney’s backpass, which flew straight past his goalkeeper, trickled the wrong side of the right upright. Morris then made amends for Crawley, racing out to gather an Aneke through pass at the feet of Agard.

The fragility of the Dons’ one-goal advantage was highlighted on 57 minutes when a deep in-swinging cross from the left-hand channel was somehow kept out by a combination of Moore and a couple of his defenders. Moore couldn’t get to Willok’s 62nd-minute strike but fortunately for him it flew by the post.

At the other end, Hesketh managed to squeeze a ball into Agard but he got under his shot and sent it harmlessly over the crossbar. Moments later, Agard leapt to meet a deep cross from Lewington but wasn’t able to link up with Hesketh, who had joined him in the box.

With 15 minutes to play, Tisdale made his first substitution of the game - replacing Cisse with Jordan Houghton in the middle of the park. Wheeler came on soon after in place of Hesketh.

They added energy and composure in the Dons’ efforts to see out the success, which was confirmed after three minutes of stoppage time during which the visitor barely threatened a late leveller.

Starting XI: Moore; Brittain, Martin, Walsh, Lewington (c); Cisse (Houghton 76); McGrandles, Gilbey; Hesketh (Wheeler 82); Agard, Aneke.

Unused subs: Nicholls, Watson, Harley, Simpson, Walker.

Goal: Agard (40)

Booked: McGrandles, Walsh


Referee: T Bramall

Attendance: 6,889 (246 away)

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