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03 November 2018 Venue Broadfield Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Preview: Crawley Town

All you need to know ahead of today's Sky Bet League Two clash at the Checkatrade.com Stadium...

3 November 2018

After a near-perfect October, MK Dons travel to Crawley Town this afterno looking to begin November in winning fashion.

Paul Tisdale’s men picked up 16 points from a possible 18 last month, winning five in a row before picking up a hard-earned draw away at Mansfield Town.

The in-form Dons travel to West Sussex sitting second in the Sky Bet League Two table just two points behind leaders Lincoln City, who they could leapfrog with a victory at the checkatrade.com Stadium, should the Imps were lose to Forest Green Rovers also.

Tisdale’s side, one of the best teams in the division on their own patch, currently boast the fourth best away record in Sky Bet League Two and have won two of their last three matches on the road.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

While MK Dons may hold the fourth best away record in the division, Crawley boast the third-best home form this season having picked up 17 points from their eight matches at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.

The Red Devils, who sit 11th in the overall table, have lost just once on their own patch in 2018/19 and had won four straight home games before a respectable 1-1 draw with promotion-chasing Exeter City in their most recent game in West Sussex.

Striker Ollie Palmer is one of the division’s best finishers and is tied for second in the league rankings with nine goals to his name.

He and his teammates have found the net 18 times at home this season which is the second best total in the division. Crawley, however, have struggled at the other end of the pitch - their 25 goals conceded is the second-highest amount amongst teams sitting 20th and above.

MK Dons weren’t able to make it six wins in a row at Mansfield Town but they were able to come away with a hard-fought point.

Paul Tisdale’s men went behind to a stunning strike from Jacob Mellis but midfielder Jordan Houghton drew them level with a terrific effort of his own - both goals coming in the first half.

Chuks Aneke did have a great chance to put the Dons ahead moments before half-time and the Dons did continue to threaten after the break but, in the end, they were forced to settle for a point - a result which sealed an unbeaten October.

Crawley Town fell to their fourth straight away league defeat at Prenton Park, losing 5-1 to in-form Tranmere Rovers.

Connor Jennings put Rovers ahead before League Two’s leading goalscorer, James Norwood, made it 3-0 with goals either side of half-time.

Tranmere went on to extend their lead to five courtesy of an Adam Buxton penalty and a Paul Mullin thunderbolt. Crawley grabbed a consolation midway through the second half - Ollie Palmer volleying home from Lewis Young’s cross.

Paul Tisdale: “Crawley are a good football side. I know they've had a manager change but they've continued with a good style of football. They have the ability to score goals against the better teams in the league - they beat Newport [County] convincingly at home

"They've shown they're very effective at home and we have to be ready for every challenge they bring."

Gabriele Cioffi: “They are very consistent with a strong coach who has a lot of experience of this league. Looking at them they know what they want. At the worst they want a point from each game.

“We respect everyone and have a healthy fear of MK Dons but we know what we can achieve.”

In his pre-match press conference on Thursday, MK Dons boss Paul Tisdale confirmed that several of his injured group are nearing returns to match action.

Osman Sow, Ryan Harley, Ousseynou Cisse, Peter Pawlett and Conor McGrandles are among those who are currently sidelined and it remains to be seen which players Tisdale was referring to and if any will feature today.

Crawley have both Bondz N’Gala and Josh Payne available for selection once again.

Both players have been serving bans - defender N’Gala, a former MK Dons loanee, returns from a three-match suspension while midfielder Payne missed last weekend’s game after picking up five yellow cards.

Antony Coggins will referee this afternoon's match, taking charge of MK Dons for the third time this season.

Coggins oversaw the 1-0 victory over Bury back in August as well as the 1-1 draw with Yeovil Town in September. He produced a combined seven yellow cards in those two matches.

In 15 games this season, Coggins has booked 67 players and dismissed three - his last red card coming on Saturday 20th October.

His assistant referees are Andrew Laver and Anthony Da Costa while the fourth official is Robert Hyde.

Dons wins: 2
Dons wins at Checkatrade.com Stadium: 1
Last Dons win: 2-0, 30 Aug 2014 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 2-0, 30 Aug 2014 (Stadium MK), 2-0, 26 Dec 2013 (Checkatrade.com Stadium)

Draws: 2
Draws at Checkatrade.com Stadium: 1
Last draw: 2-2, 20 Jan 2015 (Checkatrade.com Stadium)

Crawley wins: 1
Crawley wins at Checkatrade.com Stadium: 1
Last Crawley win: 2-0, 12 Apr 2014 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Crawley win: 2-0, 12 Apr 2014 (Stadium MK), 2-0 23 Oct 2012 (Checkatrde.com Stadium)

Result
Crawley win: 3/1
Draw: 13/5
MK Dons win: 17/20

First goalscorer
Chuks Aneke: 7/2
Kieran Agard: 5/1
Rhys Healey: 5/1

Tickets, available in either standing or seated areas, are priced from £16 adults, £12 seniors, £11 under-21s, £10 under-18s and £4 under-16s while under-11s can watch for just £1.

Tickets can now only be bought from either the Ticket Office (cash and card) or the Ticket Cabin (cash only) at the Checkatrade Stadium.

Can’t make the game? iFollow MK Dons subscribers can listen to live commentary of the game – click HERE to sign up for as little as £4.49 for 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.

***
Elsewhere in Sky Bet League Two…
Cambridge United v Grimsby Town
Carlisle United v Newport County
Cheltenham Town v Mansfield Town
Colchester United v Swindon Town
Lincoln City v Forest Green Rovers
Macclesfield Town v Bury
Morecambe v Yeovil Town
Northampton Town v Crewe Alexandra
Port Vale v Notts County
Stevenage v Oldham Athletic
Tranmere Rovers v Exeter City

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Match Reports

Report: Crawley Town 0-4 MK Dons

Healey scores two and sets up two in superb away success...

3 November 2018

MK Dons produced one of their best performances under Paul Tisdale to beat Crawley Town 4-0 at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.

Most of the damage was done in the first half as Rhys Healey scored twice and Kieran Agard found the net inside the opening 45 minutes.

Chuks Aneke then added a fourth after the break as Tisdale’s men started the month of November in stunning fashion.

The result keeps the Dons second in the Sky Bet League Two table - they remain two points behind leaders Lincoln City but they are now four points clear in the automatic promotion places.

Boss Tisdale was forced into one change with Jordan Moore-Taylor unavailable due to the injury he suffered at Mansfield Town last weekend. He was replaced by Callum Brittain. There was also a place in the squad for Peter Pawlett - back involved for the first time since opening day.

The Dons had a chance inside the first 90 seconds but Rhys Healey, who latched onto a through pass from Jordan Houghton, couldn’t beat Glenn Morris when one-on-one.

Tisdale’s men found themselves in the Crawley penalty area once again in the fifth minute, courtesy of another pass forward from Houghton. Aneke couldn’t connect with the ball initially but managed to gain possession and find Healey, whose touch let him down at the crucial moment.

Healey, though, made amends two minutes later, as he raced onto Dean Lewington’s excellent left-footed delivery and converted past Morris at the far post for his fifth goal of the campaign. 0-1.


Crawley went in search of an instant reply and Luke Gambin forced Lee Nicholls into a save with a curling effort from the edge of the area. Ashley Nathaniel George also tried his luck from distance - his shot, however, fizzed over the crossbar.

On 13 minutes, Red Devils skipper Filipe Morais fired a right-footer towards goal which George Williams, bravely, got in the way of. From the resulting corner, Ollie Palmer headed wide from close-range.

A strong run down the left from Baily Cargill then earned MK Dons their first corner of the match but Houghton wasn’t able to pick out Aneke with his cross. They managed to earn themselves another corner soon after and from that delivery, Aneke sent a right-footed shot off target.

MK Dons came back again and Healey had a shot blocked on the edge of the area. The loose ball fell back to the striker and he calmly slid in Kieran Agard who raced through and beat Morris with a first-time shot to double his side’s lead. 0-2.

Tisdale’s team almost created a third goal moments after the re-start but Aneke, after beating his man inside the area, saw his low cross blocked at the near post with several Dons shirts lurking in the six-yard box.

Gambin tried to pull a goal back for his side in the 22nd minute but Houghton got enough of a touch to his drive to send it over Nicholls’ goal. At the other end shortly afterwards, Houghton sent a free-kick wide of the far post.

Healey went close again just before the half-hour mark, latching onto a pass from Lewington, moving to the edge of the D and then forcing a save out of Morris with a right-footed attempt.

Agard threatened four minutes later as he raced onto a through pass from Aneke and drew another fine save out of Morris with a low drive. From the following corner, MK Dons thought they had added a third but somehow Aneke’s close-range try stayed out of the net - a combination of a Crawly defender, the goalkeeper and the woodwork denied him.

On 36 minutes, Agard headed wide from a Brittain cross. Aneke then head the ball in the net but play was brought back for a handball.

Morris again denied the Dons late in the first half as he palmed away a shot from Healey, following some good work from Aneke down the right.

Tisdale’s men arguably deserved a third goal to reflect their first-half dominance and they weren’t to be denied as Healey extended the advantage in stoppage time with a close-range finish from Agard’s low cross. 0-3.

Crawley, who made a change at the break, went in search of a way back into the match early in the half but Morais’ fizzing effort was deflected wide of the target by a teammate.

Walsh then dealt with a cross from Nathaniel-George before Nicholls stepped across his goal to gather a decent effort from Josh Payne.

The shots from the Red Devils kept coming, albeit shots from distance. Nathaniel-George was the next to try his luck from distance but couldn’t keep his attempt down.

Their best chance of the game arrived in the 55th minute but Nicholls did brilliantly at point-blank range to keep out Palmer’s header.

MK Dons offered their first threat of the second period on the hour mark from a well-worked corner routine which led to a chance for Healey, who had the ball nicked off his toes just as he went to pull the trigger.

Healey had been involved in every one of the Dons’ first three goals and he was involved in their fourth, providing the assist for Aneke to make it four. The loanee won possession off a Crawley defender and then threaded a ball into the path of MK Dons’ top goalscorer who found the net via the inside of the right post. 0-4.

Morais sent a right-footed drive wide of the target in the 70th minute as the Red Devils went in search of a consolation for his team. Moments later, Aneke almost bagged a second but his fierce strike whistled over the crossbar.

Tisdale made his first substitution with a quarter of an hour remaining as he brought Lawson D’Ath on to replace Brittain. The second and third changes soon followed and the latter saw Pawlett make his return to action - his first appearance since the opening day of the season.

Pawlett was involved right away with a driving run down the right which provided D’Ath with a chance to cross - the MK Dons number 20 couldn’t pick out a teammate, however.

The lively midfielder went close to getting on the scoresheet on himself but, after working his way down the byline and into the box, he was denied by a goalline block.

Simpson could have added a fifth too but Tisdale's boys were 'forced' to settle for four against a Crawley Town side who had lost just once at home all season.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams, Walsh, Cargill; Brittain (D’Ath 75), Houghton, Gilbey, Lewington; Agard, Aneke (Simpson 81), Healey (Pawlett 81).

Unused subs: Moore, Hancox, Jackson, Watson.

Goals: Healey (7, 45+1), Agard (18), Aneke (63)

Attendance: 2,667 (454 away)

Referee: A Coggins

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