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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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02 October 2018 Venue Vale Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Port Vale

All you need to know ahead of tonight's Sky Bet League Two clash at Vale Park...

2 October 2018

MK Dons travel to Vale Park this evening looking to return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two.

Paul Tisdale’s men played well in September but finished the month with just four points to their name courtesy of four draws and one defeat.

Their aim for October will be to turn those positive displays into victories and, should that happen, they would likely climb back up the table and return to the top seven.

Tonight’s fixture is also the start of a run which will see the Dons play five straight games against sides below them in the table. While every game is tough and no opponent should be underestimated, Tisdale and his team will, no doubt, see this stretch as an opportunity to put some results together.

Kick-off is at 7.45pm.


Port Vale go into this evening’s encounter unbeaten in their last four outings, a run which was preceded by three straight defeats.

Neil Aspin’s side kicked off the run with a 1-1 draw with Forest Green Rovers before beating Northampton Town 2-0 at Vale Park. They then travelled to Alexandra Stadium MK and walked away with a 1-0 win before holding high-flying Exeter City to a draw last weekend.

A key factor behind their success has been their sturdy defence – their total of nine goals conceded is tied for fourth best in the division. At the other end, strikers Tom Pope, Idris Kanu and Ricky Miller are all proven goal threats.


MK Dons were forced to settle for a point at the weekend, drawing 1-1 with Tranmere Rovers at Stadium MK.

Tranmere opened the scoring 37 minutes in courtesy of Jonny Smith, who tapped into an empty net moments after Lee Nicholls denied James Norwood with a brilliant save.

Paul Tisdale’s side responded just before the break – Chuks Aneke sweeping home his fourth goal of the campaign from a Dean Lewington cross – but they weren’t able to add their tally despite a dominant second half.

Port Vale held third-placed Exeter City to a 1-1 draw at Vale Park, to extend their unbeaten to four games.

Both sides had chances in the first half but it was Exeter who edged ahead three minutes into the second period – Nicky Law converting from Hiram Boateng’s low cross.

The Valiants pushed for an equaliser for the remainder of the contest and they were eventually rewarded in stoppage time when Idris Kanu headed home following a goalmouth scramble.


Defender George Williams: “Port Vale is another long one but hopefully we can do the right things and send them home happy with a win

“If you can put a couple of results together, your league position can change dramatically. We’re not panicking.”

Port Vale manager Neil Aspin: "I think [MK Dons] are a very good footballing team from what I've seen on the clips. They are a side who can cause you problems if it all clicks together.

"It's a team that will present different problems for us, but we have to see if we can impose ourselves onto them and cause them issues."


MK Dons boss Paul Tisdale didn’t reveal any fresh injury concerns in his post-match press conference on Saturday.

He will definitely be without Peter Pawlett and Conor McGrandles tonight while Lawson D’Ath, Ryan Harley and Mathieu Baudry likely all remain sidelined despite making progress in their respective rehabilitations.

Striker Osman Sow missed the last two matches but no update has been given on his status.

Port Vale are expected to be without the services of defenders Cristian Montano and James Gibbons but midfielder David Worrall could return after missing the last two games through illness.


Ross Joyce will referee tonight’s affair at Vale Park.

The Cleveland-based official last took charge of MK Dons in February, running the rule over the goalless draw with Rochdale – a night where he produced just three yellow cards.

Joyce has booked 39 players in 11 games so far this campaign but has made just one sending off.

His assistant referees this evening are Matthew Parry and Ian Dudley while the fourth official is Joe Hull.


Dons wins: 3
Dons wins at Vale Park: 1
Last Dons win: 1-0, 22 Nov 2014 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 3-0, 21 Dec 2013 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 4
Draws at Vale Park: 2
Last draw: 0-0, 25 Mar 2017 (Vale Park)

Port Vale wins: 4
Port Vale wins at Vale Park: 3
Last Port Vale win: 1-0, 9 Oct 2016 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Port Vale win: 3-1, 4 Apr 2007 (Vale Park)

Result
Port Vale win: 19/10
Draw: 11/5
MK Dons win: 6/4

First goalscorer
Chuks Aneke: 9/2
Kieran Agard: 9/2
Rhys Healey: 5/1
Robbie Simpson: 11/2

Scorecast
Chuks Aneke to score first and MK Dons to win 1-0 – 22/1

Tickets, which can now only be bought at Vale Park, are priced at £22 adults, £17 seniors and young persons, and £10 under-18s while under-12s tickets are priced at £2.

Can’t make the match? Supporters will be able to watch the game live on iFollow MK Dons - click HERE to purchase a £10 Match Pass and enjoy all the action on your phone, tablet or computer!

iFollow MK Dons subscribers will have access to live commentary of this game.

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 6pm.

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 Forest Green Rovers
Carlisle United v Grimsby Town
Cheltenham Town v Morecambe
Colchester United v Yeovil Town
Crewe Alexandra v Swindon Town
Exeter City v Stevenage
Mansfield Town v Oldham Athletic
Newport County v Macclesfield Town
Northampton Town v Bury
Notts County v Crawley Town
Tranmere Rovers v Lincoln City

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Match Reports

Report: Port Vale 0-2 MK Dons

Aneke and Agard on target in away success...

2 October 2018

First-half goals from Chuks Aneke and Kieran Agard saw MK Dons return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two with a dominant 2-0 victory over Port Vale.

Aneke put Paul Tisdale’s side ahead on 22 minutes, sweeping home from Baily Cargill’s pinpoint low cross for his fifth goal of the campaign. Agard then added a second nine minutes later - a fine solo finish into the bottom left corner of the net, which took his goal tally for the season to four.

The Dons saw out the remainder of the contest with relative ease to seal the points and move up to sixth in the Sky Bet League Two table.

Boss Tisdale made three changes to his side as he brought Joe Walsh, Jordan Houghton and Agard back into the starting XI, with Callum Brittain, Ousseynou Cisse and Rhys Healey making way for the trio.

It was Port Vale, though, who made the better start and Lee Nicholls was forced into a save just two minutes in - the MK Dons goalkeeper did well to keep out Mitchell Clark’s close-range effort.

Nicholls was called into action again soon after, this time to save a dipping shot from Manny Oyeleke. His defence then did well to deal with a deep delivery from a free-kick as the Valiants maintained their dominant start.

MK Dons offered their first threat in the 10th minute when Agard teed up Ryan Watson 15-yards from goal. The number 7’s curling strike was blocked by a defender and despite appeals for a handball, referee Ross Joyce waved play on.

Aneke then attempted to link up with Agard but put too much on his lofted through ball. Moments later, Agard met a low cross from George Williams but saw his goal-bound flick blocked by a Valiants man.

Agard had another opportunity on 13 minutes but his low, left-footed effort lacked the power to really trouble goalkeeper Scott Brown.

Port Vale responded a minute later through Tom Pope, who went close to an opening goal with a glancing header from Clark’s cross which landed an inch or two wide of Nicholls’ left-hand upright.

When the Dons were going forward, most of their attacks were going through Watson, who was finding good pockets between the Valiants midfield and defence.

He and his team were beginning to turn the screw on their opponents as the game moved past the 20-minute mark and they threatened with several corners which were delivered into the box.

In the 22nd minute, they were able to take advantage of their dominance and break the deadlock, courtesy of their talisman Aneke. Cargill, up from the back, played a one-two with Jordan Houghton before delivering a low cross right to the feet of Aneke, who swept home the opener from seven yards out. 0-1.

Aneke almost had an opportunity to bag a second shortly after the re-start but he wasn’t able to fashion a chance after collecting a ball inside the Port Vale box. The hosts then countered but MK Dons raced back in numbers to deal with the attack.

On 26 minutes, Aneke was involved again, this time dinking a neat pass through for Gilbey who drove into the area and forced a save out of Brown with a left-footed drive.

MK Dons kept their foot on the gas and they were rewarded with a second goal on the half-hour mark. Agard brought down a lobbed pass from Watson on his chest but was then nudged to the floor by his marker. The striker picked himself up quickly, moved into space inside the area and then found the bottom corner of the net with a left-footed drive. 0-2.

Two minutes later, Watson came within an inch of adding a third MK Dons goal but, despite his best efforts, he couldn’t connect with Williams’ low cross. Watson then forced a fine save out of Brown with a curling shot towards the bottom right corner.

Port Vale almost pulled one back but Ricky Miller couldn’t direct his near post header towards goal. At the other end, Gilbey sent a right-footed curler just wide of goal as MK Dons searched for an extension to their lead.

With five minutes left to play in the half, Moore-Taylor did brilliantly to deny Pope. Tom Conlon then blazed over the crossbar with the final chance before the interval.

Port Vale, who were forced into an early change because of an injury to Oyeleke, made a double substitution at the break in an attempt to salvage something from the game.

MK Dons almost made their efforts tougher directly from the re-start when they were awarded a free-kick for a foul on Watson. Aneke took the well-placed set-piece but his effort was blocked by the wall.

On 55 minutes, Aneke met a deep cross from Lewington but wasn’t able to covert at the far post. Aneke was involved in another attack five minutes later, teeing up Agard after a free run into the box only for his strike partner to see a shot saved by Brown.

MK Dons' number 10 then went close to connecting with a Watson cross as he looked to put the game out of sight for his side. Their job was made easier in the 65th minute when half-time addition Cristian Montano was forced off the field with an injury leaving his team, who were out of substitutes, down to 10 men.

Tisdale’s side almost made their man advantage count right away but neither Watson nor Aneke could turn home from Williams’ teasing delivery. The MK Dons manager then made his first substitution of the evening as he introduced Healey in place of Aneke.

Moments after the change, Watson went agonisingly close to scoring with a looping header which Brown did well to tip over the bar. Healey was then almost able to link up with Agard but Brown gathered ahead of the latter.

Healey almost found the elusive third goal himself with a quarter of an hour to play but, after being set up by Gilbey, his strike was deflected wide of goal.

MK Dons piled on the pressure late on and Williams almost grabbed himself a stunning goal with a fierce 20-yard volley which rattled the crossbar.

Cargill also went close in the final stages but, in the end, he and his side weren’t able to add to their lead - not that they would mind too much, with the points safely in the bag and on the way back to Milton Keynes.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Cargill; Williams, Houghton, Gilbey, Lewington; Watson; Aneke (Healey 69), Agard.

Unused subs: Moore, Hancox, Brittain, Cisse, Simpson, Thomas-Asante.

Goals: Aneke (22), Agard (31)

Booked: Gilbey

Referee: R Joyce

Attendance: 3,399 (124 away)

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