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15 September 2018 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Forest Green Rovers

All you need to know ahead of today’s Sky Bet League Two clash at Stadium MK..

15 September 2018

Two of Sky Bet League Two’s unbeaten sides will go head-to-head at Stadium MK this afternoon as Forest Green Rovers are the visitors to MK1.

MK Dons have had to wait two weeks since their last Sky Bet League Two outing due to their clash with Yeovil Town being postponed and will no doubt be eager to take to the pitch come 3pm.

With three wins and three draws to their name, MK Dons currently six sixth in the division having also conceded just three goals. Forest Green meanwhile, are yet to be defeated either with two wins and five draws so far this season.

Forest Green Rovers have made an impressive start to their season, they currently occupy ninth place in the Sky Bet League Two table – one point off a play-off position. 

Hailing from the small Gloucestershire town of Nailsworth, its population of just under 6,000 makes it the smallest ever settlement to host an EFL club and, earlier this year, Rovers became the world’s first UN certified carbon-neutral football club thanks to its eco-friendly philosophy. 

The club are entering their second season in the EFL having avoided relegation last season under the stewardship of the experienced Mark Cooper. Rovers kicked off their 2018/19 campaign in emphatic fashion as they ran out 4-1 winners over Grimsby Town.

Following that win, came draws against Oldham, Bury, Stevenage and Swindon respectively before they overcame Notts County 3-1 at the beginning of September.

MK Dons weren’t in action last Saturday due to the international break, with their last game a Checkatrade Trophy clash with Peterborough United. They made a winning start to their Trophy campaign as they ran out 6-5 penalty winners at Stadium MK after a 3-3 draw in normal time.

Chuks Aneke opened his account for the season as the striker netted a first-half brace, while Rhys Healey also netted his first goal in a Dons shirt.

Second-half goals from George Cooper, Tyler Denton and Matt Godden, however, forced the tie to penalties.

Stuart Moore was the hero on the night as he saved Jamie Walker's penalty before Sam Nombe tucked away from the spot to secure the two-point win via penalties. 

Forest Green Rovers were in action last weekend - however, a second-half Tom Pope penalty cancelled out Carl Winchester’s early goal.

Mark Cooper’s were reduced to ten men when Farrend Rawson was sent off, but they held on to maintain their unbeaten start.

MK Dons manager Paul Tisdale: “Forest Green have made some sensible singings. They look like they are improving as a team and have the capability of continuing to play the really good football, which they had last year.

"They are team I think can beat anybody on their day with the way they play – I think we need to have our wits about us and we should believe what we can do but we shouldn’t underestimate them at all.”

Forest Green Rovers manager Mark Cooper: "Obviously they came down last year and they have been able to keep a lot of their good players. I am sure that they are going to have a really good season."


"If you are in and around MK Dons then you will not be far away either. It is a big club with big expectations and we are aware it will be a tough afternoon."

Paul Tisdale has a number of attacking options had his disposal heading into today's game.

Chuks Aneke and Rhys Healey impressed against Peterborough United while Sam Nombe scored in Tuesday’s Central League win over AFC Wimbledon - a match which saw Brandon Thomas-Asante make his return from injury. Tisdale also confirmed on Thursday that Osman Sow is fine, despite missing the tie Checkatrade Trophy ten days ago.

Attacking midfielder Ryan Harley is also back in training for MK Dons but Conor McGrandles, Peter Pawlett and Lawson D’Ath are among those who remain sidelined. 

Forest Green Rovers, meanwhile, will be without defender Farrend Rawson who is suspended after his sending off against Port Vale.

Ben Toner will run the rule over this afternoon's clash as he takes charge of his sixth match of the season.

The experienced referee has so far issued six yellow cards this season, while he has dished out four reds.

Mr Toner last took charge of the Dons during their 2-0 defeat against Bradford City back in April of this year. 

His assistant referees today are Anthony Da Costa Harty and Thomas Ramsey, while the Fourth Official is Christopher Kidd.

MK Dons wins: 1
MK Dons wins at Stadium MK: 0
Biggest MK Dons win: 1-0, 8 Aug 2017 (The New Lawn)
Last MK Dons win: 1-0, 8 Aug 2017 (The New Lawn)

Draws: 0
Draws at Stadium MK: 0

Forest Green wins: 0
Forest Green wins at Stadium MK: 0

Tickets are priced at just £22 adults, £17 over-65s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons membership. Supporters can upgrade their seat to East Centre for just £5 more while an upgrade to clubRed is available for a £10 premium.

Don’t forget, with a Club Dons membership you can enjoy a £5 discount on 10 EFL matches during the 2018/19 season - Young Dons members are entitled to £1 off all 2018/19 EFL matches. Season Ticket holders can also bring a friend for FREE on one occasion during the campaign while Premier Members can do so twice.

To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office/cash-only booths at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.

Supporters outside the UK and Ireland can watch the match LIVE by purchasing a Match Pass – click HERE to buy!

iFollow MK Dons subscribers can also access 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’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 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 the Sky Bet League Two...
Carlisle United v Cheltenham Town
Cheltenham Town v Tranmere Rovers
Crawley Town v Morecambe
Grimsby Town v Oldham Athletic
Macclesfield Town v Lincoln City
Mansfield Town v Exeter City
Newport County v Yeovil Town
Notts County v Stevenage
Port Vale v Northampton Town
Swindon Town v Bury

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 1-1 Forest Green Rovers

Aneke's first-half goal not enough for Paul Tisdale's men...

15 September 2018

MK Dons were force to settle for point at home to Forest Green Rovers after Reuben Reid’s late penalty cancelled out Chuks Aneke’s opener.

Aneke pounced on a goalkeeping error from Robert Sanchez to put his side ahead on the half-hour mark but Rovers striker Reid recused a point for his team with 10 minutes remaining.

Manager Tisdale made one change to the side which drew 1-1 away at Swindon Town with Chuks Aneke, who netted twice in the Checkatrade Trophy tie with Peterborough United, handed his first league start of the season in place of Robbie Simpson. Simpson dropped to the bench where he was alongside Osman Sow, back in the squad after missing that tie with Posh.

Aneke was involved early, linking up play midway inside the Forest Green half. He played a first-time ball through for Callum Brittain but the covering defender got to the ball first and dealt with the threat.

Forest Green then came forward with Carl Winchester seeing a shot deflected wide by Jordan Moore-Taylor on four minutes.

The visitors occupied the ball for the majority of the opening 10 minutes and they had another attempt blocked with 12 on the clock - Dayle Grubb’s right-footed shot denied by Joe Walsh.

They eventually tested Nicholls in the 14th minute but the MK Dons goalkeeper was equal to Reuben Reid’s header, diving down to his right to gather the effort.

MK Dons responded through Kieran Agard who, after latching onto Moore-Taylor’s pass, sent a low drive towards goal which was blocked by a defender.

Nicholls was then called into action again - this time to keep out Wincher’s shot from distance. Moments later, he watched on as Liam Shephard’s cross-turned-shot landed on his crossbar before bouncing out for a goal kick.

Forest Green had another on-target attempt blocked as they maintained their dominant start at Stadium MK. Soon after, a long ball forward almost caught Nicholls out but the MK Dons number 1 managed to get back in time to gather the bouncing ball.

Despite spending the first 24 minutes on the back foot, Tisdale’s side did go agonisingly close to taking the lead when Aneke met a corner from Dean Lewington, only to send his first-time effort wide from close-range.

Just prior to the half-hour mark, Joseph Mills forced Nicholls into another save - a simple one for the keeper, who comfortably gathered a rather tame header. Nicholls produced again a minute later, diving to his right to stop Winchester’s shot.

The Dons wouldn’t have been too happy with their display in the opening half an hour but their mood quickly turned to ecstasy when Aneke put them ahead.

Goalkeeper Robert Sanchez failed to deal with George Williams’ cross and the ball fell to Aneke. He then showed great composure to create space for a clear shot and then calmly slot home into an empty net. 1-0.

Aneke had a great chance to make it two-nil on 40 minutes as he raced clean through on goal. The striker carried the ball into the area before trying to cut back onto his right foot, only for Nathan McGinley to make a goal-saving tackle for Forest Green.

The visitors did go close to equalising in the 43rd minute through Grubb, who found himself free inside the MK Dons area only to fire over the crossbar from 10-yards.

Tisdale’s men kept hold of their lead through to half-time and almost extended it early in the second half when Williams got free down the right. He delivered a low ball for Agard, who couldn’t connect. MK Dons maintained the pressure but couldn’t make it count.

Forest Green almost made them pay in the 49th minute but Lloyd James’ rising attempt was saved by Nicholls. Substitute Tahvon Campbell also saw a shot clear the crossbar for the visitors, who pressed as the game entered the final half an hour.

In the 63rd minutes Nicholls was equal to a deflected attempt from Paul Digby. Some brilliant defending from Williams then prevented Campbell from testing Nicholls after driving into the penalty area.

Tisdale made his first substitution on 67 minutes, introducing August’s Player of the Month Ousseynou Cisse in place of Baily Cargill. The switch saw Moore-Taylor drop into defence, with Cisse taking his spot in the middle of the park.

On 72 minutes, Nicholls kept out Mills’ drive before Campbell was denied on the rebound by a spectacular sliding block from Walsh.

MK Dons countered and had Cisse been a step further ahead he might have been able to tap in from Brittain’s inviting low cross which, in the end, travelled out for goal kick.

Tisdale’s second switch saw Ryan Watson come on to replace Brittain but three minutes later, his side handed a chance for Forest Green to draw level from penalty spot - Moore-Taylor bringing former Dons man George Williams inside the area. Reuben Reid stepped up and fired home the equaliser. 1-1.

The visitors then went close to a second almost immediately but Walsh’s deflection at the near post was kept out by Nicholls. Tisdale then brought on Simpson and he was almost handed an instant chance to score by Agard but the low cross was intercepted. From the resulting corner, Simpson sent an acrobatic overhead kick just over the crossbar.

Both teams huffed and puffed in the closing stages in an attempt to win the game - MK Dons going closest in stoppage time through Agard, whose goal-bound volley was brilliantly blocked by Mills.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams, Walsh, Cargill (Cisse 67); Brittain (Watson 75), Gilbey, Moore-Taylor, Houghton, Lewington; Aneke (Simpson 82), Agard.

Unused subs: Moore, Sow, Hancox, Healey.

Goal: Aneke (30)

Booked: Cisse

Attendance: 6,638 (263 away)

Referee: B Toner

Sponsor's Man of the Match, as chosen by Border Engineering: Lee Nicholls

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