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2-1
31 August 2019 Venue Wham Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Preview: Accrington Stanley

All you need to know ahead of today's Sky Bet League One clash...

31 August 2019

MK Dons face Accrington Stanley this afternoon looking to build on their Carabao Cup success in midweek.

Paul Tisdale’s men bounced back from a tough defeat to Peterborough United by seeing off Sky Bet League One rivals Southend United 4-1 at Roots Hall - a result which has secured them a glamour third-round tie with UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool next month.

The Dons’ focus, however, will be on today’s encounter at the Wham Stadium and using the momentum gained from midweek to return to winning ways in the league.

A win in Lancashire - what would be a first away league win of the campaign - would make it nine points from a possible 15 in August, which would be a decent return for Tisdale and his side in their first month back in Sky Bet League One.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

THE OPPOSITION
Accrington Stanley are still in search of their first win of the 2019/20 campaign, with only a point to their name from their opening four matches.

Stanley held AFC Wimbledon to a 1-1 draw at the Cherry Red Records Stadium but have suffered defeats to Lincoln City, Shrewsbury Town and Fleetwood Town.

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Their loss to Shrewsbury Town in their most recent home fixture came in frustrating fashion, surrendering a two-goal lead with only 18 minutes to play to lose 3-2 with the final two goals coming in the final five minutes of regulation time.

John Coleman’s men, therefore, will be eager to bounce back this afternoon and they will likely lean on the firepower of young striker Colby Bishop (pictured above), who has already hit three goals this term following his move from Leamington in the summer.

LAST TIME OUT
MK Dons bounced back from a 4-0 defeat to Peterborough United by beating Southend United 4-1 in their Carabao Cup Round Two tie at Roots Hall.

Rhys Healey broke the deadlock 35 minutes in with a low left-footed finish before Callum Brittain doubled the advantage just prior to half-time with a stunning 18-yard strike.

Brandon Goodship pulled one back for Southend but a brilliant solo goal from Hiram Boateng restored the two-goal advantage with eight minutes to play. Sam Nombe then sealed the success with a fierce 92nd-minute effort - his first for the Club.

Ten-man Accrington Stanley were beaten 2-0 by Fleetwood Town in their last outing.

The Cod Army went ahead just before the half-hour mark through Paddy Madden, who sent a neat first-time effort past Dimitar Evtimov from Lewie Coyle’s cross.

Ched Evans then doubled the lead midway through the second half from the penalty spot after Josh Morris went down in the box under Zaine Francis-Angol’s challenge.

A disappointing day on the Fylde coast was capped off seven minutes later when Sean McConville was shown a straight red card.

FIGHTING TALK
Paul Tisdale: “When they get into a rhythm, they are hard to beat as they showed when they got promoted. I've had plenty of tough games against Accrington. I enjoy it there, but I've also had some tough games there too.”

John Coleman: “They've got a good side and a good manager. If you stick to a system that you play and an ethos, the people who have longevity usually have that, and I think that's why he's been successful for so long.”

TEAM NEWS
MK Dons striker Rhys Healey made his first start of the season in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup win over Southend United while Alex Gilbey got 90 minutes under his belt - both will be pushing for starts this afternoon.

Regan Poole returned to the line-up after missing the clash with Peterborough United due to injury while Joe Walsh, who was also sidelined earlier this month, featured too. Conor McGrandles, however, hasn’t been involved since picking up a knock against Posh last Saturday.

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Ben Reeves (leg), Jordan Moore-Taylor (knee) and Joe Mason (hamstring) remain out.

Accrington Stanley will be without midfielder Sean McConville following his sending off against Fleetwood Town last weekend.

Striker Courtney Baker-Richardson has returned to parent club Swansea City due to injury so won’t be involved on today while fellow front-man Offrande Zanzala is a doubt after tweaking his hamstring. Forward Billy Kee is also sidelined.

OFFICIALS
Experienced official Ross Joyce will take charge of today’s affair at the Wham Stadium.

Joyce has refereed the Dons on five previous occasions, with his most recent appointment the Sky Bet League Two clash with Morecambe back in March. In total, he has produced 21 yellow cards in games involving the Dons but has yet to brandish his red card.

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He has, though, made a dismissal this season, which came in his first match of the campaign. He has booked 20 players as well across five matches and awarded one penalty.

His assistant referees are Matthew Jones and Stephen Wade while the fourth official is Gareth Mellor.

HEAD TO HEAD
Dons wins: 4
Dons wins at Wham Stadium: 2
Last Dons win: 1-0, 24 Mar 2008 (Wham Stadium)
Biggest Dons win: 5-0, 8 Dec 2007 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 0

Accrington Stanley wins: 0

SKY BET ODDS
Dons win: 17/10
Draw: 12/5
Accrington win: 7/5

Click HERE for more Sky Bet odds!

ELSEWHERE IN SKY BET LEAGUE ONE
AFC Wimbledon v Wycombe Wanderers
Blackpool v Portsmouth
Burton Albion v Bristol Rovers
Gillingham v Bolton Wanderers
Ipswich Town v Shrewsbury Town
Lincoln City v Fleetwood Town
Oxford United v Coventry City
Peterborough United v Sunderland
Rotherham United v Tranmere Rovers
Southend United v Rochdale

FOLLOW IT LIVE
Tickets, which can now only be bought at the Wham Stadium, are priced at £20 adults, £15 seniors/students, £10 under-18s and £5 under-12s.

Those fans in the UK & Republic of Ireland can listen to live audio commentary on iFollow MK Dons for just £2.50 - click HERE to purchase an Audio Match Pass!

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 2pm.

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

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Match Reports

Report: Accrington Stanley 2-1 MK Dons

Defeat for the Dons at the Wham Stadium...

31 August 2019

MK Dons were beaten 2-1 at the Wham Stadium as Accrington Stanley came from behind to secure the points.

Kieran Agard put the Dons ahead with his first goal of the season but second-half goals from Colby Bishop and Mark Hughes saw the Lancashire outfit come out on top. Paul Tisdale's men did have a goal disallowed for a debatable offside in stoppage time.

Boss Tisdale made five changes from the Carabao Cup tie in midweek, with Lee Nicholls, George Williams, Baily Cargill, Hiram Boateng and Ryan Harley all coming into the starting XI. There was also a place amongst the substitutes for Conor McGrandles, who had missed the last two matches with a knock.

The hosts had an early sniff at an opportunity when Dion Charles raced onto Colby Bishop’s flick-on. Joe Walsh got back to clear and from the resulting corner, Ross Sykes headed over.

Rhys Healey then had his first sighter at the other end, creating the opportunity for himself with a run inside from the left. However, his strike was blocked by a Stanley defender. Kieran Agard also had a half-chance inside the opening six minutes from a lofted forward pass, but he was unable to bring the ball down, deep inside the area.

At the other end, Stanley threatened again down the left – fortunately, though, Walsh was able to get to the low delivery and stab clear. Cargill then got himself in the way of Jordan Clark’s effort, as the hosts remained on the front foot.

The Dons saw off another attack on 10 minutes which led to a chance for Healey on the counter. He tried an ambitious long-range attempt which flew harmlessly over the Stanley goal.

Walsh denied the home side again as he raced back to prevent Clark from the pulling the trigger. Bishop header over at the far post from the corner which came from it.

Despite their slow start, it was the Dons who opened the scoring 18 minutes in. Healey listened to a shout of ‘time’ as he brought down the ball on his chest midway inside the Stanley half. He then lifted a pass over the top of the defence for Agard, who got goal-side of his man, took a touch and then fired a low shot under Dimitar Evtimov for his first of the season. 0-1.

It took some quick reactions from Evtimov to prevent Healey getting in from another through ball on 22 minutes. The Dons recycled possession and Healey came within an inch of connecting with a cross from Boateng.

Agard then went close with a pop shot from the edge of the box which was deflected just wide of Evtimov’s right-hand upright. Minutes later, Boateng sent a curling shot over from 30-yards after pouncing on a loose ball.

Just as it looked as though Dons were wrestling control of the contest, Stanley threatened an equaliser as Joe Pritchard struck the crossbar with a fierce strike from the edge of the box.

Charles then saw a long-range effort deflect over off the back of Walsh before curling one over without the need of a Dons touch moments later.

With three minutes to play, Sam Finley dragged a long-range drive wide as Stanley went in search of a goal that their first-half performance arguably deserved. The Dons, though, were able to take their advantage into the break.

They went about doubling their lead early in the second half as Brittain produced a save out of Evtimov within a minute of the re-start. At the other end, Gilbey was alert to clear away a low cross from Pritchard.

Stanley, however, eventually drew level with 51 minutes on the clock. Clark found a pocket of space on the edge of the box and while his attempt struck the far post, Bishop was on hand to tap in the rebound and level the scores. 1-1.

The Dons almost responded instantly from a Boateng cross but Healey’s diving header fell wide of the post. Healey then got to the byline and lifted a ball in for Agard but Evtimov gathered inside his six-yard box.

Tisdale made his first substitution 58 minutes in, replacing Gilbey with Jordan Bowery. His side, though, found themselves behind a minute later as Hughes came up from the back to head past Nicholls following a deep cross from the left. 2-1.

Things looked as though they were heading from bad to worse, as the hosts were awarded a penalty for a foul on Clark inside the area. Nicholls, though, produced between the sticks, diving to his left to keep out Bishop’s effort.

Sam Nombe, who scored his first senior goal in the Carabao Cup win over Southend United in midweek, soon came off the bench. He watched on from up to as Pritchard struck the crossbar and Clark curled marginally over.

Nombe almost got involved on 74 minutes but Cargill’s chipped across was above his head. He was then joined on the pitch by McGrandles, who replaced Harley with Tisdale’s final change.

With eight minutes to play, Boateng whipped a ball in from the left but it was smothered by Evtimov. Bowery almost poked home at the near post from Brittain’s ball but put wide.

Walsh wrestled free from a corner in the final minute of regulation time but saw his sight of goal blocked by two defenders. At the other end, Nicholls prevented Stanley extending their lead with a diving save at his near post.

Five minutes of additional time were awarded and in the first of those, the Dons thought they were level through Healey but a late, late flag from the linesman saw the effort chalked off.

Williams had a header saved in the fifth minute of stoppage while the Dons had a late free-kick which they weren't able to capitalise on. Defeat then, for Tisdale's men, who visit Stevenage in the Leasing.com Trophy next.

Starting XI: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington (c), Walsh, Cargill, Gilbey (Bowery 58), Healey, Agard (Nombe 65), Brittain, Boateng, Harley (McGrandles 75).

Unused subs: Moore, Poole, Martin, Houghton.

Goal: Agard (18)

Booked: Gilbey, Harley, Lewington, Nombe

Attendance: 2,218 (318 away)

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