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02 November 2019 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Preview: Tranmere Rovers

All you need to know ahead of today's Sky Bet League One encounter at Stadium MK...

2 November 2019

MK Dons take on Tranmere Rovers this afternoon in a crucial Sky Bet League One clash at Stadium MK.

The Dons sit one place below their opponents in the table, following a run of seven defeats in eight games, but could climb above them with a victory in Milton Keynes today.

Paul Tisdale’s men have won three league matches at Stadium MK this term, while they picked up an well-earned point in their last home outing after holding sixth-placed Coventry City to a draw.

A fourth home success this afternoon would provide a most-welcome boost ahead of the upcoming Emirates FA Cup break.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

THE OPPOSITION
Tranmere Rovers, promoted from Sky Bet League Two alongside the Dons last term, have endured a similar start to the 2019/20 campaign as Paul Tisdale’s side.

The Lilywhites taken 10 points from their opening 15 games, winning three, drawing four and losing seven. Away from home, Micky Mellon’s men have collected four points and scored only three goals – tied for the fewest in the division.

tranmere rovers.jpg

They do, however, have some impressive results to their name. The Wirral outfit have beaten Coventry City and Burton Albion within the past month and a half while have also taken points off Peterborough United and Rotherham United.

Stefan Payne is their leading marksmen with four league goals to his name but will miss today’s game due to suspension. Tranmere will, therefore, rely on the likes of Connor Jennings (3) and Paul Mullin (2) for goals.

LAST TIME OUT
An 85th-minute finish from Ched Evans denied MK Dons what would have been an impressive point at promotion-chasing Fleetwood Town.

Evans struck late in the contest at Highbury Stadium to seal a 1-0 victory for the Cod Army, in a game which looked to be ending all-square following an excellent defensive display from Paul Tisdale’s travelling Dons.

Tranmere Rovers weren’t in action last weekend, with their most recent outing a 5-0 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Goals from Duncan Watmore, Chris Magurie and Lynden Gooch had the Black Cats ahead by three at the break, before Will Grigg and Luke O’Nien netted late to take the total to five.

FIGHTING TALK
Paul Tisdale: “Every game is important, some more than others. My job is to produce 'less is more' and give the players less to think about, less anxiety, less factors. That's how I've managed to do it for 20 years. You have to detach yourselves from those emotions sometimes.”

Micky Mellon: “We know Paul Tisdale well. When you go against him you always have to be on the ball, so you enjoy it and it’s always a good tactical battle when you come up against him. We know it will be a difficult game. Every day is important for us because it is an opportunity for us to get better.”

TEAM NEWS
MK Dons have no fresh injury concerns ahead of this afternoon's clash at Stadium MK.

jm v northampton town (2) 16x8.jpg

Joe Mason (pictured above) is edging closer to a return after training fully this week while Ben Reeves is back in training after missing the trip to Fleetwood Town due to a niggle.

That leaves strikers Sam Nombe and Rhys Healey as the only definite absentees for this fixture.

Tranmere Rovers are without leading goalscorer Stefan Payne, who is suspended after collecting five yellow cards.

Ollie Banks, Harvey Gilmour, Mark Ellis, Evan Gumbs, Calum Woods, Ishmael Miller and Jordan Ponticelli are all sidelined through injury but Morgan Ferrier, Darren Potter and Corey Blackett-Taylor could return for Rovers.

OFFICIALS
Matthew Donohue will be the man in the middle this afternoon at Stadium MK.

The second-year EFL referee has never previously taken charge of the Dons but he has umpired Tranmere Rovers on two occasions.

Matthew Donohue.jpg

So far this season, Donohue has produced 49 yellow cards in 13 matches while he has sent a player off in each of his last two appointments. He has also awarded two penalties.

His assistant referees are Philip Dermott and Andrew Fox while the fourth official is Paul Howard.

HEAD TO HEAD
Dons wins: 10
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 5
Last Dons win: 3-0, 16 Mar 2013 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 3-0, 16 Mar 2013 (Stadium MK); 3-0, 9 Apr 2012 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 2
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last draw: 1-1, 29 Sep 2018 (Stadium MK)

Tranmere wins: 6
Tranmere wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Tranmere win: 2-1, 13 Apr 2019 (Prenton Park)
Biggest Tranmere win: 4-2, 30 Oct 2010 (Prenton Park)

SKY BET ODDS
Dons win: 21/20
Draw: 5/2
Tranmere win: 23/10

Click HERE for more Sky Bet odds!

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

FOLLOW IT LIVE
Tickets are priced at £22 adults, £17 seniors and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with an accompanying adult. Supporters can upgrade to premium seats in the East Centre for a £5 premium while an upgrade to clubRed is just £10 more.

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

Can't make the match? Not to worry, you can listen to live 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!

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 three hours after full-time.

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 1-3 Tranmere Rovers

Hepburn-Murphy's hat-trick downs ten-man Dons...

2 November 2019

A hat-trick from Rushian Hepburn-Murphy condemned ten-man MK Dons to a 3-1 defeat at Stadium MK.

The scores were level heading into the break after Ben Reeves cancelled out Hepburn-Murphy’s early opener, but a dubious red card shown to Kieran Agard on the stroke of half-time meant Paul Tisdale’s men had to play the final 45 minutes a man down.

Tranmere made that advantage count, with Hepburn-Murphy striking twice to secure his hat-trick and seal the points for the visitors, leaving the Dons without a league win in nine attempts and in the Sky Bet League One relegation zone on goal difference.

Reeves made his first start since returning to MK Dons, as one of two changes made by boss Tisdale. Reeves replaced Hiram Boateng while Conor McGrandles came in for Regan Poole.

Both sides had early sighters on goal. First, Kieran Agard chased down a through ball which was shielded into the arms of Scott Davies by Manny Monthe. Then, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy glanced a header wide from a left-wing cross.

On 11 minutes, Joe Walsh got in the way of a 20-yard strike from Kane Wilson to send it wide of goal. From the resulting corner, Sid Nelson lifted an effort over the bar.

The Dons then had their best chance of the opening quarter of an hour, as Reeves flashed a ball across goal which Callum Brittain diverted just past the right upright.

Reeves was involved again a minute later as referee Matthew Donohue waived away a penalty for what appeared to be a foul on the Dons’ number 7 inside the area, just as he went to pull the trigger.

It was Tranmere, though, who would break the deadlock with 19 minutes played. Kieron Morris delivered the cross for Hepburn-Murphy, who snuck in between Jordan Moore-Taylor and Lewington and flicked a first-time effort past Lee Nicholls. 0-1.

Tisdale’s men went in search of an instant response but weren’t able to convert from two corners. Conor McGrandles then found himself deep in the penalty area but that led to a chance on the counter for the visitors, who saw Connor Jennings denied, one-on-one, by Nicholls.

With eight minutes to play in the half, Liam Ridehalgh sent a curling free-kick over the bar from 30 yards. Nicholls then showed quick reactions to race off his line and prevent Hepburn-Murphy from having the time to have a shot on goal after beating the offside trap.

The Dons went close on 41 minutes as McGrandles burst into the area down the right. His low ball was towards Agard at the near post but a sliding tackle from Nelson dealt with the danger.

Moore-Taylor did brilliantly to prevent Tranmere from countering and set the Dons on the attack once again. McGrandles collected and picked out Reeves, who took two touches before drilling a low shot past Davies and into the net. 1-1.

Joy was short-lived for the home supporters, though, as a refereeing decision moments before the break swung the contest back in Tranmere’s favour.

Danns came off worst in a evenly-contested 50-50 with Agard, which resulted in the MK Dons man receiving his marching orders. To make the Stadium MK crowd even more irate before the break, Donohue only cautioned Jennings for a clear elbow on Dean Lewington.

Despite being down a man, the Dons made a bright start to the second half and went close early on – Moore-Taylor an inch or two away from converting a cross from inside the six-yard box.

However, Rovers made their superiority in terms of numbers count a minute later, as Hepburn-Murphy lashed home his second of the game from the edge of the area, after being picked out by Jennings. 1-2.

A vital interception from Williams prevented the visitors from doubling their lead shortly after the re-start. At the other end, McGrandles sent a left-footed drive just over the crossbar from 18 yards.

Tisdale went to his bench on 67 minutes, replacing Reeves with Dylan Asonganyi on the bench. His side, though, had a mountain to climb, as two minutes later Hepburn-Murphy raced into the area and slotted home his hat-trick goal to double the advantage. 1-3.

Regan Poole and Baily Cargill both came on with Tisdale’s final rolls of the die. His earlier sub, Asonganyi, went close moments later with a deft flick which almost looped over Davies in the Rovers goal.

The Dons continued to push forward in an attempt to salvage something from the match but, with a man disadvantage, weren’t able to fashion a clear scoring opportunity to threaten Rovers, who saw out their 3-1 victory.

MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams (Cargill 73), Lewington (c), Walsh, Reeves (Asonganyi 67), Gilbey, Agard, Moore-Taylor, McGrandles, Houghton (Poole 73) Brittain.

Subs: Moore, Martin, Boateng, Harley.

Booked: Walsh, McGrandles

Red card: Agard

Tranmere Rovers: Davies (c), Ridehalgh, Nelson, Monthe, Morris, Jennings, Caprice (Blackett-Taylor 56), Perkins, Hepburn-Murphy (Mullin 82), Wilson, Danns.

Subs: Pilling, Ray, Potter, Maddox, Borthwick-Jackson.

Goal: Hepburn-Murphy (19, 53, 69)

Booked: Jennings, Monthe, Mullin

Referee: M Donohue

Attendance: 7,171 (621 away)

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