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Kick off 12:30 (UK)

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17 April 2021 Venue Stadium mk Attendance

Kick off 12:30 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Preview: Portsmouth

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

17 April 2021

After a disappointing defeat at Lincoln City in midweek, MK Dons have the chance to respond this lunchtime when they take on Portsmouth at Stadium MK.

Russell Martin’s men were in control of Tuesday’s contest up until an 11-minute hat-trick from Brennan Johnson put the match out of reach.

The Dons have bounced back well to defeats this season, only losing successive games on three occasions. They will look to channel that character again to put right some of the wrongs from midweek.

MK Dons’ form since the turn of the year has afforded them the luxury of not having to look too seriously over their shoulder, but they have an opportunity, today, to confirm their Sky Bet League One status once and for all.

A point will be enough for Russell Martin’s men, who are currently 15 points clear of Northampton Town with 15 points left to play for.

Kick-off is at 12.30pm.

THE OPPOSITION
Portsmouth currently sit sixth in the Sky Bet League One table as they look to secure a play-off finish. Pompey are three points ahead of Oxford United but do have a game in hand on Karl Robinson's side.

They are one of the top scorers in the division having netted 57 goals in their 40 games this season, however, they have conceded the most out of any side in the play-off places with 42.

Lincoln appointed Danny and Nicky Cowley in March 2021, and have been in impressive form since his appointment at Fratton Park. The Cowley's guided Portsmouth to four successive Sky Bet League One wins in their opening four games. They recorded wins over Ipswich Town, Shrewsbury Town, Rochdale and Wigan Athletic respectively.

In their last two outings, Portsmouth have fell to a 2-1 defeat against Burton Albion and shared the spoils with Crewe Alexandra.

John Marquis leads their goalscoring charts with 15 goals to his name this season and has shown the other side of his game with five assists. Ronan Curtis finds himself in second with nine goals, with Marcus Harness and Tom Naylor are third with eight goals.

LAST TIME OUT
Four goals in 26 second-half minutes saw MK Dons beaten 4-0 by Lincoln City at the LNER Stadium.

After a tightly-contested first period, Lincoln ran away with the match in the second, thanks largely to an 11-minute hat-trick from Brennan Johnson, who was lucky to escape a red card early on.

An own goal from Andrew Fisher, from Cohen Bramall's free-kick, capped off a disappointing evening for the Dons, who fell to only their second defeat in seven matches – a result which leaves them 14th in the Sky Bet League One table with five games left to play.

Portsmouth, meanwhile, played out 0-0 draw with Crewe Alexandra, with John Marquis missing a second-half penalty.

The striker was left to rue his miss as Danny Cowley's side had to settle for a share of the spoils against a Crewe team picking up their first home point in four games.

FIGHTING TALK
Russell Martin: "Portsmouth and the Cowley’s are two I have a lot of respect for. A lot of people feel they were unfortunate to lose their job at Huddersfield – they’ve done a good job wherever they’ve been. You know what you’ll get as they are a team full of intensity.

"It’s no surprise to see their results because they are a big club for this level and have a great squad."

Danny Cowley: “I’ve seen a lot of MK Dons and they’ve been a really good watch, so it’s a game that we’re really excited about. We’re looking forward to the challenge and someone told me they have one of the best possession records in Europe, which is pretty impressive.

“Credit to Russell Martin and his group because they’ve got a clear identity and we’ve got a real respect for them.”

TEAM NEWS
MK Dons will be without Warren O’Hora as the defender is likely to miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury.

Louis Thompson and Cameron Jerome both remain doubts, while Ben Gladwin, Kieran Agard and Jay Bird remain on the sidelines.

Lee Brown (hamstring) has joined Alex Bass (foot), Ellis Harrison (knee), Jordy Hiwula (ankle) and Michael Jacobs (knee) on the sidelines for Portsmouth.

OFFICIALS
Martin Coy will be the man in the middle this lunchtime.

Mr Coy has overseen 26 matches so far this term, producing a total of 64 yellow cards. He has sent off three players and has awarded five penalties.

His assistant referees are Nicholas Cooper and Stephen Finch, while the fourth official is Scott Williams.

HEAD TO HEAD
Dons wins: 1
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Dons win: 3-1, 30 Dec 2019 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Dons win: 3-1, 30 Dec 2019 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 2
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last draw: 1-1, 26 Feb 2013 (Fratton Park)

Portsmouth wins: 4
Portsmouth wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Portsmouth win: 2-1, 10 Oct 2020 (Fratton Park)
Biggest Portsmouth win: 3-1, 25 Feb 2020 (Fratton Park)

ELSEWHERE IN SKY BET LEAGUE ONE
Peterborough United v Northampton Town
Blackpool v Sunderland
Bristol Rovers v Lincoln City
Burton Albion v Plymouth Argyle
Charlton Athletic v Ipswich Town
Hull City v Fleetwood Town
Rochdale v Accrington Stanley
Shrewsbury Town v Doncaster Rovers
Wigan Athletic v Crewe Alexandra
AFC Wimbledon v Swindon Town
Oxford United v Gillingham
 
FOLLOW IT LIVE
Supporters can watch today's Sky Bet League One clash with Portsmouth LIVE on iFollow MK Dons.
 
To purchase a £10 Video Match Pass, click HERE and select Buy A Video Match Pass. Then simply log in to your iFollow MK Dons account and follow the instructions or register for an account, which can be done for free.

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 1-0 Portsmouth

Fraser's spot-kick seals Stadium MK success...

17 April 2021

Scott Fraser’s first-half penalty saw a dominant MK Dons performance rewarded with a 1-0 victory over Portsmouth at Stadium MK.

Scott Fraser’s first-half penalty saw a dominant MK Dons performance rewarded with a 1-0 victory over Portsmouth at Stadium MK.

Fraser struck home the decisive goal late in the first half, following a foul on Ethan Laird in the area, and that proved to be enough for the Dons to beat play-off chasing Pompey, who were reduced to 10 men for the final nine minutes.

The win – the ninth at home this season – lifts Russell Martin’s men back into the top half of Sky Bet League One. They sit 12th with four games left to play in the 2020/21 season.

David Kasumu was handed his first start since December as MK Dons made one change from the midweek defeat to Lincoln City. Meanwhile, Jay Bird was back in the squad for the first time in five months, as Daniel Harvie, who suffered an injury in training, missed out.

There wasn’t much in the way of goal-mouth action until the ninth minute when Ronan Curtis fired straight at Andrew Fisher from 20 yards out.

The Dons then went close through Matt O’Riley, whose bending effort from the edge of the area crashed against the far post. Andrew Surman had a chance on the follow-up, but sent his left-footed curler just over the bar.

O’Riley had another opportunity on the quarter-hour mark but headed wide when well-placed from Scott Fraser’s cross. Moments later, at the other end of the pitch, Fisher produced a stunning reflex save to keep out John Marquis’ overhead kick.

Marquis tried another speculative effort on 22 minutes – a first-time effort on the half-way line which Fisher watched wide

On the half hour, the Dons were then aggrieved not to have been given a penalty for what appeared to be a foul on Grigg as he attempted to convert a Laird cross. Despite the clear infringement, referee Martin Coy opted against a spot-kick – and instead booked Dean Lewington for dissent.

Curtis almost compounded the frustration but, twice, he failed to find the net from the edge of the box- his first effort clipped the outside of the far post and the second was saved by Fisher.

With six minutes left to play in the first half, Surman shot wide direct from a 20-yard free-kick, won for a foul on Laird.

Laird was brought down again, a minute later, but this time inside the penalty area and provided Fraser with the opportunity to open the scoring from the penalty spot – which, of course, he took, sending Craig MacGillivray the wrong way from 12-yards. 1-0.

A superb tackle from Harry Darling prevented Marquis from equalising in first-half stoppage time. The Dons then went agonisingly close to doubling their lead through Grigg, who was twice denied by goal-line blocks, before Marquis had another first-half effort which was deflected over the bar by the body of Lewington.

Within the first three minutes of the second period, both sides hit the crossbar. First, Fraser fired a left-footed volley against the woodwork from Grigg’s set-up, then Portsmouth’s Tom Naylor saw his header hit the underside of the bar and then bounce to a Dons defender to clear.

Lewington and Darling then combined to halt a promising Portsmouth counter-attack, which they had worked into the Dons’ box.

Martin went to his bench for the first time on 66 minutes, replacing Kasumu and Fraser with Charlie Brown and Josh McEachran as MK Dons went to two up-front.

The Dons boss then saw his goalkeeper pull off another superb diving save, this time to keep out Jack Whatmough’s goal-bound header. Fisher also did well to collect a teasing low cross from Daniels.

Whatmough’s next involvement was to go flying into a two-footed tackle on Brown – a poor tackle which earned him a straight red card and forced Pompey to play the final nine minutes with 10 men.

The Dons almost made their advantage count instantly, but O’Riley drilled just wide from the edge of the D.

Jordan Houghton then replaced Surman for the final six minutes, as Martin looked to add fresh legs to his midfield for the closing stages. He played his part in helping control the remaining minutes, which, happily for the Dons, went by without too much in the way of goal-mouth action.

MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, Jules, Darling, Kasumu (Brown 65), Grigg, Fraser (McEachran 66), Laird, Surman (Houghton 84), O’Riley, Sorinola.

Subs: Nicholls, Sorensen, Mason, Bird.

Goal: Fraser (pen 41)

Booked: Lewington, Jules

Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Johnson, Naylor, Whatmough, Williams (Nicolaisen 59), Marquis, Curtis, Harness, Raggett (Cannon 77), Daniels, White (Byers 59).

Subs: Ward, Downing, Bolton, Stanley.

Booked: Daniels, Byers

Sent off: Whatmough (81)

Referee: M Coy

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