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09 September 2023 Venue Stadium MK Attendance

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Notts County

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

9 September 2023

It’s second versus first at Stadium MK this afternoon as MK Dons play host to Notts County.

Graham Alexander’s men currently sit second in the Sky Bet League Two table having won four of their opening six matches, though victory today should see them reclaim top spot from the Magpies.

Today's match will be only the third to take place at Stadium MK in the league this season and the Dons go into it with a 100 per cent record, having won both of their opening two home league fixtures, including a 2-1 triumph over Doncaster Rovers last time out.

The Dons will also look to maintain their run of scoring in every league game, having found the net in each of their first six games, totalling 13 goals in the process.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Notts County are the division’s leaders heading into this afternoon’s round of fixtures.

Bouncing back from a losing start to the season, the EFL newcomers have picked up 13 points from a possible 15 since then and currently boast a three-game winning streak.


Luke Williams’ side have been impressive in front of goal too, scoring 12 goals in their six games, with last season’s top marksmen, Macaulay Langstaff (4), leading the way in the individual chart.

The only real blemish for the Magpies is their away form, which has been indifferent to start the season – Notts have won one, drawn one and lost one, scoring four goals and conceding six.

MK Dons were beaten 3-1 by Crewe Alexandra as they fell to their first defeat in three.

Jonathan Leko put the Dons in front after only eight minutes, finishing from inside the area at the second time of asking.

However, Crewe turned the game around in the space of seven second-half minutes, with goals from Conor Thomas and Courtney Baker-Richardson putting them 2-1 in front. Chris Long then made sure of the points for the Railwaymen, slotting home in the 90th minute.

Notts County secured a third successive Sky Bet League Two victory courtesy of a 3-1 win at home to Accrington Stanley.

Dan Crowley gave the Magpies a seventh-minute lead when he converted from Jodi Jones’ delivery but Accrington levelled the scores through Josh Andrews just before the half-hour.

Notts restored their lead on 64 minutes when Macaulay Langstaff found the net with a sublime finish from inside the area. Langstaff scored a second to make sure of the win in the final minute of regulation time, beating the offside trap and then the Stanley goalkeeper.

Graham Alexander: “These are the types of games, at the right end of the table, that you want to be involved in and the more games we have like this, it’ll mean we’re doing well.

“Notts County are a good team, with a good manager and it will be a good test for us. We haven’t had an easy game yet, even though we’ve won four out of six. We need to make sure we’re at the best level we can be at.

“There will be a higher profile on this game, given it’s the international break, and we don’t want to let our Club down.

Luke Williams: “If we win it puts us in a good position but there is too much football to be played to start to work out what our future looks like. We have to concentrate on good performances and there is still improvements to be made.

“We've made too many mistakes, we've failed to keep clean sheets and haven't scored some of the chances we should have done. But we'd rather be at the top and trying to stay there than anywhere else. We don't want to shy away from that, but capitalise on that.

“If we want to be taken seriously at this level, we have to go there and put in a good performance.”

MK Dons have several injury concerns to contend with heading into today’s game.

Graham Alexander revealed in his pre-match press conference that five players had not been involved in training, including top scorer Mo Eisa. Fellow frontmen Jonathan Leko and Matthew Dennis have also been out of action this week – Dennis missed the trip to Crewe Alexandra last weekend.

MJ Williams has been limited to just one appearance off the bench since the trip to Crawley Town on 15 August – he has had an injection to settle his issue. Ashley Hunter underwent a scan this week to determine the extent of the injury which forced him off last Saturday at the Mornflake Stadium.

One definite absentee is Phoenix Scholtz, who is away on international duty with Northern Ireland Under-19s, but, in better news, Deadline Day signings Anthony Stewart and Ellis Harrison are eligible to feature.

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Notts County will be without Malta international Jodi Jones, who is away with his national team preparing for a UEFA EURO Qualifier against North Macedonia.

Defender Geraldo Bajrami is a long-term absentee for the Magpies but they could hand a debut to Deadline Day loan signing Lewis Macari and summer recruit Will Randall, who has yet to feature since arriving from Sutton United due to injury - he is now back in full training.

Notts County defender Aden Baldwin could return to Stadium MK this afternoon – a place where he spent the 2021/22 season, totalling 16 appearances in an MK Dons shirt.

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Should he return from injury, MJ Williams could face his former side in Notts County. The midfielder made eight appearances while on loan in Nottinghamshire during the 2014/15 campaign.

Christopher Kavanagh will take charge of today’s match at Stadium MK – his first of the 2023/24 season.

Last term, the experienced official refereed 23 fixtures – 13 in the Premier League, one in the UEFA Nations League and another in the Europa League. In total, he produced 70 yellow cards, two red cards and awarded eight penalties.

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Kavanagh’s last MK Dons appointment was back in March 2016, when he oversaw the Championship clash with Brighton & Hove Albion at Stadium MK. That day he booked eight players, sent off Dons defender Kyle McFadzean and awarded a penalty to each side.

His assistant referees are Harry Lennard and Matthew Wilkes while the fourth official is Sunny Gill.

MK Dons wins: 12
MK Dons wins at Stadium MK: 7
Last MK Dons win: 2-1, 19 Apr 2019 (Meadow Lane)
Biggest MK Dons win: 4-1, 21 Mar 2015 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 3
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last draw: 1-1, 18 Sep 2012 (Stadium MK)

Notts County wins: 1
Notts County wins at Stadium MK: 0
Last Notts County win: 2-0, 11 Dec 2020 (Meadow Lane)
Biggest Notts County win: 2-0, 11 Dec 2020 (Meadow Lane)

Bradford City v Grimsby Town, 12.30pm
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Colchester United v Tranmere Rovers
Crawley Town v Newport County
Forest Green Rovers v Crewe Alexandra
Gillingham v Harrogate Town
Salford City v Walsall
Swindon Town v Sutton United
Wrexham v Doncaster Rovers

Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off, priced from £26 adults, £20 over-65s and under-25s, £8 under-21s and £5 under-14s if bought in advance of matchday, while under-7s can watch from as little as £3.

To book tickets CLICK HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 01908 622933. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off from the Box Office.

Can't make the game? Supporters can WATCH this fixture live on iFollow MK Dons for £10 - to purchase a Video Match Pass CLICK HERE!

Live text updates will also be provided on the Match Centre as well as Twitter, while a full report will be available to read shortly after the full-time whistle. Post-match reaction and highlights will follow after.

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Match Reports

Report: MK Dons 1-1 Notts County

9 September 2023

MK Dons and Notts County shared the spoils at Stadium MK, as two of Sky Bet League Two early pace-setters drew 1-1.

Daniel Harvie puts the Dons ahead early in the second half with an excellent angled finish but County captain Kyle Cameron levelled the scores just past the hour.

Both teams had chances to win it late but had to contend with a point - one that maintains MK Dons' unbeaten start at Stadium MK.

Max Dean was handed his first MK Dons start as Head Coach Alexander made one change to his starting XI. Michael Kelly, signed late in the week on a short-term deal, replaced an injured Nathan Harness on the bench while Deadline Day recruits Ellis Harrison and Anthony Stewart were also amongst the substitutes.

A first-minute set-piece, following a foul on Jonathan Leko, gave the Dons an early chance to send a ball into the box. They did, but Ethan Robson’s delivery was claimed by goalkeeper Aidan Stone.

Notts County had a period of sustained possession after that early opportunity but it was Alexander’s men who would register the first shot of the game on eight minutes – a 20-yard effort from Leko, cutting in on his right foot, which was saved by Stone.

Daniel Harvie was the next to take MK Dons into the opposition penalty area, though his low ball into centre of the box was behind Dean and too short for Cameron Norman to latch onto at the far post.

The visitors threatened for the first time with 18 minutes played but interceptions from Warren O’Hora and Cameron Norman saw MK Dons deal with the danger. Moments later, O’Hora almost picked out Leko with a forward pass through the lines – the striker was just unable to bring the ball under control with only Stone to beat.

County created an opportunity for Stone just prior to the half-hour mark – he met Richard Brindley’s deep cross but looped his header wide of the target. The Dons responded with a sweeping counter-attack, involving Leko and Dean, which saw Robson flash a ball across the face of goal, just out of the reach of O’Hora, who had made his way forward from the back.

It took a vital defensive header from O’Hora and a brave block from Gilbey to prevent Notts from troubling MacGillivray with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. The Dons then went up the other end and worked a shooting opportunity for Robson, on the edge of the D, but he couldn’t keep his right-footed effort down.

Dean’s deflected strike moments later did appear to be heading for goal, up until Stone got down to his left to divert the attempt wide of the post. There was then a glorious opportunity for Macaulay Langstaff to break the deadlock but, despite connecting with Aaron Nemane’s cross, he somehow failed to find the target from close range.

Langstaff’s missed meant both sides went into the break level but it didn’t take long for the scoreline to change – a minute, to be precise, as MK Dons took the lead with their first chance of the second period.

Collecting the ball on half-way, Robson spotted the run of HARVIE and sent him through on goal with a perfectly-weighted pass. The Scot carried the ball into the Notts penalty area before beating Stone with an excellent angled finish. 1-0.

There was a brief moment where Stadium MK thought Gilbey was set to double the lead from half-way but his attempt, with Stone caught out of his goal, was blocked by a Notts defender before anyone could see whether it would find the net.

An excellent covering tackle from Tucker prevented Austin from threatening an equaliser for the visiting side on 52 minutes. A piece of brilliance from Dean then saw MK Dons go close to a second but, after beating his man and driving into the box, the young striker saw his fierce, low drive kept out by Stone.

The Dons were back in the County penalty area shortly after with Robson, whose cross into the mix cannoned off a Notts defender and flew just past the post with Stone stranded. Stadium MK then watched on as a terrific long-range strike from Gilbey flew just wide of the right upright.

On 65 minutes, Norman got himself in the way of Kyle Cameron’s volley to divert it into the side netting. CAMERON would have another go a minute later and this one, the Dons could do nothing about – the Notts captain rifling into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. 1-1.

Alexander made a triple change at the stoppage, introducing Ellis Harrison for his MK Dons debut alongside fellow summer signings Joe Tomlinson and Jack Payne, making their first Stadium MK appearances.

It took a vital interception from Tucker to prevent Langstaff from being able to connect with a low cross inside the six-yard area. Soon after, Alexander made his fourth change – replacing Dean with the returning Mo Eisa in attack.

One of Alexander’s earlier changes, Payne, almost got himself on the scoresheet in his home debut but his left-footed shot from the edge of the area fell wide of the post. Former Don Aden Baldwin then tried his luck for County, but Craig MacGillivray swallowed up his effort.

Seven minutes of stoppages were added on at the end of the 90 and in the second of those, County were awarded a free-kick, five yards from the edge of the area – Palmer’s effort, however, never troubled MacGillivray.

MacGillivray was troubled moments later but the MK Dons goalkeeper produced a stunning save at point-blank range to deny Langstaff, who looked for all the world to put County in front his header from six yards.

The Dons, too, had a great chance to win the match at the death but Harrison wasn’t able to convert from Gilbey’s cross, lifting his first-time effort over the bar.

There was final opportunity for the visitors in the 98th minute from a free-kick but Bostock’s delivery was comfortably gathered by MacGillivray, who had barely claimed the ball before the full-time whistle sounded.

MK Dons: MacGillivray, Norman, Tucker, O’Hora, Leko (Harrison 66), Gilbey, Smith, Robson, Dean (Eisa 78), Harvie (Tomlinson 66), Devoy (Payne 66).

Subs: Kelly, Lewington, Stewart.

Goal: Harvie (46)

Booked: Smith

Notts County: Stone, Brindley, Cameron, Rawlinson (Baldwin 58), Crowley, Austin (O’Brien 79), Langstaff, Nemane, Bostock, Palmer, Chicksen (Adebayo-Rowling 58).

Subs: Slocombe, Randall, Morias, Tipton.

Goal: Cameron (66)

Referee: C Kavanagh

Attendance: 8,011 (2,762 away)

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