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Match Previews

Preview: Exeter City

All you need to know ahead of today’s Sky Bet League Two clash…

25 August 2018

Two of Sky Bet League’s Two early pace-setters go head-to-head at Stadium MK this afternoon as fifth-placed MK Dons take on leaders Exeter City.

MK Dons have made an unbeaten start to the season, taking eight points from their opening four league matches including victories over Oldham Athletic and Bury.

They have only conceded two goals in 540 minutes of league football which has been the catalyst to their early success.

A victory today at Stadium MK would see MK Dons leapfrog their opponents and may even move them into the top three automatic promotion spots - although very early in the season, it would still provide a welcome sight to the home supporters.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Exeter have made an impressive start to the season, currently sitting top of the Sky Bet League Two after four games.

They are level on 10 points with Lincoln City but boast a better goal difference having only conceded twice. At the other end, they have found the net eight times with striker Jayden Stockley leading the way in terms of goals with three to his name.

The Grecians’ only dropped points came at home to Newport County a week ago where an 81st-minute goal from Mark Harris denied them a third successive win. They responded in midweek, though, with 2-0 triumph away at Colchester United.

MK Dons rallied late against Grimsby Town but weren’t able to secure a come-from-behind win and instead settled for a 1-1 draw at Stadium MK.

The Mariners took the lead in the first half through Jordan Cook’s 34th-minute goal but Paul Tisdale’s men responded in the opening minute of the second half through substitute Robbie Simpson.

Grimsby were reduced to 10 men late in the game which allowed MK Dons to press forward in numbers but they weren’t able to take advantage and therefore had to make do with a point.

Exeter, meanwhile, continued their strong start to the Sky Bet League Two season as they overcame Cambridge United 2-0 on Tuesday night.

The Grecians were set on their way to victory with two goals inside the opening quarter of an hour.

Jonathan Forte opened the scoring with eight minutes gone, stealing in to beat goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov after George Taft could only guide Pierce Sweeney's long ball towards his own goal.

The lead was doubled six minutes later through Jayden Stockley, whose header from Craig Woodman's cross went straight to Mitov but then through the goalkeeper's hands before rolling over the line.

MK Dons manager Paul Tisdale: “More people outside are talking about it than we are here, but I can't ignore the fact that I've got 12 years of history there so of course there are emotions.

“But, generally, it will be a regular football match, with 11 players against another manager with 11 players. Of course, there are players in that team that I know but I'm 100 per cent focused on the players I'll selected here, the subs who can change the game and the supporters supporting MK Dons - that's the way it has to be.”

Exeter City manager Matt Taylor: “It is a game of football, simple as that. We are going there to win this game of football. It is another three points at stake. We are on the back of a good run. We are still unbeaten, but it is the toughest test we will face so far.

“They are a good team, with a good manager, good staff and good people. It is always a difficult place to go.”

MK Dons will have to wait to discover if new singing Rhys Healey can make his debut today with international clearance needed before the striker is eligible to play.

Meanwhile, Paul Tisdale has no fresh injury concerns but remains without the likes of Peter Pawlett, Conor McGrandles and Osman Sow.

Sam Nombe and Brandon Thomas-Asante have both returned to light training and featured in a practice match during the week but it remains to be seen whether they are fit enough to be involved in first-team action.

Nicky Law could return to the starting line-up for Exeter City after he featured for them last week.

Centre-back Troy Brown missed out through injury in midweek so Aaron Martin could partner Dean Moxey in the middle of the defence with Craig Woodman taking the latter's usual place at left-back.

Charles Breakspear will run the rule over this afternoon's clash as he takes charge of his fifth match of the season.

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

Mr Breakspear last took charge of the Dons during their dramatic 1-0 win over Peterborough back in December 2017 – that day he dismissed both Joe Walsh and Osman Sow.

His assistant referees today are Thomas Harty and Paul Lister, while the Fourth Official is Ian Smedley.

MK Dons wins: 6
MK Dons wins at Stadium MK: 4
Last MK Dons win: 3-0, 10 Mar 2012 (Stadium MK)
Biggest MK Dons win: 3-0, 10 Mar 2012 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 2
Draws at Stadium MK: 1
Last Draw: 1-1, 8 Jan 2011 (St James Park)

Exeter City wins: 0
Exeter City wins at Stadium MK: N/A
Last Exeter City win: N/A
Biggest Exeter City win: N/A

Full-time result
MK Dons: 19/20
Draw: 12/5
Exeter City: 29/10

First Goalscorer
Kieran Agard: 4/1
Dylan Asonganyi: 6/1
Ousseynou Cisse: 6/1
Jayden Stockley: 6/1
Jonathan Forte: 6/1
Jake Taylor: 16/1

Tickets are priced from £22 adults, £17 over-65s and £7 under-18s while under-12s go FREE with a Young Dons members. 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 ticket booths around Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.

Supporters currently outside the UK and Ireland can watch the match LIVE with an iFollow MK Dons International Pass or by purchasing an International Match Pass – click HERE for more information!

iFollow MK Dons will have also live commentary of the game for UK and Ireland-based fans – click HERE to sign up for as little as £4.49 for a month.

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 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 mkdons.com straight after the final whistle along with full reaction from Paul Tisdale and a player. Highlights will be available to view from midnight. 

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Elsewhere in Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 25th August
Cambridge United v Cheltenham Town
Carlisle United v Crewe Alexandra
Colchester United v Northampton Town
Crawley Town v Bury
Forest Green Rovers v Swindon
Lincoln City v Notts County
Macclesfield Town v Mansfield
Morecambe v Oldham Athletic
Newport County v Grimsby Town
Tranmere Rovers v Port Vale
Yeovil v Stevenage


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