mkdons.com with five talking points from Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Lincoln City at Stadium MK...
Dons drop to third
MK Dons fell one position in the Sky Bet League Two table courtesy of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Lincoln City but they did retain a place in the automatic promotion spots.
Paul Tisdale’s men were overtaken by Mansfield Town, who beat Cambridge United 1-0 at the One Call Stadium. They now sit second on goal difference.
The Dons did, however, receive a helping hand from Carlisle United as they fought back from 2-1 down with 10 men to beat Bury at Brunton Park. That result keeps the Shakers in fourth, one point behind Tisdale’s side.
Tranmere Rovers, the fifth automatic-promotion contender and the Dons’ opponents this coming Saturday, drew 0-0 away at Newport County which sees them remain fifth in the table, four points behind the Dons.
Positives in performance
Despite defeat, the Dons can take a lot of heart for their display against the runaway division leaders.
Paul Tisdale’s men had more possession and more shots than their opponents and were desperately unlucky not to score a leveller during a dominant second-half display.
Speaking after the game, McGrandles echoed that sentiment. He told the media: “I always thought we were going to get a goal and then win it. On another day, we could have won that game but this happens throughout the season.”
There are no rewards, unfortunately, for a positive performance in a defeat but the Dons will be hoping it can give them the confidence they need to return to winning ways next weekend.
No complaints over the penalty
The turning point on Saturday came with 11 minutes remaining in the half when referee Kevin Johnson awarded the visitors a penalty for a foul on Shay McCartan by Ryan Harley.
To some, it appeared Harley had won the ball fairly but both Paul Tisdale and Conor McGrandles admitted they had little complaints about the decision.
Tis said: “I think Ryan got a touch on it but I don't think it was clear so I'm not going to argue it.”
“Ryan said it wasn't, but the ref gave it,” McGrandles added. “He made the ref make a decision, I suppose so, in that way, it could have gone either way.”
Walker impresses off the bench
One positive for the Dons was the bright display of Stephen Walker off the bench on Saturday.
Walker, on loan at Stadium MK from Middlesbrough, has seen opportunities limited since his arrival in January but caused the Imps defence plenty of problems during his 15 minutes on the pitch.
The 18-year-old will be hoping to feature even more during the final five games and Tisdale will be hoping his loanee can continue to have a positive impact.
Full focus on final five
While clearly disappointed to come out on the losing side at the weekend, both Paul Tisdale and Conor McGrandles refused to let their heads drop when meeting with the media.
In fact, the duo spoke confidently of the Dons’ chances of securing a top three finish and were quick to turn their attentions to this coming Saturday’s trip to fellow promotion rivals Tranmere Rovers.
“We're still in the top three,” McGrandles said. “We have a massive game next week, we've got to dust ourselves and go for that now.”
Tisdale commented: “We have to look to the next five now and look to perform in them. It's where we are in four weeks time that matters. We’re still in it.”
Next up for MK Dons is their trip to Prenton Park this Saturday to take on Tranmere Rovers.
Tickets are priced at £18 adults, £11 seniors/young adults, £5 under-18s and £2 under-12s, if bought in advance of matchday. Ticket prices will increase on the day of the game.
Ambulant disabled supporters pay the disabled rate of £11 or the relevant age bracket if cheaper. Supporters with a disability are entitled to a FREE personal assistant. Wheelchair users should contact Tranmere Rovers directly on 01516 093 328.
Official Away Travel is running for this fixture, with coach spaces priced at £23 Season Ticket holders and £24 all other supporters. Coaches will depart Stadium MK at 9.30am.
To book tickets/travel click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will remain on sale from MK Dons until 5pm on Friday 12 April.