Five talking points from MK Dons' 2-1 defeat to Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park...
Second and third race takes another turn
The race for second and third place in Sky Bet League Two took another turn at the weekend.
MK Dons dropped to fourth following their 2-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers, who are now just a point behind them in fifth. They also fell a point adrift of Mansfield Town, who slipped a place themselves after managing just a draw away at Northampton Town.
Taking Mansfield’s place in second were Bury, who beat Colchester United 2-0 at Gigg Lane for their first win in four matches. They are now two points clear of MK Dons.
Expect more twists and turns before the end of the campaign.
100 up for Kieran Agard
Kieran Agard’s headed finish at Prenton Park was the 100th goal of his impressive career.
The striker has reached his century in 349 career appearances and only 232 career starts.
Agard’s header against Tranmere also saw him claim sole possession of third place in the Club’s list of all-time league goalscorers. He is now ahead of Dean Bowditch and Daniel Powell and behind only Izale McLeod and Aaron Wilbraham.
He is also tied for the second best season in front of goal for an MK Dons player, alongside Will Grigg, with 22 goals in all competitions and 20 in the league. Izale McLeod still boasts the best scoring campaign for a Dons player - he scored 24 times in 2006/07, with 21 of those coming in the league.
Dons lose another defender
MK Dons’ injury woes at the back continue with Joe Walsh the latest to head to the sidelines.
The Welshman missed Saturday’s trip to Tranmere Rovers due to the arm injury he sustained at home to Lincoln City the previous weekend.
That’s now six defenders out injured and unavailable to Paul Tisdale with George Williams, Jordan Moore-Tayor, Baily Cargill, Mathieu Baudry and Mitch Hancox also sidelined.
Williams did feature in the warm-ups at Prenton Park but Tisdale slammed the brakes on expectations for an imminent return when speaking in his post-match press conference.
Versatile Houghton stands out
Due to the above injury situation, Jordan Houghton was forced into the centre of defence on Saturday - and not for the first time, the midfielder proved up to the task.
Houghton helped to keep the division’s leading scorer, James Norwood, quiet and his committed performance was highlighted in the second half with a stunning brave block to prevent the Rovers in-form man from finding the net - thrusting his face in the way of Norwood’s fierce low drive.
It remains to be seen whether the Dons will have any of their injured defenders back for the Good Friday trip to Meadow Lane. If not, expect Houghton to fill in once again.
Four big games to go
The message from Paul Tisdale and Jordan Houghton in the aftermath of Saturday’s defeat was that the squad is confident that their challenge for a top-three finish remains very much alive.
MK Dons have four games left to play in the 2018/19 campaign, with their fate still in their own hands - win out and they will finish in the top three and secure an immediate return to Sky Bet League One.
As has been evident in recent weeks, things can change dramatically week-by-week. A win at Meadow Lane and the Dons could find themselves back up to second and up to two points clear in the automatic promotion places.
So, in the words of Tisdale, it’s on to the next for the Dons...
MK Dons travel to Notts County on Good Friday in search of an important three points in their penultimate away match of the season.
Tickets are priced from £20 adults, £14 seniors/young adults/under-18s, £5 under-16s and £1 under-12s, if bought in advance of matchday from MK Dons. Ticket prices will increase on the day of the game. Under-7s go FREE when accompanied by an adult.
Official Away Travel is running for this fixture, with coach spaces priced at £16 for Season Ticket holders and £17 for all other supporters. Coaches will depart Stadium MK at 11.30am.
To book tickets/travel click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy from MK Dons until 5pm on Thursday.