MK Dons face Accrington Stanley this afternoon looking to build on their Carabao Cup success in midweek.
Paul Tisdale’s men bounced back from a tough defeat to Peterborough United by seeing off Sky Bet League One rivals Southend United 4-1 at Roots Hall - a result which has secured them a glamour third-round tie with UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool next month.
The Dons’ focus, however, will be on today’s encounter at the Wham Stadium and using the momentum gained from midweek to return to winning ways in the league.
A win in Lancashire - what would be a first away league win of the campaign - would make it nine points from a possible 15 in August, which would be a decent return for Tisdale and his side in their first month back in Sky Bet League One.
Kick-off is at 3pm.
Accrington Stanley are still in search of their first win of the 2019/20 campaign, with only a point to their name from their opening four matches.
Stanley held AFC Wimbledon to a 1-1 draw at the Cherry Red Records Stadium but have suffered defeats to Lincoln City, Shrewsbury Town and Fleetwood Town.
Their loss to Shrewsbury Town in their most recent home fixture came in frustrating fashion, surrendering a two-goal lead with only 18 minutes to play to lose 3-2 with the final two goals coming in the final five minutes of regulation time.
John Coleman’s men, therefore, will be eager to bounce back this afternoon and they will likely lean on the firepower of young striker Colby Bishop (pictured above), who has already hit three goals this term following his move from Leamington in the summer.
LAST TIME OUT
MK Dons bounced back from a 4-0 defeat to Peterborough United by beating Southend United 4-1 in their Carabao Cup Round Two tie at Roots Hall.
Rhys Healey broke the deadlock 35 minutes in with a low left-footed finish before Callum Brittain doubled the advantage just prior to half-time with a stunning 18-yard strike.
Brandon Goodship pulled one back for Southend but a brilliant solo goal from Hiram Boateng restored the two-goal advantage with eight minutes to play. Sam Nombe then sealed the success with a fierce 92nd-minute effort - his first for the Club.
Ten-man Accrington Stanley were beaten 2-0 by Fleetwood Town in their last outing.
The Cod Army went ahead just before the half-hour mark through Paddy Madden, who sent a neat first-time effort past Dimitar Evtimov from Lewie Coyle’s cross.
Ched Evans then doubled the lead midway through the second half from the penalty spot after Josh Morris went down in the box under Zaine Francis-Angol’s challenge.
A disappointing day on the Fylde coast was capped off seven minutes later when Sean McConville was shown a straight red card.
Paul Tisdale: “When they get into a rhythm, they are hard to beat as they showed when they got promoted. I've had plenty of tough games against Accrington. I enjoy it there, but I've also had some tough games there too.”
John Coleman: “They've got a good side and a good manager. If you stick to a system that you play and an ethos, the people who have longevity usually have that, and I think that's why he's been successful for so long.”
MK Dons striker Rhys Healey made his first start of the season in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup win over Southend United while Alex Gilbey got 90 minutes under his belt - both will be pushing for starts this afternoon.
Regan Poole returned to the line-up after missing the clash with Peterborough United due to injury while Joe Walsh, who was also sidelined earlier this month, featured too. Conor McGrandles, however, hasn’t been involved since picking up a knock against Posh last Saturday.
Ben Reeves (leg), Jordan Moore-Taylor (knee) and Joe Mason (hamstring) remain out.
Accrington Stanley will be without midfielder Sean McConville following his sending off against Fleetwood Town last weekend.
Striker Courtney Baker-Richardson has returned to parent club Swansea City due to injury so won’t be involved on today while fellow front-man Offrande Zanzala is a doubt after tweaking his hamstring. Forward Billy Kee is also sidelined.
Experienced official Ross Joyce will take charge of today’s affair at the Wham Stadium.
Joyce has refereed the Dons on five previous occasions, with his most recent appointment the Sky Bet League Two clash with Morecambe back in March. In total, he has produced 21 yellow cards in games involving the Dons but has yet to brandish his red card.
He has, though, made a dismissal this season, which came in his first match of the campaign. He has booked 20 players as well across five matches and awarded one penalty.
His assistant referees are Matthew Jones and Stephen Wade while the fourth official is Gareth Mellor.
HEAD TO HEAD
Dons wins: 4
Dons wins at Wham Stadium: 2
Last Dons win: 1-0, 24 Mar 2008 (Wham Stadium)
Biggest Dons win: 5-0, 8 Dec 2007 (Stadium MK)
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FOLLOW IT LIVE
Tickets, which can now only be bought at the Wham Stadium, are priced at £20 adults, £15 seniors/students, £10 under-18s and £5 under-12s.
Those fans in the UK & Republic of Ireland can listen to live audio commentary on iFollow MK Dons for just £2.50 - click HERE to purchase an Audio Match Pass!
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 2pm.
There will also be full coverage on the Club’s social media channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat!