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Match Previews

Preview: Port Vale

All you need to know ahead of today's Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper tie at Stadium MK...

9 November 2019

Russell Martin makes his managerial debut this afternoon as his MK Dons side play host to Port Vale in the Emirates FA Cup First Round Proper.

Russell Martin took over reigns at Stadium MK last Sunday following the departure of Paul Tisdale the previous evening.

His first game takes a step away from Sky Bet League One action, as Port Vale arrive at MK1 for both sides to begin their Emirates FA campaign.

Kick-off is at 3pm.

Port Vale have made an impressive start to their Sky Bet League Two campaign - they currently sit 10th in the table - just two points off a playoff position.

The Valiants have won six and drawn seven of their opening 17 league games, losing just four of their games. John Askey's side have also proved clinical in front of goal scoring 22 in the league this season. Richie Bennett currently leads the goalscoring charts, he's netted four times in the league this season and has picked up a further three assists.

Tom Pope is a name many fans will recognise, he's netted three times in seven league starts, while defender Nathan Smith also has three goals to his name. 

A hat-trick from Rushian Hepburn-Murphy condemned ten-man MK Dons to a 3-1 defeat at Stadium MK.

The scores were level heading into the break after Ben Reeves cancelled out Hepburn-Murphy’s early opener, but a dubious red card shown to Kieran Agard on the stroke of half-time meant Paul Tisdale’s men had to play the final 45 minutes a man down.

Tranmere made that advantage count, with Hepburn-Murphy striking twice to secure his hat-trick and seal the points for the visitors.

Port Vale, meanwhile, picked up all three points against local rivals thanks to Jake Taylor's goal.

Russell Martin: “We've watched a lot of [Port Vale] this week, but my main focus has been on us. We're aware of what they can do, and they were a good side here last season, but this week is about us and what we can do.”

John Askey: “We’re confident but we’re not getting too ahead of ourselves and carried away, we know we’ve got to work hard whoever we play and it’s on the day, especially in the cup.”

MK Dons have no fresh injury concerns ahead of this afternoon's clash at Stadium MK.

Joe Mason is edging closer to a return and has a full week of training under his belt. Sam Nombe and Rhys Healey are progressing well, but the duo remain long-term absentees.

Craig Hicks will be the man in the middle today at Stadium MK.

Now in his eighth year as an official, Hicks last oversaw a Dons game back in Oct 2018 during the 3-0 defeat to Luton Town in the Trophy.

So far this season, Hicks has produced 32 yellow cards in 12 matches while he has sent off four players and awarded four penalties.

Ryan Whitaker and Hristo Karaivanov are the assistant referees with Llyod Wood will be the fourth official.

Dons wins: 4
Dons wins at Stadium MK: 2
Last Dons win: 2-0, 2 Oct 2018 (Vale Park)
Biggest Dons win: 3-0, 21 Dec 2013 (Stadium MK)

Draws: 5
Draws at Stadium MK: 3
Last draw: 1-1, 22 Apr 2019 (Stadium MK)

Port Vale wins: 4
Port Vale wins at Stadium MK: 1
Last Port Vale win: 1-0, 9 Oct 2016 (Stadium MK)
Biggest Port Vale win: 3-1, 4 Oct 2006 (Vale Park)

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Tickets are priced from £12 adults, £5 under-18s and £1 under-12s. Supporters can upgrade to seats in the East Centre for a £3 premium (£2 under-18s) while an upgrade to clubRed is just £6 more (£5 under-18s/£4 under-12s).

To book tickets click HERE, visit the Box Office at Stadium MK or call 0333 200 5343. Tickets will be available to buy right up until kick-off.

Can't make the match? Not to worry, you can listen to live 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’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!

A full match report will be available to view on straight after the final whistle along with full reaction from Russell Martin and a player. Highlights will be available three hours after full-time.

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