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MK Dons (H) match preview

6 December 2019

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Rovers return to league action to take on MK Dons at the Keepmoat Stadium this weekend.

Darren Moore’s side have played just twice in Sky Bet League One since October, having had games against Tranmere Rovers and Shrewsbury Town postponed.

MK Dons' recent run of form

The Dons haven’t won in Sky Bet League One since a 3-0 victory at Blackpool on September. Having struggled for consistency on their return to the third tier, they are currently on a five-game losing streak having tasted defeat in games against Rochdale, Fleetwood, Tranmere, Bolton Wanderers and Rotherham United. They stormed into a 2-0 lead at the Millers, only to be denied anything from the game by a strong comeback from Paul Warne’s side.

They did earn a much needed victory in their last outing though, as they beat Coventry City 2-0 in the Leasing.com Trophy second round at Stadium M:K. The goals on the night came from Kieran Agard and Joe Mason.

Who’s the gaffer?

Russell Martin was appointed as the club’s manager in November after the departure of former Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale, who had led the club to promotion from Sky Bet League Two at the first attempt last season. The former Scotland defender is still searching for his first league win in charge, as the Dons look to climb up the table.

Ones to watch

Baily Cargill

After growing up as a Southampton fan, Cargill joined Bournemouth as a youngster and signed a professional deal with the club. He made a handful of appearances in the League Cup for the Cherries during the 2014/15 campaign, featuring against Premier League giants Liverpool in the fifth round. He spent a lot of time out on loan throughout his stay at the Vitality Stadium, including spells with the likes of Gillingham, Fleetwood and SPL side Partick Thistle. He signed for the Dons in the summer of 2018, and had a big part to play in their promotion to the third tier.

Jordan Houghton

A player who will be familiar to Rovers fans, Houghton enjoyed two loan spells with the club between 2016-2018, featuring more than 60 times during his time in South Yorkshire. A product of the Chelsea youth system, the central midfielder was signed by former manager Darren Ferguson on the eve of the 2016/17 Sky Bet League Two campaign getting underway, and he went on to be a mainstay in the team that won promotion that year. A knee injury towards the back end of the season ended his loan earlier than anticipated and put him out of action for six months, but he would return for a second season at the club later that year. He returned to Chelsea at the end of that season before making a permanent move to Stadium M:K in 2018, winning his second promotion in three years in his first campaign with the club.

Joe Mason

Mason came through the youth ranks at his hometown club Plymouth Argyle and made an immediate impact scoring 10 goals in 50 appearances before a big money move to Cardiff City in 2011. He enjoyed five seasons with the Bluebirds and established himself in the Sky Bet Championship, before twice spending time on loan with Bolton Wanderers. The striker joined Wolverhampton Wanderers on a three-year deal in January 2016, and despite scoring on his debut struggled for game time due to changes of managers. He went on loan to the MLS and Colorado Rapids, before eventually joining MK Dons in the summer.

Who’s the ref?

Scott Oldham will be the man in charge when Rovers take on MK Dons on Saturday, and you can find out more about him here.

Last time out

A double from John Marquis sealed a 2-1 win for Rovers the last time the two sides met at Stadium M:K back in April 2018. Ike Ugbo had given the Dons the lead early on, before Marquis struck twice after the break to seal all three points.


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