Franchise v Rovers

15 Mar 2010
5,471
476
83
Player
Jason Koumas
#1
A trip to one of the pre-season favourites on Saturday, as we take on MK Dons. I don't know a great deal about MK's squad, but there are some familiar names like Chuks Aneke and Kieran Agaard up front, ex-Macc midfielder Mitch Hancox (he of the You Tube videos) and Dean Lewington in defence, who seems to have been there forever. Their new manager Paul Tisdale is a footballing purist, so this will be a very different game in style to the Newport match.

As for ourselves, Micky has a few selection dilemmas. Caprice is fit again, but I would probably prefer us to stick with Buxton in a match away from home where we are bound to be under a fair amount of pressure. I think Stockton will replace Mullin up front, and I hope Smith also starts ahead of DMH.

Our record at the soulless Stadium MK is appalling, but I did see a victory on our last visit, Ryan Lowe scoring a last minute winner.

There is a lot of interest in this game from Rovers fans and I would expect another healthy following of 7-800. A draw would be a very good result; in fact, two points from the next two matches would be a good return.
 
Last edited:

Boz

Member
30 Sep 2005
4,717
133
63
Player
Iain Hume
#2
Like RLC, I don't know much about MKDs current squad, while it will be interesting to see how well Tisdale uses a decent budget, having operated on a shoe-string at Exeter. Expect Micky to make just the one change, Stockton for Mullin. I agree that Buxton's defensive reliability will get him a start ahead of Caprice and while DMH has done little to merit a start, his greater stamina and defensive work, might get him the nod over Smith. Although how Connor Jennings is deployed should be considered, think we'll stick with the same formation for the next couple of games.

Fear the SWA will return home disappointed as we lose this one.
 

Ian

Super White!
21 Sep 2005
6,663
225
63
Player
Aldo
#3
I agree. As much as I hate saying it, Stockton is best partnering Norwood up front as we need someone who can hold up the ball. Buxton is a far better defender than Caprice and should play for reasons mentioned by RLC.

A draw would be a good result such is our record there. I’d like to see a really solid performance with a good SWA following cheering the lads on.

I think this will be a real tough test and they lads have to be on the ball to come away with points.

2-2.
 
Likes: ONIGP
5 Dec 2015
696
123
43
Player
Bobby Hutchinson
#4
Not too many months ago we were two leagues apart, something we should remember when it comes to expectations.
We are proving we can hold our own but every game has been a tough one.
I'm with RLC and will gladly take a point from each of the next two games.
All I want from this season is to look down and see at least two teams closer to "the bin" than us!
 
Likes: Ian
15 Mar 2010
5,471
476
83
Player
Jason Koumas
#8
Pleased with the starting line up. I think we are right to play Jennings away from home in a tough game. Not the right match for Cole.
 
24 Jul 2017
1,119
126
63
Player
tollitt
#9
What is goi g on we have Williams till jan and not even on the bench the lad from Italy who doesn't even get mentioned whats the point of bringing then in if not going to use them . Think its gonna be a tight game a sneaky 1-0
 
15 Mar 2010
5,471
476
83
Player
Jason Koumas
#13
Gutted as we deserve to go in ahead. Sloppy first ten minutes but after that we were much the better side. A clear error by Davies for the equaliser. McCullough and Smith have been excellent.
 

Ian

Super White!
21 Sep 2005
6,663
225
63
Player
Aldo
#14
1-1 in the end. Both teams with chances, but although we gained a point, I'm a little bit disappointed as I feel we could have won it. Jennings really should have put that header away late on. As it is, it's a really good point away from home against one of the favorites for promotion. Defence really solid again with the back two of McNulty and Monthe putting up another brick wall display.
 
15 Mar 2010
5,471
476
83
Player
Jason Koumas
#15
I think that is the best ninety minute performance we have put in for a while and I am disappointed we did not win. We look much better with Smith and Buxton in the side and Jennings was much better in the centre.
 
29 Jul 2009
1,894
35
48
Player
Ian Muir
#16
A decent result against one of the teams who will be in the mix at the tope of the table this season
 

Boz

Member
30 Sep 2005
4,717
133
63
Player
Iain Hume
#17
Sounds like a good point, although perhaps could have been even better?
No game time for Mullin, presume switching to 1 up front when Gilmour came on. It seemed like Norwood was pretty drained at the end.
 
8 Sep 2009
2,022
146
63
Player
Chris Greenacre
#18
Yes a good point but like Colchester at home it’s 2 points dropped due to a Davies error.

I’m a massive fan of Scottie but that’s 2 major errors in in recent weeks and as we’re not free scoring it’s costing us
 
15 Mar 2010
5,471
476
83
Player
Jason Koumas
#19
Davies played well overall and made several decent saves, so it would be unfair to single him out,

Aside from a sloppy first ten minutes where we gave the ball away too cheaply and did not get tight enough defensively, that was our best performance since the early weeks of the season. MK probably had more efforts on goal, the majority on the counter attack, but we largely controlled midfield and played the better football. All that was missing on occasions was a bit of care with the final ball, but even then we had a great chance at the death to win it with a close-range header from Jennings (hardly his strong point, in fairness).

It seemed to me that we played a 4-5-1 formation, with Norwood on the left wing in the first half and Stockton up front, with Nors later moving up front when Gilmour was brought into midfield. The tactic worked as we stifled a good passing side for the most part, and had a lot of good possession ourselves. Smith and Buxton also made a big difference to the performance in my view. They have got such good football brains it brings out the best in our other ball players, particularly Ollie Banks who had an excellent second half. Our passing was a lot better than it has been in recent weeks.

Elsewhere. I thought Norwood's movement was excellent but we did not quite find him with a final ball; Stockton did OK and was never too isolated; Gilmour looked really comfortable in a three-man midfield when he came on and was involved in several good attacks; DMH was really poor but did put in the cross for Jennings' chance; Connor looked much better playing in a central role. At the back, Macca and Monthe were really solid again. Man of the match for me was Big Mac, who read the game superbly and made several timely interventions, although Smith and Buxton in particular were also excellent.

A very positive performance and it is encouraging that MK looked no better than us over ninety minutes. A very tough game coming up on Tuesday, but then two matches where we can certainly pick up more points.
 
Likes: ONIGP

Boz

Member
30 Sep 2005
4,717
133
63
Player
Iain Hume
#20
Seen the highlights. Why is Scott Davies wearing what looks like an outfield jersey?