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Preview: Grimsby v MK Dons

By: Kevin Dolan
Date: 03/11/2006

GRIMSBY Town welcome MK Dons to Blundell Park for the first time this Saturday desperate for three points to push themselves away from the foot of the table.

Home > 2006-2007 Season > Previews > MK Dons (a)

The Opposition

MK Dons became a continuation of Wimbledon in the summer of 2004 after Wimbledon had relocated to Milton Keynes in September 2003. Wimbledon were relegated from the Premiership in 1999/2000 and lasted four year in the now Championship before being relegated again at the end of the 2003/04 season. The initial reasons behind the heavily criticised franchise were so that Milton Keynes had a football league team (other clubs had been approached) and due to Wimbledon’s recognised need for their own ground after ground sharing for many years. The venture, though, has done little to stop the rot that had already set in at Wimbledon.

With the club struggling in League 1, Stuart Murdoch was sacked in November 2004 and Danny Wilson had the almost impossible task of keeping them up. Incredibly he did, saving the club on goal difference, although they were ultimately helped by Wrexham’s 10-point deduction that relegated them instead. Last season was almost a mirror image with The Dons battling all the way to the last game of the season. However, they could not pull it off again, drawing with Rotherham who stayed up at their expense. After relegation, Wilson was sacked and the Dons surprisingly appointed Martin Allen who had just resigned from Brentford.

The Team
Allen’s appointment brought a much-needed boost to the club and MK Dons currently lie in 6th place, five points from the automatic promotion spots and eleven points ahead of Town. Their position is mainly down to their away form, gaining 14 points from a possible 24, whilst their home record is only two points better off than Town’s. Their away record includes impressive wins at Lincoln and Barnsley (Carling Cup) and they are the only team to return from Walsall with a point. Currently they are not in the best of form, winning only one of their last seven games and including a 5-0 home thumping from Tottenham in the Carling Cup. Like Town, they also exited the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in midweek with a 4-1 defeat at Brighton.

One time Town target Clive Platt has five goals to his name this season and has formed a solid partnership with Izale Mcleod. They are supported by ex-Stockport striker Aaron Wilbraham (left) who also has five goals. Jamie Smith, a right back who Crystal Palace once paid £1m for, joined from Bristol City in the summer; whilst another ex-Palace player, Australian winger Nicky Rizzo, has been struggling with injury all season and has been one of eight players recently put on the transfer list. Goalkeeper Lee Harper has joined on a three-month loan from Northampton in a bid to sure up the defence.

Key Player
A former Derby trainee, striker Izale Mcleod (left) was picked up the by MK Dons in the summer of 2004 and has become one of the most sought after players in the lower leagues. A number of clubs have bid for him in the past year, but the player has rejected them on the basis that he wanted to play at a higher level; he is heavily tipped to be up for a big money move within the next year with Manchester City rumoured to be interested. He scored a commendable 18 goals in both of the last two seasons despite the relegation battles and has eight goals already this campaign. Only a poor disciplinary record, 2 red cards so far this season, has prevented him scoring more.

Recent Form

TownMK Dons
LMansfield(a)0-3 (JPT)
LNotts Co(h)0-2
WLincoln(a)0-0 (5-3p) (JPT)
Currently 21st in League Two.
Currently 6th in League Two.

Top Scorers

TownMK Dons
Peter Bore5
Gary Jones3
Ciaron Toner3

Team News

TownMK Dons

  • Gary Jones serves the 2nd game of his 3-match ban.

  • Andy Butler’s loan spell is due to end after the weekend, although he is a doubt with flu.

  • Tony Thorpe has completed his one-month loan spell and returned to Stevenage.
  • Izale Mcleod is to have a fitness test after coming off injured in midweek.

  • Midfielder Gary Smith is out with a knee injury.
  • Probable Teams

    TownMK Dons
    1Phil Barnes
    2John McDermott
    5Nick Fenton
    17Andy Butler
    20Gary Croft
    16Danny Boshell
    12Ricky Ravenhill
    10Ciaran Toner
    18Peter Bore
    14Kevin James
    7Isaiah Rankin
    TBALee Harper
    2Jamie Smith
    4Drissa Diallo
    6Sean O'Hanlon
    3Dean Lewington
    7Jon-Paul McGovern
    13Keith Andrews
    15Gareth Edds
    20Aaron Wilbraham
    9Clive Platt
    10Izale McLeod


    TownMK Dons
    13Robert Murray
    8Paul Bolland
    6Justin Whittle
    23Nick Hegarty
    4Gary Harkins
    31Adolfo Baines
    8Paul Mitchell
    23Lloyd Dyer
    19Scott Taylor
    12Leon Crooks

    Head to Head

    This is the first time that the Mariners have met the MK Dons, although Town did have a decent record against Wimbledon who only won at Blundell Park once in their nine visits.

    P 18 W 7 D 7 L 4 F 35 A 29

    MK Dons Head-to-Head (16th on The Opposition Ladder)

    Last Meeting

    The last time Wimbledon visited Blundell Park was at the start of the 2002/03 season. Despite recording a 6-2 win in the corresponding fixture only 5 months before, Town could only muster a goalless draw highlighting the scoring problems The Mariners had at the start of that season, scoring only once in their first 7 games.

    Grimsby0 - 0Wimbledon

    MK Dons Team: Davis, Darlington, Willmott, Williams, Hawkins, McAnuff, Francis, Andersen, Nowland (Gray, 66), Shipperley, Agyemang
    Subs (not used): Heald, Gier, Tapp, Karlsson

    Grimsby Team: Coyne, McDermott, Groves, Chettle, Gallimore, Cooke (Barnard, 84), Coldicott, Pouton, Campbell, Livingstone, Rowan (Jevons, 83)
    Subs: (not used) Hughes, Ford, Mansaram

    Attendance: 4,625  Report


    Town 1-1 MK Dons

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