MK Dons v Mansfield Town
Monday 31 Dec 2007 15:18:37 by JonnyG
Every football side has a bogey team to some extent, Man Utd have the Hammers and recently the Dons have struggled against the lowly Stags.
Last season we managed only a point at home to Mansfield town and this season the Stags gave the Dons at the top of the table a real wake up call at Field Mill.
Only the appalling referee saved the Dons blushes back in October and despite them being placed 23rd in the table the Dons fans at least, aren't counting their turkeys just yet. Especially since the Stags turned over POSH recently (POSH are easy though!)
Top versus bottom (near as) will have the Dons massive favourites especially as the Stags squad is depleted and the Dons have only dropped 2 points in December.
Billy Dearden will be without several of his players, defenders Martin McIntosh (suspended) and Alex Baptiste (Back strain) whilst there are also doubts over defender Gareth Jelleyman (facial injuries) and midfielder Lee Bell (knee).
Theses absentees will have to be covered by young inexperienced players but the Stags do welcome the return of midfielder Stephen Dawson from suspension against Accrington Stanley.
Dearden says his side are good enough if they get their noses in front but are guilty of dropping their heads and lacking fighting spirit when they go behind. Cue an early Dons goal pleeeease!
Paul Inces side have performed heroics through the difficult December period with the only points being dropped against Brentford.
Tough wins against Peterborough and Darlo on the road must now be capitalised on at Stadium Mk. A win against the Stags will cap off an outstanding Xmas effort from the team and be a boost before they make another difficult away trip.
Sean O'Hanlon remains an injury doubt and Wilbraham is also likely to miss this fixture but hopefully Kevin Gallen will be fit. The Dons have a big squad though and there is plenty of competition for places. JJs last two goals have him vying for a starting position but that would probably require a change of formation for the team.
Juuuuuude will also be hopeful of a start after a good performance at Darlo, whether he plays up front or in goal is anybodies guess!!!!
The victory at Darlo was physically sapping for the team, so I hope they used the long journey back for a good kip and are as rested as possible before tomorrow.
Enjoy your water tonight boys!!
Should be quite mild compared to recent days, probably quite tropical for those that endured the conditions ooop north against the Quakers. The sun might even make an appearance (yeah and the editor might spring for a new coffee machine!).
I predict 4-0 Dons (I've gotta be right sometime)
Fizz Ref Watch v Mansfield
Monday 31 Dec 2007 20:42:22 by Franco
After refereeing in MK just over two months ago New Year Day's referee is no stranger to Dons fans.
Mr Cook was in charge for our home 0-2 defeat by Stockport County on October 27th, where he booked Alan Navarro.
Since refereeing that day Mr SD Cook has gone onto ref another eight games booking another eighteen and sending off a Tranmere sub in the FA Cup in the 90th minute, he had only been on the field thirteen minutes
Mr Cook is assisted by SJ Barrow and JG Comley on the field and GR Young off the field.
Depleted Stags head for leaders
DEPELETED Mansfield Town face a huge task when they travel to League Two leaders Milton Keynes Dons tomorrow (3pm).
Stags are definitely without Martin McIntosh (suspended) and Lee Bell (knee operation) and also have doubts over Gareth Jelleyman (facial injuries) and Alex John-Baptiste (back strain).
But midfielder Stephen Dawson is back after a one game ban and youngsters Danny Sleath and Ryan Goward will make up the numbers.
"Lee is back doing some light running but it is too soon for a return yet," said manager Billy Dearden.
"Alex is also running but is very doubtful. Gareth lost some teeth and suffered concussion on Saturday, but he went down to the University Hospital in Nottingham to get the teeth put back in and, although he is touch and go, we are hopeful he will play.
"It is not the easiest trip to be making tomorrow with what we've got but we have got to do it – it's as simple as that."
Dearden is hoping this will be the last league game his struggling side will play without the boost of new faces with the transfer window re-opening tomorrow.
"It is all talk on the phone just now," he said. "But having the cup game at Brighton on Saturday gives me a little bit more time.
"But I would like to get things sorted sooner than later and would hope to have the new players in training with us at the start of next week before the Wycombe game on the Tuesday."
Mansfield's 2-1 home reversal against Accrington Stanley on Saturday was their third defeat in four games and tomorrow they face a Dons side that are unbeaten in six and, indeed, have won seven and drawn one of their last nine outings.
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