By Steve Manning

The Dons v Accrington Stanley

Venue: Stadium MK (Capacity: 30,500 for football)

Game – 5 of 46

Formbook / Goal Contributions:

The Dons: – Position: 21st – P 4 W 1 D 0 L 3 GF 2 GA 6 GD -4 Pts 3.

Top League Scorer: Bradley Johnson – 2 goals.

Top Assist Provider: Matt Smith – 1

Previous Result: Dons 2 Port Vale 1

Accrington: – Position: 14th – PD 3 W 1 D 2 L 0 gf 7 ga 6 gd +1 pts 5.

Top League Scorer: Sean McConville – 2 goals.

Top Assist Provider: Mitch Clark, Sean McConville, Tommy Leigh, Lukas Jensen, Josh Woods – 1 each.

Previous Result: Accrington 4 Burton 4

Head-to-Head Record:

Dons Wins: 6 Drawn: 1 Accrington Wins: 2 – Dons Goals: 20 Accrington: 13

Previously: Accrington Stanley 1 The Dons 1 (League One) 8th January 2022.

Port Vale – Review

Bradley Johnson rolled back the years as he slammed home an emphatic brace against newly promoted Port Vale on Tuesday night (16/08/22) for the Dons first win of the 2022/23 campaign. Having lost their first three games of the season, Dons set about taking the game to their Burslem-based visitors and

it took 34 minutes for Johnson to hand Dons the initiative with an excellently drilled strike into Jack Steven’s bottom left hand corner, some good work by his teammates gifted Johnson a chance that he was never going to turn down. 1-0.

There wasn’t much else of note to write about in the first half as Dons kept up their pressure on the Vale goal. Into the second half and Henry Lawrence switched to wingback and almost immediately cleared a Vale effort off Jamie Cumming’s line. Denying the visitors, a decent chance to level matters, Matt Dennis curled a long-range effort that had Jack Stevens tested, before Johnson (85) thumped home a thunderous free kick from about 20 yards arrowed under the Vale wall and Stevens who looked like a pedestrian as the ball flew past him. 2-0.

Ellis Harrison (93) pulled one back as the rain began lashing it down. But the run was broken, and the win had lifted the Dons off the bottom of the third tier at last. 2-1.

How Dons could line-up

Tuesday’s win against Vale bodes well for today’s visit of Accrington Stanley, I can’t foresee many changes if any from the side that strolled out onto the turf on that rainy night in MK1. I do think Manning will do what he normally does, start in an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation. Shifting into the 5-3-2 hybrid formation if needed later in the game.

Possible Dons XI: – 4-2-3-1

Jamie Cumming.

Henry Lawrence, Warren O’Hora, Jack Tucker, Dean Lewington (c).

Bradley Johnson, Ethan Robson.

Matt Smith, Conor Grant, Louie Barry.

Matt Dennis.

How Stanley could line-up

Stanley boss John Coleman operates with a holding defensive midfielder sandwiched between two banks of four, and a lone striker up front.

It is a formation that has reaped dividends in front of goal for the Reds who have scored 7 goals in 3 games so far this season.

Possible Stanley XI: – 4-1-4-1

Lukas Jensen.

Mitch Clark, Harvey Rogers, Ryan Astley, Baba Fernandes.

Liam Coyle.

Shaun Whalley, Joe Pritchard, Ethan Hamilton, Sean McConville.

Matt Lowe.

One’s to Watch

Bradley Johnson – The Dons: Johnson made it his personal mission to get the side firing after some awful performances collectively from the start of this season. His two-goal salvo against Vale rightly earned him the MOTM award on Tuesday night taking no prisoners as the former Norwich, Leeds, Derby, and Cobbler’s man was determined to control the flow of the game spraying around balls like they were in a pin-ball machine.

This version of Johnson will create many problems for Accrington.

Sean McConville – Accrington: McConville is my one to watch for Stanley today. Fleet footed and a handful for any defence on his day. He’s chipped in with 2 goals and an assist already thus season for his club, McConville is an excellent crosser of the ball and not bad when it comes to dead ball situations either. Like many that I’ve named so far this is a player with that old school feel about him.

Possesses the competence to have a go from range, and adept enough to take his man on in one-on-one situations. Must be kept an eye on or could orchestrate an upset here.

Score Prediction

The Dons 2 – Accrington 1

I’m backing Liam Manning’s young team to build upon the win against Port Vale by beating Stanley by the same score line – 2-1. I’m tempted to say Bradley Johnson to score again, and Matt Smith with the other Dons goal.

Match Odds – supplied by Oddschecker.

Dons Win: 19/20, Draw: 9/4. Stanley Win: 12/5

Dons to Win 2-1: 7/1

Bradley Johnson to score first, and Dons win 2-1: 45/1

(*Odds subject to change, please gamble responsibly)

Enjoy today’s game, and fingers crossed we’ll have another 3 points on the board at a quarter to five this evening. And as always wishing you all a safe journey to, and from the Stadium today.

Until next time.


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