Walsall FC

Walsall v MK Dons Papa Johns Trophy

By Steve Manning

Venue: Poundland Bescot Stadium (capacity: 11,300)
Competition: Papa John’s Trophy

Matchday: 3 of 3 Group Stage.

Previous results: 
Dons beat West Ham U21 academy side by a 2-0 score line with Matt Dennis scoring twice to send his side into the top two of the standings (Tuesday October 4th). And Walsall lost 2-1 away at Cheltenham Town (Tuesday 20th September).

Group Standings: As of 4th October 2022
1.Cheltenham Town – P 2 W 2 D 0 L 0 gf 4 ga 2 gd +2 Pts: 6 – Shootout wins: 0

2.The Dons – P 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 gf 3 ga 2 gd +1 Pts 3 – Shootout wins: 0————————————————————————————

3.West Ham U21 – P 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 gf 1 ga 2 gd -1 Pts: 3 – Shootout wins: 0

4.Walsall – P 2 W 0 D 0 L 2 gf 1 ga 3 gd -2 Pts: 0 – Shootout wins: 0

Head to head record:
Saddlers wins: 7 Drawn: 9 Dons wins: 8 Saddlers goals: 23 Dons goals: 28
Last meeting:
3rd February 2018, League Two – Walsall 1 Dons 0 (at Bescot Stadium, Walsall)
Previous results:
Walsall lost 2-1 away at Mansfield Town, and Dons lost 4-1 at home to Plymouth – Saturday 15th October.

Plymouth review:
Plymouth Argyle tore apart Liam Manning’s Dons as they cemented their place at the summit of League One on Saturday afternoon at Stadiummk. As Dons took another step towards League Two with a 4-1 thrashing.
Argyle took the lead after 9 minutes when Morgan Whittaker latched on to Matt Butcher’s through ball and his tame effort straight at Jamie Cumming was spilled into the Dons net.Their lead was doubled after 25 minutes when Neil Ennis, finished a fine attacking move involving quick passing between Finn Azaz, and Whittaker.

Argyle increased their lead further eight minutes later before half-time, Azaz picking up a loose ball from the Dons defence before thundering home from 12 yards out.Will Grigg grabbed a consolation, on 49 minutes, his fourth strike of the season, to give the Dons some hope of a comeback, with the Northern Irishman firing home from around 18 yards out and past Michael Cooper in the Argyle net.

Steven Schumacher’s side restored their three goal lead around 10 minutes later, Azaz again latching onto a loose ball before curling his effort past a stranded Cumming in the Dons goal.How much longer can supporters discontent go unheard? the frustrations once again pouring out from the stands following the game.

How Walsall could line-up?
Saddlers’ boss Michael Flynn favours a 3 at the back defence, with wingbacks dropping in to form a 5 when defending. Played a 3-4-1-2 formation in their defeat to Mansfield at the weekend.
Possible Saddlers starting XI: 3-4-1-2
Owen Evans;Hayden White, Peter Clarke (c), Manny Monthé;Liam Bennett, Liam Kinsella, Brandon Comley, Liam Gordon;Joe Riley;Andy Williams, Douglas James-Taylor.

How Dons could line-up?
Unchanged formation wise, Manning has pidgin holed his options in regards to this, 3-4-3 or a variant of this is likely again.
Possible Dons starting XI: 3-4-3
23. Franco Ravizzoli;4. Jack Tucker, 5. Warren O’Hora (c), 33. Zak Jules;22. Henry Lawrence, 8. Ethan Robson, 14. Bradley Johnson, 21. Daniel Harvie;15. Joshua Kayode, 30. Matthew Dennis, 16. Conor Grant.

One’s to watch:
Brandon Comley – Saddlers: versatile midfielder Comley is capable of playing anywhere across the attacking third. He has been used mainly in the central pairing this season, and uses his range of passes to good effect for Michael Flynn’s side.
Matthew Dennis – The Dons: Dennis has already netted in this competition for the Dons, having scored a brace in a 2-0 success over West Ham U21’s. I’m going for Matt, despite his Jekyll, and Hyde performances for Liam Manning’s men. He seems to like this competition, omens bode well then for him.

Score Prediction:
Walsall 1 Dons 2
An opportunity to qualify for the second round of this season’s Pizza Trophy, with a win over Walsall. A win should be achievable for this set of players.

Goal-scorers? Matt Dennis, and Ethan Robson are my picks to score against Walsall.

Match Odds supplied by Oddschecker:
Walsall win: 8/5 Draw: 21/10 Dons win: 8/5Dons to win 2-1: 17/2Both sides to score: Yes – 8/11

Memberships Available:
The MKDSA are now taking new membership, and membership renewal subscriptions for the 2022/23 season.
Prices for this season are set at:
•     Adults: £3 for the season.•     Under-18: £1.50 for the season.•     Family (2 adult, 2 children): £8 for the season.•     Life Membership: £25 (one-off payment)•     Existing Life Members: Free (no need for renewal) We will check our lists, if you think you might be an existing Life Member, and notify you of your number by email.
You can join today online via:
https://www.mkdsa.org.uk/membership and pay, or alternatively, visit us at the Shop in Lewington’s on any matchday, where we will be happy to help join you up, Cash and Card payments are accepted in person.

Current Membership Benefits:
•     Automatic Entry into the monthly prize draw – you could win yourself a cash prize if your number is drawn at random. It could be you!•     New or Renewing and Existing Members are entitled to 10% discounts off any purchases, until November 12th 2022. That is the date of our home game with Derby County.•     

All you need to do to claim this 10% discount is to present your valid members card, or confirmation email showing your member number at the MKDSA shop at any home matchday.

By buying a membership to the MKDSA you will also be helping to fund our ongoing, and future initiatives both for the club and for the Supporters Association. It will also give you representation with us helping to have our members heard by the club itself.

Membership also grants you automatic membership of the national Football Supporters Association (FSA), formerly known as the Football Supporters Federation (FSF), which has greater powers in representing fans of clubs across the UK.

Join us today, and stand with us #TOGETHERasONE.

If you are going to the game, as usual I wish you safe travels, and enjoy the game!

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