MK DONS will go level on points with second placed Notts County if they can beat them at stadium:mk on Tuesday night.
Karl Robinson’s men go into the game sat eighth in League 1, just three points behind County with six games played. But the clash represents arguably the toughest test Dons have faced yet this term.
County have made an impressive start under Keith Curle, picking up four wins from their opening six matches to leave them just one point adrift of early pace-setters Tranmere.
The Magpies were somewhat unlucky not to snatch another victory at the weekend too – a result which would have seen them go top. After having Andre Boucaud sent off in the first half, County twice took the lead against Oldham, only to be pegged back by the home side, with Jose Baxter equalising with five minutes to go.
The draw ended their 100 per cent record away from home, while Dons’ 1-0 win over Yeovil continued their record of winning every game at home this season. County have also scored twice each time they have played away from Meadow Lane.
But County have beaten Dons just once – a 2-0 win at Meadow Lane in December 2010 – while Dons have come out on top five times in the eight previous meetings between the sides.
The corresponding fixture last season was a one-way affair and one Dons were handed an early advantage in. Dean Bowditch’s fourth minute shot beat keeper Stuart Nelson but was brilliantly kept out by the hands Julian Kelly on the line.
Referee Darren Sheldrake had no choice but to award the spot kick and send Kelly off. Shaun Williams’ penalty was missed, but Dons went on to win 3-0, courtesy of goals from Angelo Balanta, Clinton Morrison and Daniel Powell.
The return fixture saw tempers flare on the touchline, with assistant manager John Gorman being sent to the stands after an altercation with former Dons boss, and then County manager, Martin Allen.
Tom Flanagan was in the thick of the action that day. Not only did he score a spectacular volley to put Dons into the lead, but was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area nine minutes from time to allow Jeff Hughes to equalise from the penalty spot.
Bookmakers have Dons as slight favourites over the Magpies, but they will know doubt have to work harder for the three points than they did against Yeovil on Saturday.