PREVIEW: Argyle vs Milton Keynes Dons
Ryan Lowe’s Pilgrims will be relying on the voices of the 2,000-strong Green Army to help his them overcome a difficult run of form when Milton Keynes Dons visit Home Park on Saturday.
After an excellent start to life back in the third tier, the Greens have found results hard to come by of late – but a return to home comforts is sure to be a boost.
The Greens have enjoyed remarkable success at Home Park during Lowe’s tenure, and a home defeat to Rochdale at the start of December ended an 11-month run without losing on home soil.
Argyle currently lie in 19th place in Sky Bet League One, on the same number of points, 19, as Saturday’s opponents, Milton Keynes Dons, who sit four places higher than the Greens by virtue of a superior goal difference.
Last time out, the Dons came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with promotion chasers Peterborough United, courtesy of experienced marksman Cameron Jerome’s 78th minute goal. It was their second 1-1 draw on home soil in a matter of days, with Russell Martin’s side also striking late on, through a Scott Fraser penalty, to secure a point against bottom side Burton Albion - who led through Colin Daniel after only eight minutes.
Only Shrewsbury Town have drawn more fixtures than the Dons so far this season, and the Buckinghamshire side have settled for a point on seven separate occasions this campaign, winning four times, and losing seven.
Although they have found wins hard to come by, the Dons have secured very impressive victories on the road at Sunderland and Charlton Athletic in recent weeks.
Milton Keynes will be without Daniel Harvie for the trip to Devon, with the Scottish defender picking up his fifth booking of the season against Posh on Tuesday night. Other than the long-term absent trio of Jay Bird, Louis Thompson and former Pilgrim Jordan Houghton, Russell Martin has a fully-fit squad to choose from.
ARGYLE AT HOME TO THE MILTON KEYNES DONS IN THE EFL
The record: P 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 F 1 A 1
The first time: nPower League One, 25 April, 2011. Argyle 1 Milton Keynes Dons 0
Peter Reid’s Pilgrims made it two wins in two games over the Easter weekend with a 1-0 victory over the Dons in their first-ever meeting at Home Park.
Simon Walton scored the all-important goal direct from a free kick on 21 minutes to keep the Greens’ slim League One survival hopes alive. The visitors included ex-Pilgrim Matt Doumbe in their starting line-up.
The last time: Sky Bet League One, 9 September, 2017. Argyle 0 Milton Keynes Dons 1
For the second successive home game, Argyle were reduced to ten men in the first half and lost the match.
Graham Carey was the man to see red on 33 minutes – by which time Derek Adams’ side was already trailing to the only goal of the game, scored by the Dons’ Aidan Nesbitt on his first start for the Buckinghamshire club on eight minutes. Scott Wootton played the full 90 minutes for the visitors.
Biggest win: The 1-0 victory in our first meeting at Home Park described above.
Most goals in a single game: Just one in both meetings so far.