MK Dons make their longest trip of the season as we face Carlisle United at Brunton Park. Carlisle currently occupy a playoff position and Dons could leapfrog the Cumbrians with victory. Here’s all you need to know ahead of the trip.
Carlisle United were in action on Tuesday night away to Crewe eventually losing the game 2-1. The Cumbrians dropped to 6th because of this result and are just the single point behind the Dons. The last 5 games have seen Carlisle win 2, Draw 1 & lose 2. Earlier this season, Dons were 2-0 victors over Carlisle with goals coming from Jordan Houghton & Kieran Agard.
MK Dons victory in South Wales has leapfrogged the Dons from 8th to 4th position and are 4 points away from the automatic promotion positions. This was the first away win since 3rd November when defeating Crawley Town 4-0. Dons last 5 games has seen 2 wins and 3 losses. A win away at a promotion chasing rival could be vital come the end of season with just 14 games remaining.
Players to Watch
Number 9, Hallam Hope is currently the second highest league goal scorer for Carlisle United this season with 9 goals. He is only beaten by Jamie Devitt with 10 goals although Devitt’s red card midweek will ensure the wide midfielder is suspended for the Dons visit. Hallam, born in Manchester, started his youth career with Everton although failed to make an appearance for the toffees. Hallam spent time away from Goodison with loan spells at Northampton, Bury & Sheffield Wednesday before joining Bury permanently in 2015. Hallam had a loan spell away from the Shakers to Carlisle and signed permanently at the start of the 2017 season. Hope has been most prolific in front of goal for the Cumbrians scoring 16 times in 62 appearances.
Former Scotland international Steven Pressley is the man in the dugout at Brunton Park after his appointment last month. His appointment was made prompt following the unexpected resignation of John Sheridan who dropped a league to manage Chesterfield. Pressley’s management experience started as caretaker manager of Hearts in 2005 managing 2 games and losing both. A 5-year gap occurred before his next management role taking the head coach role at Falkirk for three seasons. A 42%-win rate was enough to attract Coventry City who he used to play for in 1994/95.
Pressley managed Coventry through a difficult time for club with relocation to Northampton before a move back to the Ricoh Arena. He was sacked from his role after his 100th game as manager as they dropped into the relegation zone.
Pressleys appointment for Carlisle also came after short spells as manager of Fleetwood Town & Pafos in Cyprus. His current record at Carlisle is 2 wins and 1 draw in 4 matches.
Top Goal scorer Jamie Devitt was sent off midweek after lashing out at Crewe defender Perry Ng and will serve his first of three-match suspension on Saturday. Gary Liddle continue his recovery from a knee injury and is also expected to miss out.
January captures O’Hare and Thomas started at Gresty road whilst other new signings Cullen & Scougall were introduced off the bench. Cullen would be the likely person to deputise in the absence of Devitt.
After 5 changes midweek against Newport, Team selection this week is very hard to decipher. Stuart Moore deputised in goal and kept a clean sheet although Nicholls would be expected to get the nod at Brunton Park. Brittain returned from injury and could remain in the right-wing back role ahead of Watson or McGrandles. Cisse & McGrandles played in midfield at the expense of Hesketh and Houghton which could also be rotated. Up front we saw Aneke rested and Tisdale will have options available with Agard, Wheeler & Walker.
George Williams and Jordan Moore-Taylor are both expected to miss out as they continue to recover from injuries at Bury & Grimsby Town.
After making the long trip north, Dons fans can enjoy the match within one corner of the Pioneer Foods stand. This is the most recently developed area of the ground and is an all seater covered stand. The stand will be shared with home supporters and is opposite the dugouts and tunnel.
To the right is the Petterill End which is a small terrace behind the goal that is rarely used unless supply demands.
The main stand opposite has an open terrace paddock running the length of the pitch. A second tier above has seating available that is covered. The central part of the stand dates back to 1954 with wings added at a later date.
The stand behind the goal to Dons fans left is the Warwick Road end. This is a large covered terrace which looks peculiar due to a roof in the shape of three triangles.
Combined, Brunton Park has a capacity of 17,949 with the Cumbrians campaigning for a larger attendance this week of 8 thousand.
Carlisle United have 20 wheelchair user spaces available inside Brunton Park. The away supporters are located in the North end of the stadium adjacent to away end although this area is currently open to the elements although Carlisle have announced future plans for a covered area. There are 17 accessible toilets all of which are within 50 metres of the disabled supporter seating areas.
For more details, please visit Level Playing Fields via the below link:
Young person (18-22): £5
SUPPORTERS WITH A DISABILITY
Tickets for Wheelchair users are priced at £2. All other supporters with a disability pay at the age applicable price and are entitled to a Free personal assistant
MK Dons coach travel is on sale for £36 with a £1 discount for season ticket holders. Coaches will depart Stadium MK at 8AM. Coach travel can be booked online, from the box office or by calling 0333 200 5343. Coach travel will remain on sale until 5PM on Friday 1th February subject to availability.
I’m sure those driving to Carlisle will be granted instant Legend status to the passenger for this long trip.
Leaving Milton Keynes, join the M1 Northbound and take the exit onto the M6. Leave plenty of time to take breaks at the available service stations as you travel up the M6. Leave the M6 at junction 43 and take the first exit onto Warwick Road. Continue straight on this road with the stadium on your right. Car parking is sign posted around the stadium.
Postcode for satnavs is: CA1 1LL
For those travelling via train, the nearest station is Carlisle which is approx. 1 mile away. From leaving the station, head up the road past the costa on your right and the castle on your left. Cross over the road onto the Crescent and turn right onto Warwick Road. Continue walking on this path with the stadium appearing on your left.
The club car park is directly outside the stadium and is well signposted on the route off the M6 towards the stadium. Parking is priced at £3.
The Football Supporters Federation (FSF) are surveying supporters with the aim to improve away fans experience and encourage more supporters to travel to watch their team. If you would like to add your views, please take a couple of minutes to complete the below survey