MK Dons 2 Crawley Town 0

Crawley's Izale McLeod misses from the penalty spot against MK Dons (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140830-182900002
Crawley's Izale McLeod misses from the penalty spot against MK Dons (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140830-182900002
0
Have your say

Crawley Town suffered their third successive league defeat when they lost 2-0 away to MK Dons.

Goals by Dele Alli in the 15th minute and Benik Afobe in injury-time settled an entertaining clash.

MK Dons' Kyle McFadzean is shown the red card against his old club Crawley Town (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140830-182849002

MK Dons' Kyle McFadzean is shown the red card against his old club Crawley Town (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140830-182849002

Crawley had a penalty saved and were playing against ten men in the final stages.

It was always going to be uphill work for Crawley coming to the impressive stadiummk to take on Karl Robinson’s side whose confidence was brimming after humiliating Manchester Utd 4-0 in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.

Crawley made just one change from their 3-1 defeat by Norwich City in the same competition as Gavin Tomlin replaced Lewis Young.

Reds lined up in a 4-5-1 formation with Tomlin on the left wing, Gwion Edwards on the right and all-time MK topscorer Izale McLeod on his own up front.

MK Dons' Dele Alli scores against Crawley Town (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140830-182827002

MK Dons' Dele Alli scores against Crawley Town (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140830-182827002

MK got off to a roaring start with three chances to score in the first 11 minutes.

Reds’ keeper Brian Jensen had to be quick off the match to grab the ball from the feet of two-goal hero from Tuesday night Benik Afobe, who was starting as one of three changes to the Dons team.

Dan Powell and Tom Hitchcock also started in place of the other double goalscorer Will Grigg and Samir Carruthers who were on the bench while Ben Reeves was ill.

Reds showed they could not keep possession as Powell nearly scored with a placed shot which hit the post.

Potter made a crossfield run from MK’s left and drove wide from around 25 yards.

Almost inevitably MK took the lead in the 15th minute when Dele Alli was not picked up in the Crawley area and placed a 20-yard shot into the bottom corner.

John Gregory had to make an early substitution when central midfielder Bobson Bawling hobbled off with an injury and was replaced by Emmett O’Connor.

MK should have gone into the second half with more than a 1-0 lead such was their bombardment but Crawley dug in and looked a threat themselves with Ryan Dickson putting in some dangerous crosses from the left and Jimmy Smith and Connor Henderson keeping the ball well in the middle.

McLeod nearly equalised moments before half-time when he tried to volley a cross by Lanre Oyebanjo but failed to connect under pressure.

MK continued took the initiative after the break with Afobe’s blocked shot by Oyebanjo being hot wide for a corner.

Powell then had a goal ruled out for offside and former Crawley defender Kyle McFadzean headed a cross over the bar.

On the hour Crawley pressed forward and McLeod got into a good position before blasting well off-target.

Emmett O’Connor had a double attempt with his first shot blocked and the rebound scuffed to keeper David Martin.

Crawley were then awarded a penalty after McFadzean brought down the dangerous McLeod when he was through for a scoring chance. However McLeod spoilt the opportunity of scoring against his former club when his shot was well saved by the trailing leg of Martin.

Brian Jensen did well to deny Afobe on the counter-attack.

MK had to see out the final 21 minutes with only ten men and Gregory brought on striker Matt Harrold to make his Crawley debut.

O’Connor set up Tomlin for a good chance as Reds pushed into the opposing area but he was denied with his golden opportunity by Martin.

In the second minute of injury-time MK made it 2-0 when Afobe ran through the Reds defence and tucked his shot inside the far post for a fine goal.

Reds could have had a second penalty awarded ten minutes before the end when Mcleod was again brought down, this time by Antony Kay but this time the referee waved play-on.

Crawley nearly pulled one back at the death when Walsh’s header was cleared off the line by Kay with Martin beaten.

REDS: Jensen, Oyebanjo, Dickson, Henderson, Leacock, Edwards (Harrold 78), Smith, McLeod, Walsh, Bawling (O’Connor 17), Tomlin

Unused subs: Ashdown, Bradley, Youjng, Banya, Rose, Harrold.

MK DONS: Martin, Lewington, McFadzean, Kay, Potter (Randall 53), Bowditch, Alli, Powell, Baldock, Hitchcock (Carruthers 65), Afobe

Unused subs: McLoughlin, Flanagan, Grigg, Spence, Rasulo,

REFEREE: Mark Heywood

ATTENDANCE: 7,148 (244 away)