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Match Reports

Report: Crawley Town 0-4 MK Dons

Healey scores two and sets up two in superb away success...

3 November 2018

MK Dons produced one of their best performances under Paul Tisdale to beat Crawley Town 4-0 at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.

Most of the damage was done in the first half as Rhys Healey scored twice and Kieran Agard found the net inside the opening 45 minutes.

Chuks Aneke then added a fourth after the break as Tisdale’s men started the month of November in stunning fashion.

The result keeps the Dons second in the Sky Bet League Two table - they remain two points behind leaders Lincoln City but they are now four points clear in the automatic promotion places.

Boss Tisdale was forced into one change with Jordan Moore-Taylor unavailable due to the injury he suffered at Mansfield Town last weekend. He was replaced by Callum Brittain. There was also a place in the squad for Peter Pawlett - back involved for the first time since opening day.

The Dons had a chance inside the first 90 seconds but Rhys Healey, who latched onto a through pass from Jordan Houghton, couldn’t beat Glenn Morris when one-on-one.

Tisdale’s men found themselves in the Crawley penalty area once again in the fifth minute, courtesy of another pass forward from Houghton. Aneke couldn’t connect with the ball initially but managed to gain possession and find Healey, whose touch let him down at the crucial moment.

Healey, though, made amends two minutes later, as he raced onto Dean Lewington’s excellent left-footed delivery and converted past Morris at the far post for his fifth goal of the campaign. 0-1.


Crawley went in search of an instant reply and Luke Gambin forced Lee Nicholls into a save with a curling effort from the edge of the area. Ashley Nathaniel George also tried his luck from distance - his shot, however, fizzed over the crossbar.

On 13 minutes, Red Devils skipper Filipe Morais fired a right-footer towards goal which George Williams, bravely, got in the way of. From the resulting corner, Ollie Palmer headed wide from close-range.

A strong run down the left from Baily Cargill then earned MK Dons their first corner of the match but Houghton wasn’t able to pick out Aneke with his cross. They managed to earn themselves another corner soon after and from that delivery, Aneke sent a right-footed shot off target.

MK Dons came back again and Healey had a shot blocked on the edge of the area. The loose ball fell back to the striker and he calmly slid in Kieran Agard who raced through and beat Morris with a first-time shot to double his side’s lead. 0-2.

Tisdale’s team almost created a third goal moments after the re-start but Aneke, after beating his man inside the area, saw his low cross blocked at the near post with several Dons shirts lurking in the six-yard box.

Gambin tried to pull a goal back for his side in the 22nd minute but Houghton got enough of a touch to his drive to send it over Nicholls’ goal. At the other end shortly afterwards, Houghton sent a free-kick wide of the far post.

Healey went close again just before the half-hour mark, latching onto a pass from Lewington, moving to the edge of the D and then forcing a save out of Morris with a right-footed attempt.

Agard threatened four minutes later as he raced onto a through pass from Aneke and drew another fine save out of Morris with a low drive. From the following corner, MK Dons thought they had added a third but somehow Aneke’s close-range try stayed out of the net - a combination of a Crawly defender, the goalkeeper and the woodwork denied him.

On 36 minutes, Agard headed wide from a Brittain cross. Aneke then head the ball in the net but play was brought back for a handball.

Morris again denied the Dons late in the first half as he palmed away a shot from Healey, following some good work from Aneke down the right.

Tisdale’s men arguably deserved a third goal to reflect their first-half dominance and they weren’t to be denied as Healey extended the advantage in stoppage time with a close-range finish from Agard’s low cross. 0-3.

Crawley, who made a change at the break, went in search of a way back into the match early in the half but Morais’ fizzing effort was deflected wide of the target by a teammate.

Walsh then dealt with a cross from Nathaniel-George before Nicholls stepped across his goal to gather a decent effort from Josh Payne.

The shots from the Red Devils kept coming, albeit shots from distance. Nathaniel-George was the next to try his luck from distance but couldn’t keep his attempt down.

Their best chance of the game arrived in the 55th minute but Nicholls did brilliantly at point-blank range to keep out Palmer’s header.

MK Dons offered their first threat of the second period on the hour mark from a well-worked corner routine which led to a chance for Healey, who had the ball nicked off his toes just as he went to pull the trigger.

Healey had been involved in every one of the Dons’ first three goals and he was involved in their fourth, providing the assist for Aneke to make it four. The loanee won possession off a Crawley defender and then threaded a ball into the path of MK Dons’ top goalscorer who found the net via the inside of the right post. 0-4.

Morais sent a right-footed drive wide of the target in the 70th minute as the Red Devils went in search of a consolation for his team. Moments later, Aneke almost bagged a second but his fierce strike whistled over the crossbar.

Tisdale made his first substitution with a quarter of an hour remaining as he brought Lawson D’Ath on to replace Brittain. The second and third changes soon followed and the latter saw Pawlett make his return to action - his first appearance since the opening day of the season.

Pawlett was involved right away with a driving run down the right which provided D’Ath with a chance to cross - the MK Dons number 20 couldn’t pick out a teammate, however.

The lively midfielder went close to getting on the scoresheet on himself but, after working his way down the byline and into the box, he was denied by a goalline block.

Simpson could have added a fifth too but Tisdale's boys were 'forced' to settle for four against a Crawley Town side who had lost just once at home all season.

Starting XI: Nicholls; Williams, Walsh, Cargill; Brittain (D’Ath 75), Houghton, Gilbey, Lewington; Agard, Aneke (Simpson 81), Healey (Pawlett 81).

Unused subs: Moore, Hancox, Jackson, Watson.

Goals: Healey (7, 45+1), Agard (18), Aneke (63)

Attendance: 2,667 (454 away)

Referee: A Coggins


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