MK Dons moved into the Sky Bet League One automatic-promotion places courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra at Stadium MK.
First-half goals from Troy Parrott and Conor Coventry gave Liam Manning's men a lead that would see them through, even despite Bassala Sambou's late consolation.
The result extends the Dons' unbeaten run to 14 games and lifts them above Rotherham United into second place.
Liam Manning name an unchanged starting XI and substitutes bench from his side’s 2-0 victory over Shrewsbury Town.
MK Dons worked their way to the edge of the area inside the opening 90 seconds but Troy Parrott’s eventual shot flew over the bar.
Crewe threatened for the first time with 11 minutes on the clock – a well-worked corner routine which ended up in the arms of Jamie Cumming thanks to some good defending from Harry Darling.
The Dons responded by going agonisingly close from a Scott Twine free-kick, which was glanced on by a Crewe head and flew just past the post.
They were, though, struggling to garner any real momentum but with 24 minutes on the clock, they found an opening goal.
A patient passing move eventually led to Dean Lewington having the opportunity to play a ball over the top for Parrott, who did brilliantly to bring the ball under control and then send a looping effort over Dave Richards and into the vacant net. 1-0.
In search of a second, Harvie sent a deep cross in for Kesler Hayden but his header was saved by Richards. Twine then went within an inch of finding the net direct from a free-kick, however his effort crashed against the crossbar.
There was a moment of controversy with nine minutes remaining in the first half when Kesler Hayden got behind his marker and appeared to be tripped with a clear path to goal. All eyes were on referee Ross Joyce, who opted to wave play on – no free-kick or red card.
The Dons, instead, went about doubling their lead and with five minutes left to play until the break, Coventry did just that.
Latching onto Twine’s pass and driving past two Crewe defenders, the West Ham United loanee kept his composure as he moved into the area and curled home brilliantly with his right foot - netting his first MK Dons goal. 2-0.
There was an opportunity for a third in the final minute of the first period but Mo Eisa wasn’t able to get a true connection on Parrott’s low cross.
Half-Time – MK Dons 2-0 Crewe Alexandra
Cumming was quick off his line to deny Tom Lowery early in the second half. At the other end, Coventry floated a cross in for Twine but his delivery was intercepted well by Luke Offord.
On 55 minutes, Twine tried his luck from another free-kick but this one flew over the crossbar. Crewe then had another opportunity – a half-chance for Scott Kashket, who blazed over from range.
Manning went to his bench just past the hour mark and introduced Theo Corbeanu and Connor Wickham. The latter broke into the box almost instantly but his low cross was just too far in front of Kesler Hayden, rushing in at the back post.
On 67 minutes, from another Lewington ball forward, Twine and Darling almost combined but the latter wasn’t able to get to the former’s lay-off. The challenge left the Dons number six nursing an injury but it was one he was able to manage.
Wickham and Corbeanu were involved again as MK Dons threatened a third with 11 minutes to play. Wickham found Kesler Hayden, whose low cross was inviting enough for Corbeanu but he was just beaten to it by a sliding defender.
Darling then tried his luck with a 25-yard drive which Richards gathered while Twine was almost on the end of Wickham’s fierce ball across goal.
Crewe would set up a nervy finish with a late consolation goal from substitute Bassala Sambou, who fired home a loose ball inside the area. However, the Dons would see the result through - a big three points to set up an interesting final five games of the season.
Full-Time – MK Dons 2-1 Crewe Alexandra
MK Dons: Cumming, Lewington, O’Hora, Darling, Twine, Eisa (Wickham 64), Coventry, McEachran (Smith 82), Parrott (Corbeanu 64), Harvie, Kesler Hayden.
Subs: Ravizzoli, Kasumu, Kemp, Boateng.
Goals: Parrott (24), Coventry (40)
Crewe Alexandra: Richards, Harper, Offord, Long, Lowery, Ainley, Murphy (O’Riordan 46), Lundstram, Johnson, Williams (Mandron 46), Kashket (Sambou 70).
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Porter, Griffiths, Billington.
Goal: Sambou (90+4)
Referee: R Joyce
Attendance: 7,315 (139 away)