Date: 30th August 2014 at 7:16pm
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MK Dons beat Crawley Town 2-0 on Saturday with goals from Deli Alli and Benik Afobe, but in a less comfortable fashion than the score-line may suggest for a team still full of confidence following the mid-week demolition of Manchester United.

The Dons started with high pressure and Crawley were unable to get near them for most of the first half. Soon after kick-off, Afobe, chosen ahead of Will Grigg, was denied by Jensen and soon after Hitchcock played in Powell who`s rolled shot from outside the penalty area beat the keeper but not the post.

Bowditch then shot wide on 11 minutes and Powell`s teasing cross was unable to find a Dons attacker. All Crawley could produce was a high and wide effort from ex-Dons McLeod.

It seemed only a matter of time before a Dons goal, and score they did one 15 minutes when, following a blocked Powell shot, Alli fired home from 20 yards with a curling effort into the bottom right-hand corner.

Following the goal the Don`s pressure dropped and Crawley began to get a hold on the game. But despite a deflected shot from Tomlin and a dangerous cross from Edwards, the Dons had the best chance of what remained of the half, when Hitchcock swiped at the air on the penalty sport following a cut-back from Powell.

The start of the second half begun much more even than the first, and soon Mark Randall and Samir Carruthers were introduced for the injured Potter and Hitchcock on 55 and 66 minutes respectively.

But the game changed dramatically when McLeod was brought down in the penalty area by a last ditch challenge from ex-Crawley McFadzean, who was subsequently shown a red card. Martin produced a fantastic save to deny McLeod`s penalty, the strikers low shot down the middle stopped by the keeper`s legs after initially diving right. As a result of the sending off, new signing and defender Jordan Spence replaced Dean Bowditch.

Crawley pushed on to look for an equaliser and Martin was again called into action, pulling off a wonderful save to deny Conor Henderson`s drive from 35 yards.

The Dons managed to maintain a threat to the Crawley goal, and Afobe almost scored when sweetly-struck shot cannoned off the post following a short pass from Alli`s free-kick, as the clock ticked down with 15 minutes remaining.

The Dons then only just denied Crawley`s Tomlin from equalising from close range after he had been picked out by O`Connor.

With Crawley throwing everything into attack they were caught-out when Carruther`s played a quick free-kick into Afobe, who muscled past the only remaining defender and fired emphatically past Jensen to make it 2-0 on 90 minutes. ‘Izale – what`s the score` chants rang out among the delighted Dons fans.

A goal-line clearance from Anthony Kay in the game`s final moments preserved MK`s clean sheet. Three points lift the Dons to third in the early table, although more fully convincing performances will be needed if they want to be in this kind of position by the end of the season.