MATCH REPORT: Crawley Town 0-4 MK Dons: Dons crush Crawley
Rhys Healey scored twice and set up another two as MK Dons brushed aside Crawley Town 4-0 at the Broadfield Stadium on Saturday.
Healey had missed a one-on-one in the opening minute of the game before firing home Dean Lewington's cross on six minutes to get Dons on their way. He then set up Kieran Agard to double their advantage on 16 minutes before firing home in first half stoppage time to make it 3-0 at the break.
The on-loan Cardiff City man then slid in Chuks Aneke midway through the second half to complete the rout.
Jordan Moore-Taylor hobbled off at half time during the 1-1 draw with Mansfield last Saturday, and that injury kept him out of the side at Crawley. It promoted Callum Brittain back into the side, with George Williams shifting to centre half.
Rhys Healey has struggled a few times this season with one-on-one chances, and should really have fired Dons into the lead inside 60 seconds when he was playing in behind by Jordan Houghton, but fired straight at keeper Glenn Morris.
The on-loan Cardiff City striker though made for it five minutes later, courtesy of a dreadful error from Crawley defender Lewis Young. The right back played a poor pass back inside towards George Framcomb but Dean Lewington was able to nip in and stand the ball up at the far post for Healey to rifle the visitors into the lead.
Crawley's home form had been their main source of income this season, but they soon found themselves 2-0 down when Kieran Agard beat the offside trap after Healey prodded the ball through a crowd of players, firing past Glenn Morris to double the lead.
Until that point, Crawley had looked worthy of an equaliser, a real threat in the air with targetman Ollie Palmer heading just wide from one of five corners the home side won in the opening stages.
Dons though wanted the game done and dusted by the interval as they continued to surge forwards. Agard should have wrapped it up when he was put through on Morris' goal again but drew a fine stop from the keeper, before Aneke had an effort deflected onto the bar.
It looked like Crawley boss Gabriele Cioffi would go in the happier of the two managers at the interval such was Dons' inability to put the game to bed, but Healey made it 3-0 in first half stoppage time, tapping home Agard's cross after great work in the build-up from Brittain and Gilbey.
Though the game was effectively wrapped up at the interval, Crawley still chased early in the second period, and should have had one back when Ollie Palmer found space inside the six yard box but headed straight at Lee Nicholls.
Any slim chances the home side had of an unlikely comeback were firmly ended on 63 minutes though when Chuks Aneke rolled home Dons' fourth. A slip from Josh Payne allowed Healey to steal possession just outside the penalty area, and he slid Aneke in to poke past Morris for 4-0.
With the game in control, the main aim was to keep the clean sheet as Crawley sought out a goal for pride if nothing else. That desperation though cost them as Healey slid in to clear a loose ball, injuring himself in the process.
It meant a return for Peter Pawlett though, who had not played since the opening day of the season at Oldham. And the midfielder probably should have added a fifth with four minutes to go as he rounded Morris but couldn't get his shot away, with fllow substitutes Lawson D'Ath and Robbie Simpson all swiping at the ball before is eventually bounced out.
In the end, it was routine for Dons as they extended their undefeated run to nine games, staying second in the table.
Referee: Antony CogginsAttendance: 2,667 (454)
Crawley Town: Morris, Young (Camara 46), Payne, Connolly, Palmer, Gambin (Poleon 70), Francomb, Nathaniel-George, Maguire, Vincelot, MoraisSubs not used: Mersin, Dohnerty, McNerney, Bulman
MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Walsh, Cargill, Lewington, Brittain (D'Ath 75), Houghton, Gilbey, Agard, Healey (Pawlett 81), Aneke (Simpson 81)Subs not used: Moore, Watson, Hancox, Jackson