Reds were well beaten by a classy MK Dons side as the visitors ran out 4-0 victors on a hugely disappointing afternoon at the Broadfield Stadium.
The Reds started poorly and MK Dons were 2-0 up in the opening 20 minutes through goals from Rhys Healey and Kieran Agard. Dons made it 3-0 seconds before the break as Healey netted his second of the game and it was Healey who set up Aneke for the fourth in the 58thminute.
It ended Crawley’s unbeaten home run which had stretched back to the opening day of the season and was the first time they had not scored at the Broadfield since Boxing Day.
Gabriele Cioffi made two tactical changes to the side that lost at Tranmere last weekend with Josh Payne and Ashley Nathaniel-George replacing Dannie Bulman and Panutche Camara.
Reds began brightly but fell behind after seven minutes. Glenn Morris had already made an excellent save to deny Rhys Healey when the on-loan striker tucked away Dean Lewington’s cross after Lewis Young gave the ball away inside the penalty area.
Nathaniel-George received the ball in the Dons half after some impressive work from Luke Gambin and Filipe Morais after twisting and turning Nathaniel- fired a curling effort only inches over the bar.
The hosts responded well and Nathaniel-George and Filipe Morais both saw efforts fly just off target before the visitors doubled their lead in the 18thminute. Healey turned cleverly on the edge of the box and his shot was deflected off a defender into the path of Agard and he ignored offside appeals to slot past Morris.
Against a side who have conceded ten goals all season Reds were firmly up against it and although they continued to threaten so did MK, who took advantage of more slack marking to open up a 3-0 lead seconds before the break when Alex Gilbey drove forward, found Agard whose low cross from the left was drilled home by Healey from almost the same position he scored his first.
Crawley looked much more threatening in the second-half and within ten minutes some intricate play between Morais and substitute Panutche Camara set up Joe Maguire who floated a ball onto the head of Ollie Palmer who directed his header on target but Lee Nicholls pulled off a very good save.
Had that got in Reds would have had a glimmer of hope. Instead after 59 minutes they conceded again when Mark Connolly was dispossessed by Agard and he set up the unmarked Aneke for a side-foot finish past an exposed Morris.
Game over but Reds, to their credit, kept plugging away and Nicholls made good saves to deny Morais and Nathaniel-George, who also saw a late effort creep inches wide of the target. It summed up a frustrating afternoon in front of goal for Reds but the main problems lie at the back with nine goals conceded in their last two games.
Reds: Morris; Maguire, Vincelot, Connolly, Francomb, Young (Camara 46’); Payne, Morais, Gambin (Poleon 70’), Nathaniel-George; Palmer. Unused subs: Mersin, McNerney, Bulman, Doherty.
Attendance: 2667 (454 away)