10-men Crawley Town failed to take their chances as they succumbed to an away defeat to inform MK Dons 2-0.
Before the game, MK Dons skipper Dean Lewington got a guard of honour for racking up a record breaking 770th appearance for MK Dons on Boxing Day.
The Reds made the worst possible start, with Crawley giving away the ball in the middle of the park, with Joseph Tomlinson placed it past Corey Addai at the near post to put the hosts ahead two minutes into the game.
Laurence Maguire was booked seven minutes in, with Max Dean collecting the ball from the resulting free kick but firing his shot high over the bar.
Liam Kelly found Danilo Orsi with a firm pass which Orsi could not control, but it came to full back Kellan Gordan whose shot fired wide past the near post.
Kelly carried on creating chances in that Crawley midfield, threading a slick through ball for Orsi but Craig MacGillivray, with claims that the keeper handled it outside the box waved away by the referee Ross Joyce.
Crawley’s best opportunity of the match came from Ronan Darcy, capitalising on the hosts passing out of the back to create a one-on-one situation but his shot saved well by MacGillivray.
The away team kept creating chances, with Ade Adeyemo won the ball back and sent Campbell down the wing but could not get his cross past MacGillivray before Gordan sent a firm pass to Adeyemo whose touch let him down and was dealt with.
The Reds kept creating chances and playing good football but kept wasting opportunities with Gordan having a weak shot saved when there were options in the area before Darcy took the ball past his player and crossed in into a dangerous area which again did not find a Crawley player.
After a quiet end to the first half, the second half starts as the first half ended, with Crawley dominating the ball and MK Dons looking threatenting on the counter.
Orsi is found by a fast-paced cross from Adeyemo but could not get above the ball as his header went high over the bar before MK Dons substitute Ellis Harrison scuffed his shot wide with his first touch of the ball.
MK Dons almost made it two through Gilbert, who could not get a good connection from a cross as his effort went wide to the relief of the away team, before the hosts had another golden chance, with Harrison setting up Tomlinson but the goal scorer could not keep his effort down.
Campbell found himself a little pocket of space in the box, but his attempt was saved well by MacGillivray before Darcy’s cross was caught comfortably by the Dons keeper.
Crawley’s first corner of the game leads to a massive goal line scramble, with the ball not finding its way into the back of the net and cleared to substitute Klaidi Lolos whose shot was blocked and went out for another corner.
Lolos sent in a brilliant cross, trying to find Orsi but the striker was millimetres away from making contact with Lolos’ cross, missing him and going out for a goal kick.
Alex Gilby then ended any chance of a comeback for Crawley, firing past Addai into the bottom right-hand corner off the post.
The Crawley players were not happy with the goal, with many of them complaining about a foul for the goal, and Maguire paid the price for this, being brandished a second yellow card and seeing him leave the pitch late on.
Addai made two great saves late on to keep the score at three, but it ended in a disappointing result for The Reds, who face Swindon at Broadfield stadium on New Years Day.
REDS XI: Addai, Gordon, Ransom, Conroy (Mukena 88'), Maguire, Adeyemo (Lolos 65'), Kelly, Wright, Campbell (Roles 65') , Darcy, Orsi
Attendance 5,945 (380 away)
Report written by Lucas Michael.