Brighton have too much for MK Dons
Championship leaders Brighton booked a place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with goals from Beram Kayal and Tomer Hemed giving them a 2-0 home win over MK Dons.
The Seagulls, unbeaten in their last 18 matches in the Championship, made 11 changes but were still too strong for their struggling League One opponents.
The tie never reached any great heights, with the atmosphere subdued, and Brighton's build-up play was slow particularly in the first half.
This is the seventh time in the last eight years that Albion have progressed from the third round.
Seagulls keeper Niki Maenpaa saved a snap shot from Chuks Aneke before Kayal drove Albion in front in only the ninth minute.
The former Celtic midfielder, making his comeback after three months out following ankle surgery,shot right-footed low into the bottom corner after being fed by Solly March.
Ben Reeves should have done better when firing wide for the Dons before Hemed put a glancing header wide after a cross from the right by Rob Hunt.
Albion striker Richie Towell tried his luck from 45 yards after spotting keeper David Martin off his line but his volley was saved.
The Seagulls went close when Kayal's superb ball sent Hunt clear and his cross found Hemed, whose powerful goal-bound shot was blocked by Ed Upson.
There was no real urgency about Brighton's play and they had a let off when Reeves, on his weaker right foot, shot wide following a defensive lapse.
Experienced Brighton midfielder Steve Sidwell was off target with a flicked header at the near post shortly before the interval following a corner by Jamie Murphy.
March, in space inside the area, should have hit the target for the Seagulls shortly after the break when he blazed over from a cross by Sam Adekugbe.
Dons perked up when Reeves put a free-kick over before keeper Maenpaa held a goal-bound shot from Aneke.
Keeper Maenpaa, coming into the side for David Stockdale, claimed a teasing free-kick from Reeves before Hemed wasted a glorious chance to double Brighton's lead when missing an open goal having been set up by Connor Goldson.
But Hemed struck to settle the tie in the 72nd minute with a free header from 10 yards after good work from Kayal.
Source : PA