Reading manager Ruben Selles admitted that he was pleased that his struggling side avoided an upset against lower-division opposition after their 3-2 FA Cup first-round win over MK Dons.
Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan gave Reading a third-minute lead with his sixth goal of the season, but Alex Gilbey levelled before the break.
Second-half efforts from Harvey Knibbs and Lewis Wing eased Reading into a two-goal cushion, with Max Dean halving the deficit with a late consolation for the Sky Bet League Two outfit.
Selles, whose side sit bottom of League One after losing their last five games, said: “The FA Cup is always difficult.
“Whoever is your opponent, we have often seen teams from higher categories falling to teams in the categories below. So, we put in a good performance.
“Perhaps we should have finished the game a little bit earlier. We just made it complicated in the last minutes.
“But I’m happy with the performance and keeping the team together, no injuries and we go into the next round. It was a good day.
“We got a little bit caught out in the first half, especially with their first goal. It was just that pass in between, we should have defended it much better.
“We were missing a few things in the first half, which is why we changed at half time. We were missing with the wingers, the one-against-one situations and the pressure.
“It was a matter of changing the dynamic of the game. We had to be much more on the front foot, much more aggressive with the pressure. We were much better in that way in the second half.”
New MK Dons head coach Mike Williamson, who succeeded Graham Alexander last month, said: “The halves were contrasting and, from our point of view, that was disappointing.
“That’s been a bit of a theme, our starts to the second half, and that’s something that we need to address.
“But I think that you can see the detail that we’re putting in and it’s evident what the boys are taking on.
“We’ve just got to find a way of wrestling the momentum back when we do go behind.
“We have to accept that we are going to suffer in periods of games. It’s how we get back into it and get back on the ball.
“In the first half, you could see what we were trying to achieve. But there was still an element of frustration getting the better of us.
“When other teams do step on and step up, we haven’t quite got to grips with that yet.
“Again, though, the boys fought all the way to the end. Even though we were running out of time, we never gave up. So there was still so many positives to take.”