Match ends, MK Dons 1, Reading 0.
Joe Walsh's acrobatic late volley gave MK Dons a hard-fought win over Reading that sees them climb away from the Championship relegation zone.
Matej Vydra wasted Reading's best chance before the break, firing wide after Garath McCleary's solo run.
In the second half, Oliver Norwood's half-volley brought a fine save from home keeper David Martin.
But the Dons won it when Walsh struck from close range after Rob Hall's corner was not cleared.
It was Walsh's first goal for the club and earned Karl Robinson's side their first victory of 2016.
The defeat was Reading's first of the new year, but also extended their winless run to three games under new manager Brian McDermott.
The Royals drop to 14th, while the Dons, who released midfielder Sergio Aguza before the game, move up a place to 20th and remain two points above the drop zone.
MK Dons boss Karl Robinson:
"I think today we looked strong. We didn't make any errors and we went and nicked it at the end.
"The heart in the players is sensational, especially on the back of the 5-0 loss on Tuesday night - that wasn't a team that was beaten 5-0 today, we looked really confident.
"We've got a mentality here that we stick together through thick and thin and it's about developing that here at the club."
Reading manager Brian McDermott:
"I couldn't see us losing that game today for one minute. I thought we were going to go on and win it if I'm honest - we were the better team.
"But we got done by a set-play which is what happened to us at Wolves and it's something I really need to sort out as the manager.
"We have to start finding the consistency from within us and make sure that we get the right results."
- 5McFadzeanBooked at 67mins
- 38HallSubstituted forUpsonat 87'minutes
- 14CarruthersBooked at 63minsSubstituted forHodsonat 90+3'minutes
- 31MurphySubstituted forBowditchat 90+4'minutes
- 26Al Habsi
- 2GunterBooked at 25mins
- 23WilliamsBooked at 84mins
- 17PiazonSubstituted forJohnat 64'minutes
- 9Robson-KanuBooked at 37minsSubstituted forCoxat 82'minutes
- 19Fernández Iglesias
- Charles Breakspear
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, MK Dons 1, Reading 0.
Substitution, MK Dons. Dean Bowditch replaces Josh Murphy.
Substitution, MK Dons. Lee Hodson replaces Samir Carruthers.
Garath McCleary (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Josh Murphy (MK Dons).
Attempt missed. Danny Williams (Reading) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left following a corner.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Dean Lewington.
Attempt missed. Jake Cooper (Reading) header from the right side of the six yard box misses to the right following a corner.
Substitution, MK Dons. Matt Upson replaces Robert Hall.
Corner, Reading. Conceded by Jordan Spence.
Danny Williams (Reading) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Danny Williams (Reading).
Josh Murphy (MK Dons) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Reading. Simon Cox replaces Hal Robson-Kanu.
Attempt missed. Hal Robson-Kanu (Reading) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Oliver Norwood with a cross following a set piece situation.
Matej Vydra (Reading) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Kyle McFadzean (MK Dons).
Danny Williams (Reading) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jake Forster-Caskey (MK Dons).