Dons’ historic Capital One Cup run may have done to a disappointing end at the last 16 on Tuesday night, but it will be remembered for all the right reasons.
Few script writers would have come up with a late Michael Higdon brace for Sheffield United to end Dons’ campaign, but it is how their trail would come to an abrupt halt.
“I want people to remember the good parts of this cup run,” said Dons boss Karl Robinson after losing to the Blades.
“We have had some wonderful moments that will live with us forever and a day.
“But it’s a bit sour how it has gone tonight, but we can’t win them all.”
Glancing over the ties Dons have played in the competition this year, few would have begrudged a second round exit.
Kyle McFadzean’s ‘Heel of God 2’ was enough to have been the highlight for any season in just the second game of the season as Dons beat AFC 2-1 to progress.
But the game was to be eclipsed to a mere footnote when Dons were drawn out of the hat alongside Manchester United for the second round.
With all the hype, drama and excitement surrounding the encounter, the match itself threatened to pale into insignificance.
But no-one told Will Grigg and Benik Afobe, who both netted twice on a magical night in front of 28,000 at stadium:mk as Dons shocked the world by beating Louis van Gaal’s side 4-0.
As the excitement of the second round wore off, Dons and Bradford were drawn together in the third. It was a ‘comeback down to earth’ moment for both clubs, with Bradford having knocked out Leeds in the previous round, eyeing up another big scalp.
But Dons knuckled down to win a gritty and determined Bradford, having lost to the Bantams in their League 1 clash a week earlier.
Their place in the quarter finals hinged on a clash with another League 1 side, Sheffield United, on Tuesday.
While Afobe’s penalty, his sixth goal in the Capital One Cup this season, looked to be enough to put Dons’ name into the hat with seven others, Higdon’s late brace ended it all.
The end won’t go down in Dons’ history as one of their great moments, but few will look back on the Capital One Cup run of 2014 with disappointment either.