MK Dons won promotion to the Championship on a dramatic final day of the League 1 season, beating Yeovil 5-1 at stadium:mk, while Preston lost 1-0 to Colchester.
Goals from Carl Baker, Dean Lewington (2), Darren Potter and Will Grigg made light work of the relegated Glover/
But it was at the Weston Homes Community Stadium where the real drama unfolded, with George Moncur’s goal 10 minutes from time enough to see off Preston, allowing Dons to leap-frog Simon Grayson’s side into the Championship at the last gasp.
For the final game of the season, Karl Robinson made two changes to the team which beat Rochdale last Saturday. Darren Potter returned from injury to regain his position in the centre at the expense of Lewis Baker, while Dean Bowditch, who had scored in each of his last three appearances, was replaced by Rob Hall on the flank.
Knowing they’d need to better Preston’s result at Colchester to win automatic promotion to the Championship, Dons wasted no time in holding up their end of the bargain. Fresh from winning the Player of the Year award on Tuesday night, Carl Baker picked up the ball 20 yards from goal and wrapped his right foot around it, bending it away from keeper Artur Krysiak to put Dons into the lead in the seventh minute. As it stood, Dons were up.
Comfortable in their approach, Dons looked fierce on the attack, with Carl Baker and Samir Carruthers in particular bursting forwards with venom at every given opportunity. Rob Hall was finding a lot of space on the right flank, while skipper Dean Lewington too was proving more of a force at the sharp end of the field.
But with half an eye on things at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, Dons gave themselves some padding in the 24th minute when Hall was brought down on the edge of the box by Yeovil skipper Joe Edwards. Step forward Dons captain Lewington to bend the ball around the Yeovil wall and past the hapless dive of Krysiak to make it 2-0.
And it was three nine minutes later when, from a short corner, Baker whipped the ball into the dangerzone, and Lewington’s nod back into the centre found Darren Potter, who sublimely volleyed home from close range.
Dons could do nothing to affect things 104 miles away in Colchester, but they managed to reach a landmark six minutes before half time when Will Grigg headed home Lewington’s cross to make it 4-0, bringing up Dons’ 100th league goal of the season.
As plain sailing as it was, Yeovil had a chance right at the end of the half in a rare venture forwards, but Joel Grant’s thunderous strike was just over the bar, with David Martin at full stretch to see it over.
As news came in at half time, Preston were still level with Colchester.
There were huge eruptions among the Dons fans 10 minutes into the second half when news filtered through that Colchester were awarded a penalty but the cheers were quickly quashed when Chris Porter blazed it over the bar.
Meanwhile at stadium:mk, James Hayter gave the travelling fans something to cheer when he pulled one back for Yeovil.
Dons didn’t look at potent as they did in the first half, but they were still out creating chances. A good move, sparked by Hall on the right, almost teed up Alli, but his header was deflected into the path of Carl Baker, but he couldn’t keep the shot down as it sailed into the stands.
If anyone was going to lead Dons into the Championship, it was going to be Dean Lewington, and he stood proudly, hands out wide as he headed in Dons’ fifth with 74 minutes on the clock, his second of the afternoon.
Having come so close earlier in the half, Dons fans were sent into raptures once again with 10 minutes to go as George Moncur fired Colchester into the lead against Preston.
The rest was history. The final whistle in Colchester was met with a huge eruption from the MK Dons fans once more, but not before the final whistle at stadium:mk which saw Dons finally reach the Championship.
Referee: Scott Duncan
MK Dons: Martin, Lewington, Kay, McFadzean (Hodson 74), Spence, Potter, Alli, Hall, Carruthers (Reeves 72), C Baker, Grigg (Bowditch 69)
Subs not used: McLoughlin, L Baker, Powell, Cole
Yeovil: Krysiak, Smith, Edwards, Berrett, Hayter (Leitch-Smith 64), Ofori-Twumasi, Grant (Bell 84), Ugwu (Moore 45), Arthurworrey, Sheehan, Shephard
Subs not used: Weale