Liam Manning said it was a harsh lesson his side learned against Wycombe in the play-offs
Despite dominating the Chairboys throughout, winning the game thanks to Troy Parrott’s tenth goal for the club, the all-important second never came to overturn the first-leg deficit.
They had their chances though - Harry Darling hit the bar after 60 seconds; Scott Twine and Theo Corbeanu forced great saves from keeper David Stockdale and Joe Jacobson made a brilliant tackle to deny Parrott a second.
But the 1-0 scorelines means it’s Wycombe heading to Wembley on May 21 for the final, not Manning’s Dons who only narrowly missed out on automatic promotion eight days ago.
“It's a double hit in terms of having two disappointments, but that's life sometimes and that's the game too,” said Manning afterwards. “You have to suck it up and come out tougher on the other side. We'll do that as a club, staff and a group of players. It hurts tonight but we'll channel it and be better in the future.
“We're frustrated and disappointed obviously, but I also have a sense of pride in how the players applied themselves. It's a tough one to take. Over the course of the two legs, we created more and better chances than them.
“We were terrific, outstanding tonight but it comes down to having enough quality in and around the box which we didn't. It's mixed emotions. I'm so disappointed for the players because they couldn't have done any more.”
With the majority of the damage done in the first-leg on Thursday night, which saw Dons trail 2-0 heading into the home leg back at Stadium MK, Manning admitted there is little point in dwelling on what might have been over the course of the two legs, adding: “You can look back at the course of the season and wreck your head thinking about things, but it won't change it.
“This is such a young group, and only Skip has played in the play-offs, so it's a new experience for them and unfortunately they'll have to go through this, but they'll be better for it.”