The League One rollercoaster takes another turn as Dons’ automatic chances stay alive

The season goes to the final day with it all still to play for
MK Dons have taken the automatic promotion battle to the final day of the season. They take on Plymouth Argyle knowing they need to win to be in with a chance of going up.MK Dons have taken the automatic promotion battle to the final day of the season. They take on Plymouth Argyle knowing they need to win to be in with a chance of going up.
MK Dons have taken the automatic promotion battle to the final day of the season. They take on Plymouth Argyle knowing they need to win to be in with a chance of going up.

Results on Tuesday night could have been worse for MK Dons and their quest for automatic promotion but the challenge heading to take on Plymouth Argyle on Saturday remains – win the game to be in with a chance. They, of course, have history in doing just that.

Michael Ihiekwe’s 17th minute goal for Rotherham came early enough for Dons fans to hold out hope that Sunderland might get back into it at the Stadium of Light, especially given the Millers’ form in the last couple of months.

Similarly at Fratton Park, Wigan’s 2-0 lead over Portsmouth looked to almost certainly secure them the title.

However, in a season where there have been twists and turns at almost every juncture, there would be more in the closing stages.

Portsmouth, who had scored three in each of their three previous home games, delivered once again and overturned the deficit to extend the wait for the Latics.

And in the north east, Ihiekwe went from hero to villain for Rotherham as he got the final touch to a rare Sunderland effort, turning it past his own keeper to share the spoils in a 1-1 draw, guaranteeing Dons third spot at the very least come 3pm on Saturday.

Fleetwood’s brief lead over Sheffield Wednesday also offered something of a consolation at the other end of the table too, but Lee Gregory’s hat-trick ensured the Owls victory, sending the relegation battle to the final day.

It means all three of the automatic promotion candidates will travel away from home on Saturday looking to secure a spot in the Championship. Wigan will be on the road at Shrewsbury, Rotherham at Gillingham and Dons at Plymouth, who themselves will be looking to book a spot in the play-offs.

In a not all too unfamiliar story though, winning on the final day and needing a shock result elsewhere is exactly what happened when Dons last sought a spot in the Championship in 2015. Needing to beat Yeovil and Preston to slip up against Colchester, George Moncur would be an unlikely Dons hero as he netted the goal to down North End, while Dean Lewington netted a brace in a thumping 5-1 win over the Glovers to send Dons up.

And after the rollercoaster this season has been, you cannot write-off another twist, loop or corkscrew on the final day.