It was a night in which everyone associated with MK Dons could be proud even if disappointed that our promotion hopes had gone for another year. What Dons lacked in the first leg they had more of in the second. They were more creative, the full backs got forward more and crosses were more accurate.
Falling behind early on in the second leg was not great, many would’ve thought it was done and dusted but being an MK Dons fan I know it’s never over until that whistle goes. I also know that every man that pulls on that shirt will not go down without a fight! And I was right, every single one of them showed hunger, commitment and desire. We had a few chances before we finally got our goal and it epitomised the Dons, we don’t score scrappy goals. Daniel Powell did well to get his strike away and find the bottom corner. You could see it instantly lifted us as we knew we had something to build on now. We had a stonewall penalty appeal turned down before the half was over. We don’t seem to get the rub of the green with decisions like that but we don’t let it affect us.
We started brightly in the second half, we had worked the ball down well with a lovely passing move before the ball was fed to MacDonald who couldn’t get the ball on target, as he poked it wide. Huddersfield hadn’t created a lot on the night, they were more prepared to soak up pressure from the Dons. However, just after the hour mark David Martin found himself making two vital saves to keep the Dons’ faint hopes alive. This was Huddersfield’s best moment of the match but our defence stood firm to keep the deficit to two.
Legs were starting to tire and you could see that everyone was putting in everything they had, none more so than Deano who looked like he had nothing left to give. We are blessed to have Shaun Williams as a centre half as his pace is one reason we didn’t concede again, he made very timely interceptions. Robinson had decided enough was enough and there was no better time to go for it. After another good game from Chicksen he was replaced by Chadwick and Bowditch replaced by Ibehre. We had changed to have 3 at the back in the hope of pushing forward to get another goal to get the nerves jangling.
The Dons kept pushing forward as much as possible not fearing the threat Huddersfield could pose. It was do or die time, we had to score, we couldn’t sit back and if we conceded as a result at least we tried. Thankfully we didn’t but it was close. Robbo brought Smithy on for MacDonald with about ten minutes to go. The boos didn’t bother him one bit, in fact I think he almost enjoyed them. In injury time Jabo was denied by two top class saves but from the resulting corner Smithy stooped low to give the Dons a second goal. Ultimately it was too little too late but the Dons could be proud that they didn’t go down without a fight. They gave everything to the cause tonight and were by far the better team.
Another season of being just the bridesmaid but another season which was full of drama, goals, passion and pure football. I’m proud to be an MK Dons fan and cannot wait to see what next year has in store!