Huddersfield booked a League One play-off final date against Sheffield United despite defeat by MK Dons in the second leg of their semi-final.

The Terriers, leading 2-0 from the first leg at Stadium MK, went ahead on the night when Jordan Rhodes finished neatly from a free-kick.

Daniel Powell got one back for the Dons with a sharp finish from 18 yards.

Substitute Alan Smith scored with a stoppage-time header from a corner, but they could not find a crucial third.

Ultimately Rhodes's 40th goal of the season was enough for the Terriers to make a second successive play-off final.

Huddersfield, who lost 3-0 to Peterborough in last season's final at Old Trafford, went into the second leg with an advantage from the away leg.

With the two-goal deficit in mind it was perhaps unsurprising that the Dons started on the front foot and Powell nearly got in on goal after a major defensive mix-up between home skipper Peter Clarke and goalkeeper Ian Bennett.

Lee Novak fired two warning shots on the visitors' goal in response but was unable to force visiting custodian David Martin into action.

Play-off final opponents

Huddersfield won their first meeting with Sheffield United this season, 3-0 away from home in September, but the Blades picked up a 1-0 victory at the Galpharm Stadium in February

After more pressure from the Dons it was Town who took the lead when Novak's challenge from a long free-kick caused chaos in the defence and Rhodes nipped in to finish with unerring accuracy.

Far from calming Huddersfield's remaining nerves the goal seemed to cause an increased uncertainty in the Town ranks and Bennett had to be replaced by Alex Smithies after picking up an injury smothering a low Dean Bowditch centre.

Smithies's first meaningful action was to pick the ball out of his net. An incisive inside pass by full-back Adam Chicksen found Powell who turned adroitly and fired a low effort into the bottom corner.

As the half drew to a close, Karl Robinson felt his Dons should have been awarded a penalty when Charlie MacDonald seemed to be nudged from behind by Sean Morrison when he looked set to convert a Powell cross.

After MacDonald poked narrowly wide from Potter's clever slide-rule pass Town almost sealed their place at Wembley when Martin was forced into an excellent double stop, first denying Jack Hunt and then tipping away Novak's ferociously hit follow up.

Hunt, who scored the second at Stadium MK on Saturday, had been largely peripheral up to that point but now began to look to attack at any given opportunity.

Conscious of Town's growing dominance Robinson made a double substitution in a last ditch attempt to save the match and with it his side's season, Luke Chadwick and Jabo Ibehre came on for Bowditch and Chicksen respectively.

The replacements failed to have the immediate desired impact and it was the Terriers who continued to press, Rhodes flashing narrowly over from the angle.

Smithies produced a stunning late double save from Ibehre and Powell but, from the following corner, former Leeds forward Smith, who had entered the field to howls of derision from home fans, crashed in from close range to set up a frantic finale.

There was not enough time for the Dons to net again though and Huddersfield clung on to spark a pitch invasion for the second night running in Yorkshire, after the Blades won through to the 26 May final by beating Stevenage on Monday.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Huddersfield boss Simon Grayson:

"We could have killed the game off with the chances we had. You could see extra-time coming a mile off, Alan Smith coming on, getting booed all night and scoring the goal.

"Fortunately there was only one minute left and we saw it out comfortably enough.

"We are delighted with the end product. It has the ingredients of being a great game, obviously there is Yorkshire pride at stake but there is a bigger prize on offer of a ticket into the Championship.

"We will go there in good spirits and focused on what we need to do. There is no point going to Wembley if you're not going to win it and that is our ambition to do that. We are going there to win it."

MK Dons boss Karl Robinson:

"I thought we were the better team over the two legs to be honest and I am gutted we haven't gone through.

"Jordan Rhodes has been the difference. I thought we were magnificent, and we just didn't have that luck.

"I am disappointed because I wanted to go to Wembley and I am desperate to get this club in the Championship, I feel I have let people down and come up short.

"But we're not in the same hemisphere as a club like Huddersfield, we are punching well above our weight and the gulf didn't even show today.

"Good luck to Huddersfield. They were excellent and I am a little bit jealous, but I am sick because I wanted to be walking out at Wembley with my team, but it wasn't to be."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (6)

Huddersfield

  • 13 Bennett (Smithies - 33' )
  • 02 Woods
  • 05 P Clarke
  • 15 Morrison Booked
  • 32 Hunt
  • 11 Ward
  • 14 Johnson
  • 18 Miller (Robinson - 78' )
  • 17 Rhodes
  • 21 Novak
  • 27 Higginbotham (T Clarke - 88' )

Substitutes

  • 01 Smithies
  • 12 T Clarke
  • 07 Roberts
  • 22 Robinson
  • 19 Lee

MK Dons

  • 01 Martin
  • 03 Lewington
  • 05 MacKenzie
  • 12 Chicksen (Ibehre - 71' )
  • 07 Gleeson
  • 08 Potter
  • 13 Williams
  • 17 Powell
  • 23 O'Shea
  • 09 Bowditch (Chadwick - 71' )
  • 10 MacDonald (Smith - 81' )

Substitutes

  • 16 McLoughlin
  • 04 Doumbe
  • 11 Smith
  • 26 Chadwick
  • 19 Ibehre
Ref: Mathieson
Att: 15,085

Match Stats

Shots

9 10

On target

4 4

Corners

2 6

Fouls

9 9

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:35 Full time

Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.

90:00 +3:14

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sean Morrison by Alan Smith. Direct free kick taken by Alex Smithies.

90:00 +2:41 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Sean Morrison for unsporting behaviour.

90:00 +2:10

The assist for the goal came from Darren Potter.

90:00 +2:10 Goal scored

Goal! - Alan Smith - Huddersfld 1 - 2 MK Dons Alan Smith finds the net with a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Huddersfield 1 (3)-(2) 2 Milton Keynes Dons.

90:00 +1:55

Shaun Williams takes a inswinging corner to the near post,

90:00 +1:39

Daniel Powell takes a shot. Save made by Alex Smithies.

90:00 +0:19

Gary MacKenzie concedes a free kick for a foul on Jordan Rhodes. Direct free kick taken by Alex Smithies.

86:54 Substitution

Substitution Tom Clarke replaces Kallum Higginbotham.

86:54

Jordan Rhodes produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.

86:26

Anton Robinson is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. David Martin takes the free kick.

85:51

Gary MacKenzie challenges Jordan Rhodes unfairly and gives away a free kick. Kallum Higginbotham delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel, clearance by Shaun Williams.

83:40

Effort on goal by Lee Novak from just inside the area clears the bar.

83:06

The referee penalises Darren Potter for handball. Kallum Higginbotham delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, clearance by Shaun Williams.

81:32

Jabo Ibehre takes a shot from deep inside the box clearing the bar.

81:01

Corner taken right-footed by Darren Potter from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Jordan Rhodes.

79:55

The free kick is swung in left-footed by Shaun Williams, Sean Morrison makes a clearance.

79:55 Substitution

Substitution Alan Smith replaces Charlie MacDonald.

79:55

Foul by Calum Woods on Daniel Powell, free kick awarded.

77:14 Substitution

Substitution Anton Robinson is brought on as a substitute for Tommy Miller.

74:40

The ball is delivered by Daniel Ward.

70:52 Substitution

Substitution Jabo Ibehre joins the action as a substitute, replacing Adam Chicksen.

70:52 Substitution

Substitution Luke Chadwick is brought on as a substitute for Dean Bowditch.

70:19

Corner from right by-line taken by Daniel Ward.

70:08

Kallum Higginbotham takes a shot. Blocked by Gary MacKenzie.

68:30

Lee Novak has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the target.

63:05

Shot from just outside the box by Daniel Ward misses to the right of the target.

59:50

Stephen Gleeson has an effort at goal from long range that misses to the right of the goal.

58:27

Daniel Ward takes the inswinging corner, Darren Potter makes a clearance.

57:53

Jack Hunt takes a shot. David Martin makes a save. Kallum Higginbotham takes a shot. Save made by David Martin.

57:26

Tommy Miller concedes a free kick for a foul on Darren Potter. Gary MacKenzie takes the free kick.

55:19

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jack Hunt by Dean Bowditch. Free kick taken by Alex Smithies.

52:47

The referee blows for offside. Alex Smithies takes the indirect free kick.

51:16

Sean Morrison fouled by Daniel Powell, the ref awards a free kick. Alex Smithies takes the direct free kick.

50:18

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Darren Potter by Damien Johnson. Darren Potter takes the free kick.

49:46

Adam Chicksen produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the left-hand post.

48:31

Effort from inside the area by Charlie MacDonald misses to the right of the target.

46:27

Centre by Dean Bowditch.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +4:15 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

45:00 +3:19

Inswinging corner taken by Shaun Williams, Peter Clarke manages to make a clearance.

45:00 +2:38

Daniel Ward gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Shaun Williams. Direct free kick taken by Shaun Williams.

43:57

Unfair challenge on Peter Clarke by Charlie MacDonald results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Alex Smithies.

43:27

Gary MacKenzie fouled by Jordan Rhodes, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Dean Lewington.

42:53

A cross is delivered by Daniel Powell, Charlie MacDonald has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

41:18

Stephen Gleeson has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.

39:49

Unfair challenge on Dean Bowditch by Daniel Ward results in a free kick. Dean Lewington takes the free kick.

38:29

The assist for the goal came from Adam Chicksen.

38:29 Goal scored

Goal! - Daniel Powell - Huddersfld 1 - 1 MK Dons Daniel Powell gets on the score sheet with a goal from just inside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Huddersfield 1 (3)-(1) 1 Milton Keynes Dons.

37:31

The referee blows for offside. Shaun Williams takes the free kick.

36:22

Daniel Powell delivers the ball, Sean Morrison makes a clearance.

32:54 Substitution

Substitution (Huddersfield) makes a substitution, with Alex Smithies coming on for Ian Bennett.

30:04

The ball is swung over by Darren Potter.

28:42

Dean Bowditch handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Ian Bennett restarts play with the free kick.

28:17

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Shaun Williams from the right by-line, Sean Morrison manages to make a clearance.

28:04

Dean Bowditch takes a shot. Peter Clarke gets a block in.

25:31

Damien Johnson handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Free kick taken by Adam Chicksen.

24:17

Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen Gleeson on Daniel Ward. Ian Bennett takes the free kick.

22:29

The offside flag is raised against Daniel Ward. David Martin restarts play with the free kick.

22:01

Outswinging corner taken by James O'Shea from the right by-line, Sean Morrison manages to make a clearance.

17:24

Assist on the goal came from Daniel Ward.

17:24 Goal scored

Goal! - Jordan Rhodes - Huddersfld 1 - 0 MK Dons Goal scored by Jordan Rhodes from inside the box low into the middle of the goal. Huddersfield 1 (3)-(0) 0 Milton Keynes Dons.

16:53

Dean Bowditch concedes a free kick for a foul on Daniel Ward. Free kick taken by Jack Hunt.

11:07

Corner taken right-footed by Daniel Powell from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Peter Clarke.

8:15

Lee Novak produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.

7:09

Charlie MacDonald gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Peter Clarke. Free kick taken by Ian Bennett.

6:07

Adam Chicksen fouled by Tommy Miller, the ref awards a free kick. Adam Chicksen restarts play with the free kick.

3:25

Tommy Miller concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Gleeson. Free kick taken by Adam Chicksen.

2:10

Jordan Rhodes is ruled offside. Gary MacKenzie takes the free kick.

0:19

Sean Morrison concedes a free kick for a foul on James O'Shea. Free kick taken by Darren Potter.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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