League Two
MK Dons1Mansfield0

Milton Keynes Dons 1-0 Mansfield Town: David Wheeler goal seals promotion for Dons

MK Dons celebrate David Wheeler's goal that sealed promotion to League One
MK Dons celebrate David Wheeler's goal that sealed promotion to League One

MK Dons narrowly beat Mansfield Town to pip them to League Two's final automatic promotion place.

The sides started the final day level on points, with goal difference giving Mansfield Town the edge.

But Dons seized the advantage inside two minutes when David Wheeler headed home a Dean Lewington corner.

The Stags piled on the pressure after half-time but could not find a breakthrough as Milton Keynes held on for a first clean sheet since March to seal an immediate return to League One.

Two lengthy injury delays in the closing stages meant the home side had to survive almost eight minutes of added time. However, as was the case for much of the game, Mansfield struggled to create a clear-cut opening despite Dons' understandable nerves.

By that point Paul Tisdale's side should have been more comfortable, Kieran Agard missing the best of several opportunities when he went through one-on-one with Town keeper Conrad Logan, who saved well.

The visitors' best chances came in the way of goalmouth scrambles, with both Krystian Pearce and Danny Rose going close in the second half.

But the hosts held firm to spark jubilant scenes at the final whistle as many of the 20,718-strong crowd spilled onto the Stadium MK pitch.

Mansfield manager David Flitcroft - whose side were backed by more than 5,000 travelling supporters - must raise his players for a play-off meeting with Newport County, having occupied an automatic promotion place for much of his first full season in charge.

Milton Keynes Dons promotion

MK Dons have spent the majority of their 15-year existence in the third tier and they will return to that level next season, bouncing back at the first attempt after relegation last term.

Promotion was also achieved in Tisdale's first season as manager, the former Exeter boss having left the Grecians after 12 years and successive play-off final defeats to take charge last summer.

Their success has been built on their front two - few League Two sides can boast a more deadly strike force than Agard and Chuks Aneke, with 37 league goals between them this season.

Dons began the season well but a poor run around the turn of the year, including seven defeats in 10 games, appeared to have derailed their automatic promotion hopes.

Indeed, that sequence not only left them several points off the top three, it also pushed Dons down as far as eighth at one stage, outside the play-off positions.

But five straight wins put them right back in the picture and, despite a recent wobble, they knew victory over Mansfield on the last day would see them pip the Stags to the final promotion place.

Line-ups

MK Dons

  • 1NichollsBooked at 63mins
  • 2Williams
  • 16Martin
  • 4Walsh
  • 25Brittain
  • 18McGrandles
  • 24HoughtonBooked at 90mins
  • 3Lewington
  • 10AnekeBooked at 89minsSubstituted forSimpsonat 90'minutes
  • 14Agard
  • 21WheelerSubstituted forWatsonat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Cissé
  • 7Watson
  • 11Hesketh
  • 19Simpson
  • 20D'Ath
  • 22Moore
  • 33Harley

Mansfield

  • 1LoganBooked at 90mins
  • 17Sweeney
  • 5Pearce
  • 4PrestonSubstituted forTurnerat 19'minutes
  • 7MacDonaldBooked at 81mins
  • 8Mellis
  • 6Bishop
  • 16TomlinsonSubstituted forRoseat 37'minutes
  • 3BenningSubstituted forGrantat 70'minutes
  • 19Walker
  • 22Hamilton

Substitutes

  • 11Atkinson
  • 14Smith
  • 20Jones
  • 23Grant
  • 25Turner
  • 30Smith
  • 32Rose
Referee:
Lee Probert
Attendance:
20,718

Match Stats

Home TeamMK DonsAway TeamMansfield
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home6
Away7
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away6
Fouls
Home15
Away17

Live Text

Match ends, MK Dons 1, Mansfield Town 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, MK Dons 1, Mansfield Town 0.

Ryan Watson (MK Dons) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Alexander MacDonald (Mansfield Town).

Booking

Jacob Mellis (Mansfield Town) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Jordan Houghton (MK Dons).

Jacob Mellis (Mansfield Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Conrad Logan (Mansfield Town) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, MK Dons. Conceded by Krystian Pearce.

Corner, MK Dons. Conceded by Neal Bishop.

Conor McGrandles (MK Dons) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Neal Bishop (Mansfield Town).

Callum Brittain (MK Dons) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jorge Grant (Mansfield Town).

Foul by Kieran Agard (MK Dons).

Neal Bishop (Mansfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, MK Dons. Robbie Simpson replaces Chuks Aneke.

Corner, MK Dons. Conceded by Krystian Pearce.

Booking

Chuks Aneke (MK Dons) is shown the yellow card.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Chuks Aneke (MK Dons) because of an injury.

Foul by Russell Martin (MK Dons).

Ryan Sweeney (Mansfield Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Jordan Houghton (MK Dons) because of an injury.

Corner, Mansfield Town. Conceded by Joe Walsh.

Booking

Alexander MacDonald (Mansfield Town) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jordan Houghton (MK Dons) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alexander MacDonald (Mansfield Town).

Attempt saved. Chuks Aneke (MK Dons) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Russell Martin (MK Dons) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ben Turner (Mansfield Town).

Corner, Mansfield Town. Conceded by Russell Martin.

Attempt blocked. Ryan Sweeney (Mansfield Town) header from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Mansfield Town. Conceded by Ryan Watson.

Foul by Chuks Aneke (MK Dons).

Jorge Grant (Mansfield Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Krystian Pearce (Mansfield Town) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Substitution

Substitution, Mansfield Town. Jorge Grant replaces Malvind Benning.

Substitution

Substitution, MK Dons. Ryan Watson replaces David Wheeler.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lincoln City462316773433085
2Bury4622131182562679
3MK Dons4623101371492279
4Mansfield4620161069412876
5Forest Green4620141268472174
6Tranmere4620131363501373
7Newport462011155959071
8Colchester4620101665531270
9Exeter4619131460491170
10Stevenage462010165955470
11Carlisle46208186762568
12Crewe46198196059165
13Swindon461616145956364
14Oldham461614166760762
15Northampton461419136463161
16Cheltenham461512195768-1157
17Grimsby46168224556-1156
18Morecambe461412205470-1654
19Crawley46158235168-1753
20Port Vale461213213955-1649
21Cambridge461211234066-2647
22Macclesfield461014224874-2644
23Notts County46914234884-3641
24Yeovil46913244166-2540
View full League Two table

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