MK Dons 1 Leyton Orient 3
MK Dons couldn't end their season on a high after they lost 3-1 to promotion-chasing Leyton Orient on Saturday.
Karl Robinson's side came in to the game with some optimism after holding both Brentford and Rotherham United to draws but they weren't able to repeat the feat on Saturday courtesy of a Kevin Lisbie brace and a 56th minute strike from David Mooney.
Winger Ryan Hall did score his first goal for the Club late-on to reduce the deficit but it didn't prove to be enough for the hosts, who finished their 2013/14 Sky Bet League 1 campaign in 10th place.
Robinson was able to recall Antony Kay to his starting XI after the defender passed a late fitness test on a thigh injury. The 31-year-old partnered Tom Flanagan, the other of the two changes, at centre-back with loanee Jordan Spence shifted across to right-back.
The Dons, on the day that their captain was being recognised for passing the 500 club appearances mark, made a positive start and they went close to opening the scoring with their first chance in the 12th minute.
Striker Izale McLeod won a free-kick just outside the penalty area and Ryan Hall produced a strong save out of Jamie Jones with a rifled shot before McLeod and, later, Tom Flanagan failed to prod home on the rebound.
However, despite the Dons’ strong start, the visiting O’s took the lead in the 17th minute when the experienced Kevin Lisbie met Dean Cox’s deep cross at the back post and headed across David Martin, into the bottom corner.
Robinson’s men didn’t deserve to fall behind but just a few minutes later they were almost breached for a second time when Moses Odubajo pounced on a rare effort from Lewington but, fortunately for the hosts, Martin was quick off his line to block at the striker’s feet.
Odubajo then fired harmlessly over the crossbar from an ambitious angle before Martin did well to deny Cox’s curling effort from sneaking in, with a smart diving save to his left.
The hosts, whose injury problems have been well-documented this season, were then given a scare when Martin went down clutching his left foot but after receiving treatment the Dons’ number 1 remained on the field.
In the 31st minute Hall tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the area but his effort, which looked to take a deflection, bounced comfortably into the arms of Jones in the Orient goal.
The Dons were then forced into withdrawing Martin, who failed to recover from his foot injury, with 18-year-old Charlie Burns coming on in his place and, in turn, making his first senior appearance.
As the first-half drew to a close, Hall went close to latching onto McLeod’s drilled cross before Spence fired agonisingly wide after a direct run from the back.
Flanagan then went close with a header from Stephen Gleeson’s corner before Orient doubled their lead just minutes before the half-time whistle through Lisbie, who calmly slotted past Burns after latching onto David Mooney’s through-ball.
Keen to end their season on a positive note, the Dons went straight on the attack in the second period and McLeod twice forced Jones into a save, the second time after pouncing on a mistake from Romain Vincelot on the edge of his own box.
Spence then had to be at his very best to deny Lisbie getting a shot off deep inside the Dons’ penalty area with an inch-perfect slide tackle before Burns prevented Mooney from scoring with a strong save.
However, Burns only delayed a third Orient goal which came in the 56th minute courtesy of Mooney, who managed to evade a tackle from Flanagan before blasting a shot past Burns and into the roof of the net.
In the 57th minute, brought on Daniel Powell in place of Matty Kennedy as the Dons looked to salvage something from their final contest of the season but they could have found themselves even further behind if not for a smart stop from Burns moments later.
Orient then took the opportunity to boast their strength in depth when they replaced the man who scored their first two goals, Lisbie, with Chris Dagnall, who himself had netted six times this season.
Despite the deficit, the Dons refused to give up and in the 78th minute they pulled a goal back through Hall, whose drilled shot took a deflection on its way past Jones to give the home supporters something to cheer about.
In the 81st minute, Powell went close to squeezing a low shot past Jones but the Orient 'keeper did well to gather despite a heavy deflection, while at the other end Burns raced off his line to boot clear after Dagnall had beaten the offside trap.
Dagnall later went close in stoppage time as the O's looked for a fourth goal to take into the play-offs before the final whistle sounded at stadiummk for the final time until August.
MK Dons (4-2-3-1): Martin (Burns 34); Spence, Flanagan, Kay, Lewington (c); Gleeson, Alli; Kennedy (Powell 57), Smith (Rasulo 68), Hall; McLeod.
Subs not used: Randall, Hickford, Loveridge, Summerfield.
Goal: Hall 79
Leyton Orient (4-4-2): Jones; Omozusi, Baudry, Clarke (c), Sawyer; Odubajo, Lundstram (James 67), Vincelot, Cox; Lisbie (Dagnall 62), Mooney (Batt 80).
Subs not used: Larkins (GK), Bartley, Simpson, Ness.
Goals: Lisbie 17, 45, Mooney 56
Referee: S Martin (Staffordshire)
Attendance: 9,965 (1,334 away)
Goal-Don Treble Chance HT draw results: 07-05-04-15