MK Dons’ relegation from Sky Bet League One was confirmed following a 2-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United at Stadium MK.
Rory McArdle and Ivan Toney scored first-half goals for the play-off chasing Iron and that proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the Dons, who will be playing Sky Bet League Two football next season.
Keith Millen named an unchanged starting XI for the visit of the Iron. There were two new additions to the bench, however, with Aidan Nesbitt and Conor McGrandles making a return to the matchday squad.
Play-off chasing Scunthorpe made a bright start and in the second minute it took some good defending from Ed Upson near the penalty spot to prevent Josh Morris connecting with Duane Holmes’ low cross.
The Dons threatened for the first time through Marcus Tavernier but, after a strong run, he was dispossessed on the edge of the United penalty area.
Jordan Clarke teed up Hakeeb Adelakun, who tested Wieger Sietsma for the first time with a 20-yard strike which the Dutchman saved and held.
Millen’s side responded with a spell of pressure but they weren't able to really trouble Matt Gilks, aside from a corner which the Scunthorpe stopper had to punch clear.
Scunthorpe were then awarded a free-kick for a foul by Elliott Ward. Ivan Toney took the set-piece and his effort took a touch off the wall on its way over Sietsma’s goal. From the resulting corner, Rory McArdle headed in the opening goal of the game. 0-1.
Sietsma kept out a free-kick from Josh Morris just prior to the half-hour mark before the Dons’ number 13 spread himself well to get a hand to Toney’s effort – the Scunthorpe striker had raced onto a long ball forward.
Scunthorpe went close again to doubling their lead from a Morris corner on 33 minutes but Sietsma did superbly to deny Clarke before Upson cleared away a follow-up goal-bound effort.
Two minutes later, though, the Iron did make it 2-0 – Toney the goalscorer for the visitors, heading in off the post from Morris’ cross.
The Dons looked to respond through Aneke, who did well to hold up the ball and set free Brittain down the right. Brittain returned the ball inside the area but, after creating space for a shot, Aneke saw his attempt deflected up into the arms of Gilks.
In first-half stoppage time, Tavernier produced a save out of the Iron stopper with a curling effort from the edge of the area. That was followed by a low drive from Aneke which was also gobbled up by Gilks.
Millen made two changes at the break, introducing Robbie Muirhead and Kieran Agard in place of Ike Ugbo and Josh Tymon.
One of those substitutes, Agard, almost provided Tavernier with a chance to reduce the deficit with a low cross which was just of the loanee’s reach.
Similarly placed to Tavernier, Agard then went close to connecting with a Muirhead delivery before Sietsma was forced into his first save of the second half – a strong stop to keep out Duane Holmes’ strike.
Agard certainly looked up for the fight and his enthusiasm was acknowledged by the supporters whenever he chased down a defender. He was soon joined on the field by Nesbitt, who added to the Dons’ attacking threat.
With five minutes left to play, Aneke headed over the crossbar while Muirhead twice tested Gilks in stoppage time.
Starting XI: Sietsma; Williams, Ward, Golbourne; Brittain, Upson, Cisse, Tymon (Agard 46); Tavernier Nesbitt 77), Aneke, Ugbo (Muirhead 46).
Unused subs: Jones, Lewington, Wootton, McGrandles.
Attendance: 9,578 (713 away)
Referee: J Busby