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On this day: Edds' unforgettable double keeps Dons in League One

Fifteen years since the memorable win over Tranmere Rovers at the National Hockey Stadium...

7 May 2020

On this day in 2005, Gareth Edds scored a memorable brace to keep MK Dons in League One on the final day of their inaugural season.

Danny Wilson's side entered the day knowing they needed to beat Tranmere Rovers at the National Hockey Stadium, and hope that either Torquay United would lose at Colchester United or Oldham Athletic would fail to beat Bradford City in Greater Manchester.

Things would get off to the perfect start for MK Dons, as Edds would fire them ahead after just six minutes, latching onto Clive Platt's knockdown before drilling home a right-footed half-volley from the edge of the penalty area.

Four minutes later, there was even better news filitering through from Oldham, where Bradford had levelled the scores following an early Latics opener. As it stood, ten minutes into the afternoon, MK Dons were safe.

While that joy was short-lived, as Luke Beckett restored Oldham's lead midway through the first half for what proved to be the final goal of that game, the Dons would still would go into the break in position to avoid relegation after Torquay United fell behind to Colchester three minutes before half-time.

The twists and turns continued as, on 65 minutes, Tranmere's David Beresford worked his way to the edge of the D and curled a right-footed shot around the outstretched arms of Dons goalkeeper Matt Baker to tie the match at 1-1. Wilson's men were back in the bottom four.

Twenty agonising minutes passed, as the Dons huffed and puffed for a goal that would secure their place in the third tier for another season. They knew one would be enough as Torquay's match had finished in Essex. They had been beaten 2-1.

With four minutes left to play, stadium announcer Trevor Marshall turned on his mic to announce that the Man of the Match had been chosen by match sponsors Jim and Gwen Mann. As he read from his script, Matt Baker lofted a goal kick deep into the Tranmere half.

While the ball sailed in the air, confirmation came through from Trevor that Gareth Edds had been chosen as the game's star man. Seconds later, after two headed flick-ons from Clive Platt and Izale McLeod, the ball fell onto the right thigh of the Australian, who allowed it to travel across his body and bounce slightly before lashing it towards the far right corner of the net.

Despite the Tranmere goalkeeper's best efforts, that's exactly where it nestled, sending Edds, his teammates and the 7,000-plus MK Dons supporters inside the National Hockey Stadium into raptures.

McLeod, who provided the key assist, almost sealed victory with a third Dons goal late in the match but his effort, following a mazy run in from the left wing, was tame and gathered. Before the Rovers keeper could release the ball, however, the final whistle blew - the Dons, in their first season, had pulled off the great escape.


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