Liam Manning’s men continued the unbeaten run at the start of April, which allowed them to be in a good position to battle for automatic promotion.
The beginning to the end…
The Dons carried on their incredible form, by winning back-to-back home games, against Shrewsbury Town and Crewe Alexandra. The home side only conceded one goal in both matches.
These victories, resulted in MK Dons ascending into second within the League One table, two points above Rotherham United. With promotion in sights, the team then travelled to take on AFC Wimbledon, at the Cherry Red Records Stadium. In the hope that they could increase their unbeaten streak to 15.
AFC Wimbledon away…
AFC Wimbledon gained an early lead with Alex Woodyard, who struck the ball through numerous bodies. This gained the opposition the advantage in the 20th minute.
As the match entered the final ten minutes, Scott Twine’s cross was cleared to Dean Lewington. The Skipper then created and in-swinging cross, with his left foot, which located Troy Parrott, who was in a tight angle on the right side of the box.
Parrott then produced a world-class volley with his right foot, which crashed in off the crossbar. The young forward had sustained his vision with Lewington’s cross, before he assembled what was deemed as ‘The Goal of the Season’.
This equaliser ensured that the Dons increased their unbeaten form, to 15 consecutive games without a loss. Parrott’s goal of the season, and Jamie Cumming’s heroic save at the end of the fixture, granted Liam Manning’s men with a hard-fought point on the road.
All good things must come to an end…
Unfortunately, MK Dons’ incredible run came to a standstill, after a narrow defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. The owl’s took advantage of the Dons’ slow start, which in turn awarded the travelling team with three goals.
Although, the resilience at Stadium MK was displayed again. As the home side clawed their way back into the game, by minimalizing the deficit to one goal. Sadly, the equalizer couldn’t be found, and Sheffield Wednesday claimed the three points.
Liam Manning’s men then travelled to the Kassam Stadium, to seek redemption. Alas, Billy Bodin’s late winner handed MK Dons their first back-to-back defeats, since October.
The conclusion of the 2021/2022 campaign…
Manning’s philosophy of ‘Not getting too high, and not getting too low’, was displayed in abundance at the end of the season. The Dons returned to third place, after the two defeats they suffered. But their ambitions remained the same, and goal difference was the only decider at this stage.
Harry Darling created a spectacular solo goal, which started from the Dons half, the number six blew past many Morecambe defenders, who tried to stop him. Darling’s determination and skill allowed him the space to slot the ball into the bottom-right corner of the net.
Daniel Harvie also cemented himself on the scoresheet, with a late goal which solidified the victory over the Shrimps, in the penultimate game of the season. The Dons returned to winning ways at Stadium MK, which kept the promotion dream alive.
MK Dons had one last test, their final fixture against Plymouth Argyle at Home Park. Before this match, Rotherham had drawn their game in hand. Which meant that the Millers were only one point ahead of Liam Manning’s squad.
Scott Twine’s masterclass allowed the Dons a comfortable 5-0 victory, the number nine produced four outstanding goals, which awarded Twine with a well-deserved match ball.
Darling claimed his tenth goal across all competitions this season against the Pilgrims. This meant that the centre-half was third, for the most goals scored by a League One defender within the 2021/2022 season.
Although MK Dons finished with an emphatic win over Plymouth, sadly it wasn’t enough to claim automatic promotion. Rotherham’s victory over Gillingham, ensured that the Millers returned to the Sky Bet Championship.
MK Dons battled within the League One play-off competition, unfortunately Wycombe Wanderers took a 2-0 advantage at Adams Park. Liam Manning’s men returned home to provide one final push, in the hopes to produce a comeback over the opposition.
The home side left everything out on the field, which halved the Chairboy’s lead as a result. But sadly, the opposition progressed to the final.
An unbelievable season for MK Dons ended with a third-place finish, which had been achieved by the resilience, determination, and team comradery from Liam Manning and his squad.