Despite a brave and battling performance, Rochdale fell to a narrow defeat against MK Dons in the final home game of the 2014/15 season, in a thoroughly entertaining game that was typical of the incredible season Dale have had.
MK Dons took a two goal lead into the interval after goals through goals from Samir Carruthers and Daniel Bowditch, before Dale battled back into the game through Peter Vincenti Vincenti.
Daniel Powell restored the Dons' two goal advantage before Ian Henderson set up a thrilling finish.
Manager Keith Hill named two changes to the side which started in Tuesday night's 1-0 victory over Leyton Orient. Jamie Jones returned from suspension to replace Josh Lillis in goal, while Callum Camps started in place of Ashley Eastham.
MK Dons came close to opening the scoring early-on as Deli Ali saw his effort come crashing off the inside of the post. As the ball broke loose inside the Dale half, Ali took it under control and released a dipping half volley which rattled the inside of the post before going across goal and out of play for a goal kick.
They did find the opening goal after 16 minutes through Samir Carruthers however. After stealing the ball on the edge of the box, Carruthers evaded Tom Kennedy's challenge before firing a low drive across goal and into the bottom corner.
A glorious opportunity for Dale to draw level was squandered by Callum Camps at the end of a great move. Dale broke quickly with Scott Tanser releasing Henderson into the box who has the support of Camps to his right. He squared the ball to his team mate who just had to poke the ball towards goal, but in trying to put the ball beyond the goalkeeper, he also put it beyond the post.
MK Dons doubled their lead as the ball broke loose inside the Dale box, allowing Dean Bowditch to pounce. Tanser was tackled on the left of the box, and the ball fell to Bowditch 8 yards out who lashed the ball underneath Jamie Jones to score The Dons' second of the game.
This did nothing to dampen Dale's spirits however, as they went straight back on the attack. After winning a corner, Rose's whipped ball was half cleared but it dropped to Allen who drove a fierce low volley back at goal. The turf took the pace off the shot however, and Dave Martin in the Dons' goal got down well to keep the effort out.
HALF TIME: Rochdale 0-2 MK Dons
Jones was on hand to keep the Dons from extending their lead with a superb save. Will Grigg was played in one on one with Jones and he looked to slide the ball into the bottom corner, but Jones got down to the ground rapidly to get a strong hand to the ball to keep it out and push it away from danger.
Then a minute later, Rochdale were down the other end of the pitch to half the deficit through Peter Vincenti. Joe Bunney did brilliantly to win his flick-on and play Henderson into the box on the left. He squared the ball across to Vincenti and there were no mistakes this time as Vincenti calmly slotted the ball into the net.
MK Dons were able to restore their two goal cushion as Daniel Powell's fresh legs proved too quick for the Dale defence. The Dons man chased the ball from deep and was able to cut into the Dale box before squeezing the ball into the goal past Jones at the near post.
Dale weren't giving up without a fight though, as they drew the Dons back into their sights through Henderson's 22nd league goal. A long ball was flicked through to Henderson in acres of space in the box and with all the composure in the world, he slotted home across Martin to find the bottom corner.
A Tanser drive into the box came agonisingly close to levelling the scores after looping off a defender's outstretched leg. The ball looked to be dipping over the back-peddling Martin in the Dons goal but he did just enough to get back and tip the ball over the crossbar.
With the last kick of the game, the ball broke to Henderson on the edge of the box, and with defender closing down, he looked to curl the ball around Martin but he didn't quite get enough on it to beat the Dons keeper.
FULL TIME: Rochdale 2-3 MK Dons
Man of the Match: Andy Cannon