MK Dons' relegation confirmed as Brentford fight back for victory
MK Dons' relegation back to Sky Bet League One was confirmed on Saturday following their 4-1 home defeat by mid-table Brentford.
Karl Robinson's side went into the game knowing they had to win all three of their remaining matches to stand any chance of avoiding relegation after one season in the Championship, while hoping one of their nearest rivals lost their remaining three fixtures.
And despite the Dons taking an early lead through Nicky Maynard to give the hosts hope, Sergi Canos levelled minutes later and Brentford went on to score three in the second half through Lasse Vibe, Ryan Woods and Jake Bidwell.
The hosts could hardly have got off to a better start after going ahead inside six minutes.
A searching ball from Jake Forster-Caskey from inside his own half found Josh Murphy down the left, before the Norwich's loanee's cool touch and inch-perfect cross found Maynard, who had the simple task of tapping the ball home from close range.
But the Dons' lead lasted all of three minutes as Canos struck his sixth goal of the season with a looping effort from outside the hosts' box that flew over keeper Cody Cropper and into the top corner.
Robinson's side forced Brentford keeper David Button into action moments later when Murphy's cross from the left flank again found Maynard lurking in front of goal, but his effort was superbly pushed over for a corner by Button.
Nothing came of that and the visitors were almost gifted the lead midway through the first half after Cropper's reluctance to clear a pass back from inside his own box allowed Vibe to nick the ball from under his feet. However, Vibe struck his one-on-one effort with Cropper straight at the goalkeeper's body and Dons survived.
Robinson was forced into making two changes during the half-time break, Cropper being replaced by 20-year-old Charlie Burns, who only made his league debut at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, while Antony Kay came in for defender Joe Walsh, who was suffering from sickness in the first period.
Brentford were unchanged and it was them who started the second half the better as they went 2-1 up inside four minutes.
Vibe beat the offside trap before firing a tame left-footed strike from the edge of the box across Burns and into the bottom corner.
The visitors sealed the win with two goals in the final 10 minutes thanks to Woods' well-taken effort from the edge of the area and Bidwell's fine finish at the death.
The defeat means MK Dons join Bolton and Charlton in dropping out of the Championship.