Two goals in the early stages of the second half saw MK Dons squeeze out Southend United at Roots Hall.
After a scoreless first half that saw both sides fail to take advantage, Joe Walsh and Ben Reeves gave the Dons a 2-0 lead by the 63rd minute.
Southend did grab a goal back in the seventh minute of added time through Simon Cox from the penalty spot. But they were unable to find a way through, and missed the opportunity to jump into the play-offs after Millwall were beaten by Fleetwood. By contrast, the result keeps the Dons 12th.
After a first half where Southend had most of the ball but Stuart O’Keefe, Kieran Agard and Harvey Barnes missed decent chances, the Dons took the lead just after half-time. Walsh took the credit, with the Dons centre-back squeezing the ball over the line despite the efforts of home keeper Christian Walton.
Anthony Wordsworth hit the post within minutes of the Dons equalising, before the Dons missed further chances to extend their advantage through Walsh and O’Keefe. But the away fans were celebrating a second just after the hour, when Reeves tapped in the rebound after Walton had denied Agard’s initial shot.
Southend scored in added time from 12 yards when Cox scored a penalty after George Baldock fouled Marc-Antoine Fortune, but it was too little too late for the hosts, and the Dons took the points.