MK Dons have had their automatic promotion bid dented after a 2-1 reverse away at rivals Tranmere Rovers.

Connor Jennings scored a winning goal just after the hour mark of the match, after the home side’s David Perkins and the visitor’s Kieran Agard traded first half goals in quick succession.

With Bury winning and Mansfield drawing, the result means that the Shakers, Stags, Dons and Rovers are separated by 4 points with 4 games remaining. The Dons sit 4th, with Paul Tisdale’s side losing a place over the weekend.

On the day when Lincoln became the first team in League 2 to earn promotion, two of the teams vying to join them in the third tier initially served up a fairly cagey affair by the Wirral.

A few opportunities had seen James Norwood denied by Lee Nicholls in the game’s best chances, before Tranmere opened the scoring.

MK Dons were unable to clear their lines after a Rovers corner, and Perkins duly responded by dispatching a swift volley into the goal.

But the away side weren’t behind for long. Less than 2 minutes after, Agard got a touch on Jake Hesketh’s cross to put the ball into the back of the net.

Hesketh would then see a shot blocked by Tranmere goalkeeper Scott Davies in the final minutes of the first half.

Tranmere were looking more positive in a scrappy opening to the second half, and got a break through just after the hour. Ben Pringle’s cross found Jennings, who in turn beat the goalkeeper and found the back of the net.

MK Dons attempted to respond by throwing on their attacking subs, but struggled to build momentum or chances, and indeed the best chance saw Tranmere’s Norwood come close.

The result means MK Dons slipped up against a direct rival, and they will now seek to bounce back against bottom side Notts County in their next match on Good Friday.