Aaron Morley’s clever free-kick lit the fuse for already-relegated Rochdale as they bid farewell to Sky Bet League One with a 3-0 victory at MK Dons.
Dale’s impressive end to the season – losing only one of their last seven games – was not enough to keep them in the third tier, but they finished with a flourish at Stadium MK.
Matthew Sorinola struck the crossbar for MK Dons in the fifth minute with a tremendous free-kick before Rochdale goalkeeper Jay Lynch had to keep out an Andrew Surman effort with his feet.
The deadlock was broken by Dale a minute into the second half when Morley’s free-kick caught out Dons keeper Alex Fisher at his near post.
The lead was quickly doubled as Jimmy Keohane was allowed to cut inside before his shot was deflected in, with Fisher wrong-footed.
A poor kick by Fisher led to the visitors adding a third with five minutes left, with youngster Abraham Odoh setting up fellow substitute Stephen Humphrys for a dinked finish.