MK Dons will be hoping that it proves a case of third time lucky in their efforts to win promotion to the Championship this season.
Tomorrow’s visitors to the Keepmoat Stadium have lost in the League One promotion play-offs for the last two seasons - on both occasions against the team to go up and confidence at the club is high that they will finally make it to the second tier of English football for the first time since being formed in 2004.
The club were formed in June 21 2004 after Wimbledon FC relocated to Milton Keynes the previous September to play at the town’s National Hockey Stadium. The club had previously shared Selhurst Park with Crystal Palace since 1991 after losing their Plough Lane ground.
MK Dons originally retained Wimbledon’s history but ceased to so in 2007 following pressure from Supporters’ groups.
Relegated to League Two in 2005-06 they bounced back in 2007-08, winning the JP Trophy the same season. The club moved into their new 22,000 stadium in July 2007.
Karl Robinson, who was 30 at the time, became the youngest manager in the Football League when being appointed in May 2010.
A year earlier Robinson - who had worked as No 2 under Paul Ince - had become youngest person ever to acquire a UEFA Pro Licence.
A promising teenager, Robinson’s career was ended by a back injury.
He has quickly stamped his style of play on his charges and they are regarded as being one of the best footballing sides in the division.
As well as scoring plenty of goals they have the best home defensive record in the league. Their away form has been more patchy but they still pose a threat.
One of the highlights of tomorrow’s game will be the clash between Rovers skipper Rob Jones and striker Ryan Lowe, who were team-mates at Sheffield Wednesday last season.
“Ryan’s a good guy,” said Jones. “He didn’t start a lot of games last season but he made an impact when coming off the bench. He’s a footballer with a similar background to myself and he’s had to work hard to get to where he is today.
“He’s sharp and he scores goals and he’s a danger. I played against a lot in training so we’ll both know what to expect from each other if we both play.”