HUDDERSFIELD Town's Jordan Rhodes struck his 40th goal of the season as the Terriers booked their place in the npower League One play-off final against Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United later this month.
But Simon Grayson’s side had to endure an agonising finale after former Leeds midfielder Alan Smith headed home in stoppage time to give MK Dons a 2-1 win on the night.
Rhodes, English football’s leading goalscorer this season, fired Simon Grayson’s side into a 1-0 second leg lead in the 18th minute to give Town what proved to be an unassailable three-goal cushion.
Daniel Powell had given the Dons hope with a 39th-minute equaliser, but goals from Rhodes and Jack Hunt in the first leg last Saturday had set Town on their way and they just held on.
In their record-breaking eighth play-off appearance Town endured some anxious moments before securing a deserved second successive play-off final.
It could have gone horribly wrong for the home side though had Dons striker Charlie MacDonald converted two golden chances either side of the interval.
But Town weathered the storm to condemn Karl Robinson’s men to more play-off misery after they slipped out at the same stage last season.
Lee Novak spurned an early chance to settle any Huddersfield nerves when he pulled his shot from inside the penalty area just wide.
But the home side secured the game’s all-important first goal in the 18th minute.
Hunt arced a deep free-kick into the visitors’ area and Rhodes pounced on to Danny Ward’s flick-on, his first touch allowing him time to steer the ball low into Dons goalkeeper David Martin’s left-hand corner.
The West Yorkshire club’s three-goal cushion prompted wild celebrations among the home faithful, including Town owner Dean Hoyle in the stands.