Adebayo Akinfenwa has apologised to Callum Kennedy after taking the penalty off him in the dying moments of AFC Wimbledon's 2-0 play-off final win over Plymouth.

The Beast was desperate to end his time at the club, after finding out his contract would not be renewed ahead of the game, on a high with a goal in front of the Dons fans.

And he won the argument with Kennedy before dispatching his penalty, which was virtually the last kick of the game, into the net to seal victory and promotion to League One on the club's 14th birthday.

He said: “Callum Kennedy and I had an exchange of words. I knew why he wanted to take the penalty.

“I took the penalty last time to give to little Toyosi Olusanya against Newport County. I did say he could have the next one.

“But with speaking to gaffer and knowing it'd be my last game there'd be no better way to sign off with scoring at Wembley. I had to apologise to Cal afterwards but we're cool.”

Video thumbnail, AFC Wimbledon trophy lift
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Akinfenwa spoke before the game of his desire to bury the demons of his penalty miss with Swansea against Barnsley 10 years ago and the successful spot kick did exactly that.

He added: “It's killed those demons 100 per cent. In the back of my mind I was nervous. I may have looked calm but I was nervous.

“It killed the demons of 10 years ago. It's always nice to put that to bed and look upwards.”

The Beast also revealed that promotion would be the cherry on top of his time with the Dons and he maintained the club will always have a place in his heart.

Beast Mode: Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrates his promotion securing goal

He explained: “It's the best way to sign off. I said I'd love to leave this club promoted. To score with the last kick of the game to secure promotion.

“Come on now? There's nothing better. Onwards and upwards for AFC Wimbledon. I'll be keeping a keen eye on them.

“I've been there two years. I've had some ups and downs and it's a beautiful feeling. AFC Wimbledon will have a place in my heart.”

Manager Neal Ardley confirmed that the popular striker is set to leave the club after their Wembley glory and Akinfenwa still had nothing but praise for the man he respectfully refers to as 'Gaffer'.

He revealed: “I sat down with the gaffer and he said he wanted to go in a different direction. That's what it is.

“I've got no ill will, no malice. I've got no ill will, no malice. I spoke fondly of the gaffer and will speak fondly of him.

No hard feelings: Neal Ardley

“Even though I didn't play as much as I'd like to, he's never disrespected me. It's football. I've been in this game a long time.

“How can I begrudge anything when I've scored at Wembley. It's happened. We part ways and I'll never speak badly of gaffer.

“He wants to go in a different direction and so be it. He's the manager. I hope he won't speak badly of me. We have a good relationship. It is what it is. Next year I'll be where I be.”

He went on: “I feel good. I feel strong and fit. I didn't want the season to end. I've just started to hit form recently.

“I can go on for a couple of years. As long as my body wants to play on, with the training. We don't get overtrained. I feel good so I've got a few years in me.”

Akinfenwa was also full of praise for fellow Wembley goalscorer Lyle Taylor and unsung hero Tom Elliott for the work they have done through the season.

He said: “I've got nothing but real admiration for the strikers we have here. Tom Elliott is an unsung hero.

“Lyle Taylor got the goals so he gets the limelight. Myself and Tom Elliott; what he puts in week in week out.

Brilliant! Lyle Taylor of Wimbledon runs towards his manager Neal Ardley in celebration after scoring

“He's my direct competition and he's kept me out of the team for good reason. He's the unsung hero. I get on very well with the strikers here.

“I'm a fair bit older than them so I have to put my experience on them. Our friendship has been good. That unique bond has seen us get promoted this season.

“You can't begrudge 23 goals. He scored the winner in the semi final and scored the first goal today. That's been Lyle all season. You need the X factor and Lyle Taylor has got it.”

AFC Wimbledon players are now off to Las Vegas to celebrate their incredible promotion; their sixth in just 14 years.

Akinfenwa revealed: “I don't know (what the next step is for me) but I know Vegas is coming. I'll talk to you after that. We board a plane today (Tuesday).

“We're there for five days. There's no better way to celebrate than in Vegas. We didn't pay for it. It was a treat from the powers that be.”

In pictures: AFC Wimbledon fans enjoy their promotion day

Promotion also means that AFC Wimbledon will line up against MK Dons, a team Akinfenwa refuses to even speak the name of, in a league game for the first time.

He said: “We're in the same league as that team. Part of me is going to miss it. I'd like to line up against them. You know what I'm saying?

“I'll have to talk to the gaffer and bring me back for those two games. It's a beautiful thing.

“It means so much to our fans. It means so much to them. To be up against them next season. That's six promotions in 12 years. Come on now.

“It's a beautiful story. Our manager deserves a lot of credit. Progression is the key. It's beautiful.”

And, as his final message to the supporters, Akinfenwa rounded off by saying: “We got promoted baby. Haha!”