Lyle Taylor and Adebayo Akinfenwa stole the headlines as underdogs AFC Wimbledon beat Plymouth to continue their fairy-tale rise up football’s pyramid.
Just 14 after their formation the Dons are promoted for the sixth time after Taylor’s 23rd of the season and Akinfenwa’s stoppage-time penalty sent their devoted fans into raptures.
Taylor, shackled for most of the game showed 11 minutes from time when you need a goal-scorer he is the man to call for as he gobbled up his first real chance on goal.
And Akinfenwa sealed the deal amid a nerve-jangling injury-time period.
Connor Smith was the surprise inclusion for Dons, his first game since being stretchered off in the last match of the regular season against Newport with what looked a serious neck injury.
His inclusion came at the expense of Sean Rigg in the only change from the play-off semi-final second leg with Accrington. Plymouth were unchanged from the side which ended Portsmouth’s promotion dreams at the same stage.
Lyle Taylor, the leading scorer on either side, saw the first serious threat on target deflected behind for a corner from which Jake Reeves fired wide.
It was Dons creating the chances, Robinson seeing a close-range effort smuggled behind for a corner, while Connor Smith’s drive soon afterwards caused panic in the Argyle box.
Provoked to respond Jake Jervis’ effort was deflected over for Argyle, but Dons were soon pushing forward again, Callum Kennedy forcing Luke McCormick to dive to hold his stinging drive from distance in what proved the last chance of the half.
A frantic opening to the second half saw Argyle’s Carl McHugh survive a horrible moment when an attempted back-pass skewed off his foot and went narrowly wide with McCormick struggling.
The game was more open already than the first 45, leading to thrust and counter-thrust and with man of the match Reeves acting as prompter-in-chief, Taylor escaped down the left to cross for Elliott to head over.
One goal looking increasingly likely to settle matters Argyle produced their best threat yet courtesy of a Graham Carey free-kick over the wall parried to safety by the until then largely redundant Kelle Roos.
Argyle withdrew leading scorer Jervis in favour of Craig Tanner a move matched minutes later by Dons introducing Jon Meades for Smith and with quarter of an hour left Elliott gsve way to ‘The Beast,’ Akinfenwa.
Just over two minutes later later Dons were in front, but it was Taylor who rose to the fore. A corner from the right was only half cleared back to the taker Kennedy and when he put the ball into the box a second time Taylor got across his marker to steer the ball into the far corner.
It was almost 2-0 minutes later when Reeves galloped clear and played in Fuller only for McCormick to deny the skipper and keep his side in the tie.
Argyle then lost Peter |Hartley to injury after a collision with Akinfenwa, the delay for the stretcher just fraying the nerves of Dons’ vocal support all the more.
Akinfenwa might have sealed it in the final minute of normal time with a header tipped over by McCormick.
Seven minutes of stoppage time were signalled mainly for the Hartley injury and Taylor suffering from cramp chipped into McCormick’s hands when clean through.
It mattered little as seconds later Adebayo Azeez, just on for Taylor was clipped in the box leaving Akinfenwa to seal victory.
It had been an absorbing final, but it was the Wombles who cleaned up meaning they and not the Pilgrims progressed to League One