Portsmouth took a step closer to sealing a play-off spot as they ran out comfortable 3-1 winners over Wimbledon at Plough Lane, whilst the Dons finally secured their third tier safety after results across the league fell their way.
There was two changes for the Dons as Mark Robinson brought in Ryan Longman and Cheye Alexander into the starting eleven for Ayoub Assal and Luke O’Neill respectively.
Whilst for Pompey, Danny Cowley also made three changes of his own as Paul Downing made his first start for 19 months, with Lee Brown and Ryan Williams also coming into the starting eleven in place of George Byers, James Bolton and Rasmus Nicolaisen.
Jack Rudoni had the first presentable opportunity of the afternoon for Wimbledon, with the ball falling to the youngster following a knock down in the area, however the academy graduate could only slice wide from mid range.
And Rudoni was then heavily involved again as his rasping drive was palmed wide by Craig MacGillivray who sprung down well to his right.
Ollie Palmer then grew into the contest midway through the first half as the towering front man lofted a beautifully weighted ball to Longman who saw his volleyed effort comfortably saved by MacGillivray as the Dons continued to be the better of the two sides.
And it wasn’t long before the hosts took the lead in comical fashion as Joe Pigott raced clear, with many of the away side believing the striker to be offside, to finish well into the far corner despite widespread complaints from the Pompey dugout to the officials.
But their lead lasted barely a minute as Pompey raced up the other end through Marcus Harness, with his deflected cross finding the incoming Ronan Curtis who equalised emphatically with a half volley.
MacGillivray was then forced into another brilliant save as he denied Pigott from the angle as the Wimbledon top scorer attempted to add to his tally.
Portsmouth continued to be on the back foot for much of the latter stages of the opening half, with the Dons doing well to get in their faces at every opportunity.
However it was the away side who took the lead against the run of play as Williams found the advancing Brown who was up from left back, with the defender drilling well past Nik Tzanev into the far corner.
And it was soon 3-1 to the visitors as Brown once again found the net from an acute angle with a strike which hit the bar and went in above the head of Tzanev as Pompey went in sat half time with a 3-1 lead.
The second half began in a much calmer fashion, with both sides attempting to gain control as Wimbledon threw on Assal to turn the tide of the contest.
Brown almost clinched a remarkable hattrick as we passed the hour mark, with the left back seeing his side footed effort deflected just wide.
The Dons then looked to get a goal back as Pigott took a free kick on from distance that MacGillivray saved comfortably down to his left.
Portsmouth should’ve made it four just a few minutes later as Williams was found in the box well, but his resulting effort drifted wide of the post.
The home side then fashioned another chance as Pigott turned well on the ball before sliding in Assal with a through ball, but the attacking midfielder could only hit his shot straight at the Pompey keeper.
Wimbledon were then reduced to ten men as Ben Heneghan went off injured, meaning that they became more exposed in the wide areas of the field.
John Marquis then raced clear for Pompey as they looked to put the cherry on the cake, but the striker was well smothered by Tzanev as he attempted to round the New Zealander.
Longman then drove in from the left for the Dons as they threatened to make things interesting late on, with the Brighton and Hove Albion loanee seeing his shot being safely held by MacGillivray after good approach play.
In the end Pompey held out for an important three points in their race for the play-offs whilst Wimbledon secured their League One safety for yet another season with results across the division falling in their favour as Rochdale and Northampton Town both lost.
FULL TIME: AFC Wimbledon 1-3 Portsmouth