MK Dons 2 Farsley Celtic 0

So it was not quite enough to make the famous concrete cows jump over the moon.

But Farsley reached the end of their FA Cup adventure at Milton Keynes last night with their heads held high.

It needed two second-half goals from England under-21 international Izale McLeod - a striker rated around the £1m mark - to finally see off Lee Sinnott's plucky part-timers.

Unfortunately, they finished with only nine men after Simeon Bambrook and Roy Stamer were sent off in the closing minutes.

It was a sour finish to a memorable episode in Farsley's history but should not detract from a magnificent effort.

For an hour at least, they had been just as good as their hosts.

Martin Allen looked a relieved figure at the final whistle. After the goalless first clash at Throstle Nest, he knew that his League Two side had been given another tough battle.

It was not until McLeod's breakthrough after 63 minutes that the Dons boss could start to relax.

Allen would have been impressed with Farsley's never-say-die spirit - an attitude summed up by the efforts of James Knowles to make it to the game.

The central midfielder was so desperate to play that he had dashed back from Italy just hours before kick-off.

Knowles had booked a romantic week in Rome with girlfriend Lisa months ago because there was no midweek game on the calendar and was not due back into the country until Friday. But with Farsley earning an unexpected second crack at the Dons, he had to cut the holiday short and flew back into the midlands yesterday afternoon.

Boss Lee Sinnott had stressed the message that this was more than just a day out for his side. They were here to give it their all and, who knows, pull off the biggest upset in the competition.

Martin Allen made several changes for the League Two side with Aaron Wilbraham among the regulars given a night off. But they were still short-priced favourites to see off opponents who were 54 places beneath them in the football pyramid.

But it was difficult to tell the difference in the early stages as Farsley sprang from the traps with shots from Bambrook and Gareth Grant. Then Stamer underlined their confidence with an outrageous attempt from well inside his own half.

Stamer forced a save from 30 yards before the Dons came close to breaking the deadlock from their first attack. McLeod's shot was charged down by centre half Ryan Crossley and keeper Paul Cuss blocked Paul Mitchell's follow-up with his legs.

That didn't deter the plucky Celts as Grant teed up Bambrook to test home keeper Adolfo Baines at his near post and top-scorer Damian Reeves fired wide on the turn.

McLeod was the biggest threat as the Dons pumped long balls forward to exploit his pace and Clive Platt's height and Cuss had to race from his goal to make a crucial tackle on the corner of the box.

MK Dons were applying more pressure as half-time approached and ex-Bantam Gareth Edds warmed the keeper's hands with a stinging drive. But Farsley held firm and were well worth the stalemate at the break.

Skipper Carl Serrant needed treatment soon after the restart after a clearance from team-mate Chris Stabb smashed into his face. Serrant had recovered by the time the Dons launched their next attack but could only look on anxiously as Edds crashed a drive beyond the diving Cuss and against the post.

Farsley responded with their best moment of the match as Bambrook cut inside from the left and drilled in a fierce shot which Baines did well to parry after a slight touch off Grant.

But the Celts were finally broken after 63 minutes - and it was no surprise that McLeod got the goal. He timed his run to latch on to an Edds pass over the top and gave Cuss no chance from ten yards.

The home crowd cheered as much out of relief as celebration. It had taken their team over two and a half hours to make their league superiority count.

But the tempo of the game had changed and the MK Dons wrapped it up with a second 14 minutes from time. Stamer furiously claimed that his foul on Mitchell was outside the box but referee Mike Thorpe pointed to the spot and McLeod hammered home the penalty.

Farsley were under the cosh and only a brilliant one-handed save from Cuss prevented a third from Dean Lewington's swerver.

But the Celts were losing their discipline and found themselves down to ten men when Bambrook was red-carded after hauling down substitute Scott Taylor. And things got even worse four minutes from time when Stamer followed his team-mate for an early bath following a second yellow card.

It was not the finale that Sinnott would have wanted but his Conference North players could not have given him any more.

FARSLEY: Cuss, Stabb, Crossley, Serrant, Pemberton (Nestor 72), Watson (Midgley 23), Knowles, Bambrook, Stamer, Reeves (Walls 56), Grant. Subs (not used): Thackray, Morgan.