MK DONS manager Karl Robinson admits to having feared for Alan Smith during a pitch invasion that saw the former England international attacked by Huddersfield Town supporters.
Referee Scott Mathieson blowing the final whistle was the signal for thousands of Town fans to pour on to the field in celebration.
As the vast majority congratulated the home players at reaching Wembley in the League One play-offs, a handful chose to home in on Smith as he tried to make his way towards the away supporters to return their applause.
Clearly wanting to rile the former Leeds United striker, a couple shouted abuse before the first punch was thrown by a Town fan.
Smith immediately reacted and further blows were exchanged before Robinson raced towards the incident along with a police officer and a couple of stewards.
Eventually, Smith was shepherded away but the Dons manager admitted the incident had left a nasty taste in the mouth.
He exclusively told the Yorkshire Post: “I ran on the pitch to get him off, which I know my wife will kill me for. I grabbed Alan and got him in the tunnel.
“Alan was spat at, punched and kicked, the lot. Alan defended himself. He said it was typical of the reaction he gets at places like this.
“One or two idiots spoiled what was a wonderful spectacle. Huddersfield Town deserve tremendous credit and so do their fans but one or two mean the talking point is not just the game.
“I just wanted him off the pitch and me going on might have calmed it down. I feared for his safety. It is not great.
“English football has moved on enormously over the years and things like this aren’t great.
“Alan is a great man and been wonderful for us. It was a nasty end to what has been a wonderful spectacle that we should have won.
“It wasn’t hundreds, just one or two mindless idiots. The rest were fantastic.”