Jordan Rhodes' 39th goal of the season helped inspire Huddersfield to a 2-0 victory away to a disappointing MK Dons in the first leg of their npower League One play-off semi-final.
The prolific forward glanced home a 32nd-minute cross from 17-goal strike partner Lee Novak, who wasted a glorious second-half chance to double the visitors' advantage at stadiummk.
But Jack Hunt's well-taken finish ensured Town took firm control of the tie ahead of Tuesday's second leg at the Galpharm Stadium, and left the Terriers dreaming of Wembley success in what is their third successive attempt at play-off glory.
It was a woeful afternoon for a lacklustre Dons, who were embarking on their third play-off campaign in four years as they bid to make the second tier for the first time since their change of identity in 2004.
The hosts almost pulled a goal back deep into second-half stoppage time, but Town goalkeeper Ian Bennett pulled off an athletic stop from Jabo Ibehre's header.
Manager Simon Grayson hailed Huddersfield's win as their best display since he took over.
He said: said: "We are delighted that we have won and with the level of performance that we showed today.
"We have worked extremely hard over the last 10 days on the game plan and our individuals stuck to it.
"Given the circumstances I would say that this is the best performance of my short reign at the club."
Dons boss Karl Robinson said: "The game's not over yet, we believe we can still turn it around.
"It was a really weird game, I thought there was nothing in it at all. It was a bit of a stalemate and then Rhodes pops up with a goal."