Rhys Healey scored the fourth straight game as MK Dons earned another valuable point on the road in Sky Bet League One.
Healey fired home a third-minute free-kick to give Russell Martin’s men an early lead at the LNER Stadium but Lincoln City restored parity midway through the first half courtesy of Liam Bridcutt’s stunning strike.
The draw was enough to lift the Dons up to 18th place in the Sky Bet League One and maintain their 10 point gap over the bottom three.
Boss Martin made two changes from the weekend draw to Shrewsbury Town, with Regan Poole replacing the injured Callum Brittain and Conor McGrandles coming in for Louis Thompson in midfield.
His side made the best possible start at the LNER Stadium, taking the lead inside the opening three minutes courtesy of the in-form Healey.
The striker was fouled, 10 yards from the edge of the box, and he picked himself out to curl home an unstoppable free-kick – extending his scoring run to four games and giving his side an early advantage. 0-1.
Martin’s men were looking dominant and it took until the quarter-hour mark for the home side to test them for the first time – Tyreece John-Jules heading over from a corner.
The Dons then won themselves a corner at the other end of the pitch three minutes later. Jordan Moore-Taylor had a header deflected wide from Jordan Houghton’s first delivery before Healey had one saved by Josh Vickers from the next.
Lincoln, though, would draw level just two minutes later courtesy of a stunning first-time shot from Liam Bridcutt, who curled his right-footed shot away from the diving Lee Nicholls and into the top right-hand corner of his net. 1-1.
Imps striker John-Jules stabbed wide on 25 minutes as his side went about getting the advantage. It was a tough ask for the Lincoln number nine, but he should have done better a minute later, somehow failing to find an un-guarded net with a 10-yard effort, after Nicholls had done well to deny Harry Anderson.
With 10 minutes to play in the half, the Dons threatened their hosts again from a dead-ball - Lewington’s free-kick, however, was dealt with by the Lincoln defence. The Imps then went close through former Don Jake Hesketh, who saw his attempt loop over the bar.
Nombe, shortly after, saw a right-footed drive blocked behind for a corner, which Vickers punched clear from inside his six-yard box. Healey then fired over, after beating the Imps’ offside trap.
Lincoln wasted the final opportunity of the first half – Hesketh the player failing to hit the target after pouncing on a loose ball deep inside the Dons’ half.
It was the Dons who would have the first chance after the re-start, with Nombe drilling a low shot towards goal – one which was blocked by an Imps defender. Martin’s side then had the ball in the net, but Healey was offside when tapping in from Nombe’s low ball across goal.
Anderson had Lincoln’s first second-half shot – a right-footed curler which Nicholls got down to save. Jorge Grant then fired over with a long distance free-kick.
Martin made his first substitution on 66 minutes, replacing Nombe with Louis Thompson. His second arrived soon after – Ben Reeves on for McGrandles.
With a quarter of an hour to play, Morris bent an effort over the bar from the edge of the box. He then had a deflected effort fizz just wide of the post. Those were Morris’ final actions, as he was forced off with 10 minutes to play and replaced by David Kasumu.
Kasumu was involved as MK Dons went agonisingly close on 85 minutes. Gilbey’s ball into the box wasn’t dealt with by the Imps but Kasumu, nor a teammate, could find the touch needed to threaten Vickers. At the other end, Coventry dragged a low shot wide from inside the box.
Gilbey went just as close with two minutes to play, firing into the side netting after springing forward from Healey’s lay-off.
That was closest either side came to a late winner, as both were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington, Poole, Gilbey, Healey, Moore-Taylor, McGrandles (Reeves 74), Morris (Kasumu 80), Houghton, Nombe (Thompson 66).
Subs: Fisher, Walsh, Cargill, Agard
Goal: Healey (3)
Lincoln City: Vickers, Bridcutt, Shackell, Bolger, John-Jules, Grant, Morrell (Coventry 62), Eardley, Anderson (Scully 74), Hesketh (Hopper 58), Edun.
Subs: Andrew, Payne, Chapman, Melbourne.
Goal: Bridcutt (21)
Booked: Morrell, Grant, Bridcutt, Edun
Referee: J Busby
Attendance: 7,783 (224 away)