MK Dons came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw with Ipswich Town at Portman Road.
The Tractor Boys led at half-time through a terrific Macauley Bonne finish but Liam Manning’s men levelled on the hour mark thanks to a Scott Twine free-kick.
Bonne then put Ipswich back in front with a close-range finish but O’Riley earned the Dons a share of the spoils with his first goal of the season just three minutes later.
MK Dons made two changes from midweek, with Dean Lewington replacing Daniel Harvie (concussion) and Aden Baldwin making way for Tennai Watson, while on the bench, there was a place for second-year scholar Brooklyn Ilunga.
Three minutes in, Scott Twine had the game’s first shot – a right-footed drive from 25-yards out which was smothered up by Vaclav Hladky. Matt O’Riley followed up with an attempt shortly after but dragged his effort well wide of goal.
Troy Parrott was the next to trouble Hladky, latching onto O’Riley’s through pass and forcing the Ipswich keeper into a save from a tight angle. Then, on 14 minutes, the hosts threatened for the first time but were denied an effort on goal by a terrific clearing header from Warren O’Hora.
Ipswich came forward again on the quarter-hour mark and, from a long ball forward, they took the lead. Bonne was the man who ran onto the hopeful through pass and he did well to first bring the ball under control, before then firing his shot past Fisher. 1-0.
In search of an immediate response, the Dons earned themselves a corner from which Parrott had a header blocked by a defender. The former Ipswich man then got behind the Tractor Boys defence, from an O’Riley pass, but failed to get a true connection on his shot.
Manning’s men went agonisingly close to an equaliser on 26 minutes when, following a quick breakaway, Mo Eisa teed up Ethan Robson, whose first-time left-footed effort crashed against the crossbar.
Two minutes later, Wes Burns fired over from a quickly-taken Scott Fraser corner. Darling then produced a crucial diving block to deny Kyle Edwards, who had worked his way deep into the MK Dons penalty area.
Fisher was called into action shortly past the half-hour to parry away a Fraser free-kick which looked to be sneaking into the far corner of his net. Moments later, he watched an ambitious attempt from Lee Evans loop over his bar.
With nine minutes to play in an eventful first half, Edwards cut inside from the left and drilled a shot off target from distance. Twine then struck the side netting with a long-range effort of his own – a well-struck half-volley which had Hladky beaten.
From a late Dons corner, Darling saw a shot deflected into the arms of Hladky. There was just enough time left in the half after that for Ipswich to go for goal but Edwards found Darling in the way of his try.
Darling was involved at the start of the second half, forcing a save out of Hladky with a header from Twine’s in-swinging cross. He then pulled off a crucial block to divert Bonne’s close-range effort just past the left upright.
Ipswich went close again on 53 minutes but Fisher produced an excellent diving save to prevent Burns from doubling the lead – he got enough of a touch on the effort to push it onto the post.
MK Dons responded through Eisa, who saw a shot deflect wide. O’Riley also had a try diverted off target by an Ipswich defender.
Manning’s men were then presented with a clear opportunity to equalise when, with 58 minutes played, Twine was bundle over, five yards from the edge of the D. He dusted himself down to take the free-kick and did superbly to beat Hladky and draw MK Dons level. 1-1.
Twine and MK Dons had the wind in their sails and the number 9 went close to a stunning second goal on 62 minutes with a 35-yard try which Hladky just about managed to deal with.
Manning made his first substitution with 20 minutes left to play, introducing Norwich City loanee Josh Martin in place of Parrott, but just as his side looked to be in the ascendancy, they were dealt a blow.
Fraser was the architect against his former side, delivering a left-wing cross for Bonne, who slid in at the far post to convert his second of the game and put Ipswich back in front. 2-1.
Martin and Eisa went close to linking up shortly after the re-start but the former’s through ball just ran away from the MK Dons number 10. The Dons, though, were able to get themselves level right away – and it was all thanks to O’Riley.
Sprinting 10 yards to put Evans under pressure, the MK Dons midfielder won possession cleanly before driving into the box and finishing cooly past Hladky for his first of the season. 2-2.
The Dons had a chance to take a lead with a quarter of an hour to play but Eisa lifted his shot over the crossbar from 15 yards out. That was Eisa’s final involvement as he was replaced by Brown on 79 minutes.
With five minutes remaining, Fisher was forced to pluck a Bonne effort out of the air to prevent the Ipswich striker finding the net for a third time. The Dons then had a chance at the other end, but Jules saw his shot saved by Hladky.
The best chance of a winner came right at the death after the Dons won possession on halfway. Martin was the man sent through on goal and despite beat Hladky, his effort smashed against the crossbar and bounced away to safety.
A point therefore, for Manning & CO to take back to Stadium MK.
MK Dons: Fisher, Watson, Lewington, Jules (Baldwin 90), O’Hora, Darling, O’Riley, Twine, Eisa (Brown 79), Robson, Parrott (Martin 70).
Subs: Ravizzoli, McEachran, Boateng, Ilunga.
Goals: Twine (59), O’Riley (75)
Ipswich Town: Hladky, Harper, Woolfenden, Burns (Carroll 67), Evans, Fraser (Dobra 80), Bonne, Vincent-Young, Burgess, Coulson (Penny 60), Edwards.
Subs: Holy, Pigott, Barry, Donacien.
Goal: Bonne (16, 72)
Booked: Vincent-Young, Woolfenden
Referee: J Smith
Attendance: 18,622 (501 away)
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