Scott Twine’s stunning hat-trick wasn’t enough as MK Dons were held to a 3-3 draw by Fleetwood Town at Stadium MK.
Liam Manning’s men fell behind twice in the first half courtesy of two Ged Garner goals but each time Twine was on hand to draw the Dons level.
Twine then struck directly from free-kick for his treble – a goal which looked to secure all three points for MK Dons until a late Daniel Batty finish ensured a share of the spoils for the Cod Army.
The draw sees Manning and his side remain third in Sky Bet League One.
Max Watters was handed his first MK Dons start as Liam Manning made three changes from the weekend win over Wycombe Wanderers.
Zak Jules and Peter Kioso were the other two others to come in to the starting XI while there was a return to the squad for Mo Eisa, who was among the substitutes.
Troy Parrott registered the first shot on goal after six minutes, dragging his effort wide from the edge of the D. Soon after, Parrott created an opportunity for Daniel Harvie, whose try was blocked by a Fleetwood defender.
It was a dominant start by the Dons but they found themselves behind on 12 minutes when Fleetwood, with their first attack, took the lead through Ged Garner. 0-1.
Jules was forced to turn behind a low cross as the visitors threatened again just past the quarter-hour. Fisher then produced a diving save to keep out Paddy Lane’s curling effort.
Controversy stuck in the 23rd minute when Harvie’s shot appeared to hit the outstretched arm of a Fleetwood defender. Despite the loud cries for a penalty, referee Peter Wright was unmoved – much to the frustration of Manning and his team.
The Dons, though, weren’t to be denied a first-half equaliser as Twine drew them level with a stunning strike.
Parrott started the move, as his terrific cross-field pass set away Harvie down the left. He, in turn, found Twine, who cut onto his right foot and bent a delightful effort around Alex Cairns and into the far corner. 1-1.
Manning’s men almost found themselves in front before the half-hour but Watters, after breaking through on goal, was denied by Cairns. From the resulting corner, Warren O’Hora’s glancing header was just out of the reach of Harry Darling at the far post.
Fleetwood, though, stunned Stadium MK once again, restoring their lead in the 32nd minute through Garner, who once again found a way past Fisher after beating the offside trap. 1-2.
The Dons went straight back on the attack and almost created another leveller through Watters but, after he did well to get to the byline, his cutback wasn’t met by a teammate.
They did find that equaliser with six minutes remaining in the first half – and it was Twine the man, again, to restore parity.
Parrott, again, was the creator, finding Twine in the centre of the pitch. The MK Dons number nine carried the ball forwards to the edge of the D before unleashing a dipping and swerving effort which left Cairns helpless as it flew past him into the net. 2-2.
Half-Time – MK Dons 2-2 Fleetwood Town
Fleetwood started the second half well and Darling was forced into a sliding block three minutes in to prevent Lane from troubling Fisher.
The Dons grew into it thereafter, with Kioso going close from an O’Riley corner on 56 minutes. Watters then curled one wide from 20 yards out, after being found by Robson.
There was a lull in goalmouth action for the quarter of an hour after then but the game soon sparked back into life when the Dons were awarded a free-kick for a handball.
That presented Twine with the opportunity to secure his first MK Dons hat-trick and it was an opportunity he didn’t pass up – doing what the midfielder does best and launching an unstoppable free-kick in off the underside of the crossbar. 3-2.
Eisa was brought off the bench just prior to the goal and he went close to extending the Dons’ lead with 11 minutes to play – his shot, though, was blocked bravely by a Fleetwood defender.
The visitors then went close through substitute Daniel Batty, who hit the side netting from inside the area. Andrew also tried his luck but fired wide from 18 yards out.
Fisher managed to get a hand to Matete’s long-range effort soon after but that led to a corner from which Fleetwood drew level – sub Batty firing low through a crowd and beating an unsighted Fisher to make it 3-3.
The Dons dominated the closing stages as they searched for another late twist. It wasn’t to be, however, for Manning and his side – their home winning streak is over but their unbeaten run continues into a ninth match.
MK Dons: Fisher, Jules (Lewington 90+1), O’Hora, Darling, O’Riley, Twine, Robson, Parrott (Kasumu 84), Harvie, Kioso, Watters (Eisa 72).
Subs: Ravizzoli, Baldwin, McEachran, Boateng.
Goals: Twine (27, 39, 73)
Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Andrew, Clarke, Camps (J Garner 80), Rossiter, Matete, Hill, Johnson, Biggins (Batty 80), G Garner, Lane.
Subs: Crellin, Edmondson, Clark, Conn-Clarke, Johnston.
Goals: Garner (12, 32), Batty (88)
Booked: Rossiter, Biggins
Referee: P Wright
Attendance: 6,563 (99 away)
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