Striker Alex Revell saved a penalty to earn 10-man Dons a point as they drew 1-1 with Preston North End at Deepdale.
Nicky Maynard deservedly levelled for the Dons with a close-range finish at the start of the second half before Revell and Kyle McFadzean went close to giving the men from MK1 the lead.
Preston were given a great chance to win it late on from the spot but Revell, in goal after Cropper had been sent off for the foul and the three subs used, brilliantly saved Joe Garner’s effort.
McFadzean, Jordan Spence, Samir Carruthers and Nicky Maynard replaced George Baldock (hip), Antony Kay, Jonny Williams and Revell.
The first of the afternoon fell to Preston and their returning striker Jermaine Beckford, who wasn’t able to really test Cropper from 20 yards.
Robinson’s side had started the game well with Dean Bowditch and Samir Carruthers getting in some dangerous positions, while Nicky Maynard fired over from the edge of the area.
However, it was the hosts who hit the front on six minutes when Beckford made the most of some hesitation in the Dons defence and lifted the ball over Cropper.
Shortly afterwards, Paul Huntington saw a shot deflect on to the roof of the net while, at the other end, Joe Walsh connected well with Jake Forster-Caskey’s corner but couldn’t keep his header down.
That signalled the start of a good spell of pressure from the Dons, who almost got it through Bowditch and Carruthers following clever passes from Dean Lewington and Darren Potter respectively.
Cropper ensured the score remained at 1-0 on 32 minutes when he superbly kept out Greg Cunningham’s fierce effort, this coming prior to Potter heading off the line after the Dons were unable to clear.
Having really come into the game, Josh Murphy fired in a cross which just eluded his team-mates before Maynard scuffed an effort into the arms of Anders Lindegaard.
The final action of the half saw Cunningham drag an effort wide of the target when well placed following good work down the left by Paul Gallagher.
Dons had strong penalty appeals waved away at the start of the second period when Bowditch appeared to be pushed at the back post.
The men from MK1 continued to push for a leveller and they were rewarded on 53 minutes when Murphy crossed for Maynard, who fired home from close range.
Revell replaced Maynard with just over 20 minutes remaining and almost made an immediate impact, however he couldn’t quite meet Murphy’s teasing delivery.
Lindegaard came to the Lilywhites’ rescue a minute later, brilliantly denying McFadzean from close range after the centre-back had connected well with Bowditch’s cross.
The Dons were comfortably dealing with the hosts’ offensive threat – Preston’s only real efforts of the second half coming through Daniel Johnson, who fired them both over.
However, the hosts were given a golden opportunity to take the lead when Cropper fouled Eoin Doyle – Cropper was subsequently shown a red card. With the Dons having used all three substitutes, Revell went in goal and, against all the odds, he saved Joe Garner’s penalty. Unbelievable!
There were still time for chances at either end – Callum Robinson fired over for the hosts while Murphy dragged a low effort narrowly past the post.
MK Dons: Cropper, Spence (Baker 77), McFadzean, Walsh, Lewington (c); Potter, Forster-Caskey (Williams 46); Bowditch, Carruthers, Murphy; Maynard (Revell 67).
Unused subs: Burns, Kay, Long, Powell.
Attendance: 10, 457.