MK Dons were beaten 4-3 by Bury at the Energy Check Stadium at Gigg Lane with the Shakers’ winning goal coming in stoppage time.
Paul Tisdale’s men led 3-1 with 17 minutes left to play courtesy of finishes from Jordan Moore-Taylor and Dean Lewington and an own goal from Chris Stokes.
Bury, though, fought back late to win the contest, with Nicky Adams scoring the decisive goal in the first of three additional minutes.
The result sees MK Dons drop to third in the Sky Bet League Two table, behind the Shakers, who have played two games more.
Boss Tisdale made three changes to the side which beat Cambridge United on New Year’s Day with Jordan Moore-Taylor and Joe Walsh returning to the starting XI alongside Peter Pawlett. They replaced Mathieu Baudry, Conor McGrandles and the departed Rhys Healey.
MK Dons made a fast start, working their way to the edge of the area inside the opening 30 seconds.
They weren’t able to fashion a chance, though, until the second minute when Kieran Agard raced behind the Bury backline and, from a tight angle, forced a save out of Joe Murphy with a low left-footed effort.
A minute later, Alex Gilbey worked his way free down the left but he wasn’t able to pick out a teammate with his cross.
The Shakers then threatened for the first time with Nicky Adams sending in a delivery which Walsh headed away.
Tisdale’s Dons were then dealt a blow as George Williams was forced off with an injury just five minutes in - he was replaced by McGrandles.
Bury attacked down the right shorty after the re-start through Chris Stokes, whose low ball was dealt with by Lee Nicholls at the feet of Dominic Telford.
The Dons countered and forced Stokes into a corner from which they took the lead. Jordan Houghton delivered the cross and Moore-Taylor, on his first start since returning from injury, climbed well to head home his first goal for the Club. 0-1.
Telford almost produced an instant response for the home side but he dragged his 20-yard drive just wide of Nicholls’ left-hand upright.
Bury were, though, handed a chance to equalise on 11 minutes when Telford was brought down inside the box. Referee Peter Banks awarded a penalty and Jay O’Shea stepped up to take it but the former Don was denied from 12-yards by a brilliant diving same from Nicholls.
O’Shea had an opportunity to make amends from the resulting corner but blazed over from 15 yards out.
The Shakers were almost made to pay for those two misses on 21 minutes when Dons raced forward courtesy of a terrific forward pass from Aneke. It led to a chance for Pawlett but his effort was palmed away by Murphy who, eventually, managed to grab the loose ball.
Bury went close again midway through the first half when Telford flashed a shot just wide from the right corner of the six-yard box. Danny Mayor also skimmed the upright with a low right-footed drive from the edge of the area.
On the half-hour mark, Agard got a crucial touch to O’Shea’s attempt which sent it over the crossbar.
The Shakers were then awarded a second penalty after Neil Danns went down inside the area - although this one was far more dubious. O’Shea stepped up again and this time he wasn’t to be denied, opting for the opposite corner to level the scores. 1-1.
Lewington was booked for his reaction to the referee’s decision but his on-field response was much better. Straight from the re-start, Agard was brought down on the edge of the area for a free-kick and the captain stepped up to fire into the top left-hand corner - his first goal of the season. 1-2.
Tisdale’s side almost doubled their advantage with three minutes remaining in the half but, from another set-piece, Agard headed wide. Instead, they headed into the break with their one-goal lead.
MK Dons started the second half intent on extending their margin and Aneke went close five minutes in with a looping header from Houghton’s corner which landed on the top of the crossbar. Aneke tried his luck again moments later but blazed high and wide.
It was, though, third-time lucky for the Dons, as with their third attempt of the half they made 3-1. Pawlett did brilliantly in the middle of the park to start the attack and find Lewington out on the left. The skipper sent in a cross and it was inadvertently turned home by Shakers full-back Stokes.
After riding out a brief storm from the hosts, Gilbey almost added a fourth for the Dons with a fierce right-footed drive which Murphy palmed wide. From the resulting corner, Cargill saw a strike deflect just over the crossbar while Gilbey, later, sent one over too.
Bury responded with O’Shea having an effort blocked behind for a corner which the Dons somehow survived. The Dons defence was put under more pressure as the game moved into it’s final half an hour but Tisdale’s men were standing up to the test - not allowing their hosts any clear sight of goal.
On 69 minutes, Mayor stuck the side netting moments before Tisdale made his second substitution of the game - Lawson D’Ath coming on in place of Pawlett.
D’Ath was part of a trio of Dons players bursting through on goal in the 72nd minute but it was Aneke who went for goal - curling a right-footed shot the wrong side of the post. The three were at it again shortly after but Agard’s cross was too high for his teammates.
Tisdale’s men were made to rue those chances as Bury went straight on the attack and reduced the deficit through Telford - a great solo goal from the Shakers striker. 2-3.
The home side’s tails were up and substitute Eoghan O’Connell sent a long-range effort over the bar with a quarter of an hour left to play. Nicholls then got down to gather a low drive from Adams.
Bury, though, found a way through again on 77 minutes through Mayor, who created space for a shot in the area and drilled a low effort through the crowd. 3-3.
With it all to play for once again, Nicholls produced a save to keep out Adams before O’Shea fired over. At the other end, Gilbey earned MK Dons a free-kick from which Gilbey had a low drive deflect over the bar.
Nicky Maynard missed a glorious opportunity to put his team in front with four minutes to play before Tisdale brought on Osman Sow with his final roll of the dice.
In the final minute of regulation time, Mayor shot wide before his fellow midfielder Adams won the tie with a curling effort in the first of three additional minutes. 4-3.
Starting XI: Nicholls; Walsh, Moore-Taylor, Cargill; Williams (McGrandles 6), Houghton, Gilbey, Lewington (c); Agard (Sow 87), Aneke, Pawlett (D’Ath 69).
Unused subs: Moore, Baudry, Watson, Simpson.
Goals: Moore-Taylor (8), Lewington (34), Stokes O.G. (52)
Booked: Lewington, Pawlett, Houghton
Referee: P Banks
Attendance: 4,072 (259 away)