MK Dons and Ipswich Town shared the spoils for the second time this season after they played out a goalless draw at Portman Road.
The Dons enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and had chances to take all three points, with Scott Fraser, Matt O’Riley and Andrew Surman all going close.
The draw saw Russell Martin’s men fall to 14th in the Sky Bet League One table, two points adrift of the top half with six games left to play.
MK Dons were forced into three changes with Warren O’Hora, Cameron Jerome and Louis Thompson all ruled out through injury. In came Dean Lewington, Will Grigg and Scott Fraser while Lasse Sorensen, Joe Mason and Jordan Houghton returned to the bench.
The first shot on goal was an ambitious attempt by Armando Dobra, who picked up a headed clearance from Fisher, 30 yards out, but failed in his attempt to find an unguarded net with first-time half-volley.
Andrew Fisher was then called into action to punch clear a corner that swung into his six-yard box. The Dons soon threatened for the first time, with Fraser sending a ball into the box – one which was just out of Grigg’s reach.
Shortly after, Daniel Harvie saw a teasing low delivery of his turned behind by Toto Nsiala, which led to successive corners. From the second, Zak Jules produced a save out of Tomas Holy with an improvised effort from the floor – the defender had lost his footing when jostling for position but still managed to get a shot away.
A free-kick for a foul on O’Riley provided the MK Dons midfielder when a chance on 27 minutes but his left-footed strike was blocked. Martin’s men continued their dominance past the half-hour, with just their final ball letting them down in pursuit of an opening goal.
With five minutes to go in the half, they did work their way deep into the Ipswich penalty area but, after Grigg’s effort was blocked, Fraser fired the loose ball into the side netting.
The pair were involved again, two minutes later, with the latter having another effort on goal. This one appeared to strike the arm of Luke Chambers, inside the area, but referee Tom Nield waved away appeals for a penalty.
Ipswich countered and Dobra went close with a sliding attempt from Gwion Edwards’ low cross. That was the final effort of a goalless first half.
Within 90 seconds of the re-start, the Dons were awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the D following a foul on Grigg - Surman took the set piece and was denied by a terrific diving save from Holy, who was at full stretch to keep the shot out of his bottom right-hand corner.
Martin’s men were then forced into some defending, as Ipswich sent several early crosses into the area. Fisher was forced to collect one of those delivers – a low ball in from Andre Dozzell which he bravely collected inside his six-yard box.
The Dons responded on the hour with O’Riley firing a left-footed shot towards goal, which Holy saved.
Martin then went to his bench for the first time, replacing Harvie with Matthew Sorinola on the left-hand side. Sorinola was involved right away as he picked out O’Riley with an in-swinging cross - the midfielder, though, was twice denied by Holy at the far post.
Ipswich sub Freddie Sears fired wide with a rare effort on goal for the home side on 71 minutes. Before the re-start, the Dons made a double change, as David Kasumu and Charlie Brown replaced McEachran and Grigg.
Sears had another opportunity with 13 minutes to play, after latching onto a ball over the top. He spotted Fisher off his line and went for goal early but, fortunately for the Dons, couldn’t hit the target.
With 85 minutes on the clock, Sorinola delivered for Fraser but his improvised volley was blocked. He had another opening shortly after but was unable to create a shooting chance inside the area.
A brave diving block from Chambers kept a goal-bound O’Riley attempt from troubling Holy inside the final three minutes of the 90. Fraser also had a shot blocked as the game moved into stoppage time.
There were four minutes in total and in the second of those, a Stephen Ward interception prevented O’Riley from converting a teasing Sorinola cross. That was the closest either side came to a late winner, as the Dons were held to first goalless draw since the stalemate with Northampton Town back in November.
MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, Jules, McEachran (Kasumu 71), Darling, Grigg (Brown 71), Fraser, Laird, Surman, O’Riley, Harvie (Sorinola 61).
Subs: Nicholls, Sorensen, Mason, Houghton.
Ipswich Town: Holy, Ward, Chambers, Woolfenden, Edwards (Parrott 69), Bishop (Nydam 62), Downes, Nsiala, Dozzell (Judge 62), Drinan 9Hawkins 88), Dobra (Sears 62).
Subs: Cornell, McGuinness.
Booked: Dobra, Downes
Referee: T Nield