Dons battle to another point on the road as they draw with Lincoln
Rhys Healey nets his 10th of the season as Dons are held to a draw
Two sensational goals, one from Rhys Healey and the other from Liam Bridcutt, ensured a 1-1 draw between MK Dons and Lincoln City on Tuesday night.
Healey's 10th goal of the season, and his fourth in a row, came from a brilliant free kick after just three minutes, but Bridcutt's 25-yarder drew the home side level midway through the opening half.
Jake Hesketh and Tyreece John-Jules should have fired Lincoln into the lead before the break, while Healey and Alex Gilbey had chances to win it for the visitors in the second period.
The draw sees Dons climb to 18th in the table, now about Rochdale.
After finishing the game so strongly on Saturday, Russell Martin opted to start the side which came off against Shrewsbury, making two changes. Regan Poole replaced Callum Brittain, who could not shake off the knock he suffered at Montgomery Waters Meadow, and Conor McGrandles came in as a straight swap for Louis Thompson in midfield. Featuring for Lincoln was former Dons loanee Jake Hesketh.
Rhys Healey's remarkable scoring run had seen him net in his three previous appearances for Dons, and it took him just three minutes to make it four in a row. Winning a free kick on the edge of the box, he bent in a wonderful strike from 25 yards out, leaving keeper Josh Vickers with no chance.
Though the visitors looked good value for their lead, few could argue with the quality of Lincoln's equaliser midway through the first half. A decent passing move afforded Liam Bridcutt space 25 yards out, and his strike sensational as it arrowed into the top corner.
Lincoln should have been ahead five minutes later when a defensive errors from each of the back four allowed Harry Anderson to get a shot away, and though Nicholls got something on it, Tyreece John-Jules let Dons off the hook by missing an open goal, crashing his shot against the bar.
It was a real end-to-end battle as both sides looked really shaky defensively, while finishing too left a lot to be desired. George Williams was nearly left with egg on his face when his awful touch allowed Hesketh a clear sight of goal, but his strike was equally as bad as he fired well off target. Healey too had a sight of goal but bent it over from close range as the sides went in level at the break.
The second half was a far more measured affair for both sides. Lincoln set their stall out early and controlled much of the action, though Dons had the ball in the net early in the half though Healey was adjudged offside.
Both sets of fans were equally as nervous as they watched their side play some edgy passing football out from the back, though unlike the first half, there were far fewer defensive mistakes on show.
Like on Saturday, as the game opened up late in the day, it was Dons who had the better of the chances. Healey forced a terrific save from Vickers from close range as the loose ball bobbled around, but Gilbey should have done better when he raced into the box, but hit the side-netting with his left-footed effort.
One blot on the book for Dons though was Carlton Morris limping off again, though Dons took another point on the road to League One safety, with it moving up to 18th in the table.
Referee: John Busby
Attendance: 7,783 (224)
Lincoln City: Vickers, Bridcutt, Shackell, Bolger, John-Jules, Grant, Morrell (Coventry 62), Eardley, Anderson (Scully 74), Hesketh (Hopper 58), Edun
Subs not used: Andrew, Payne, Chapman, Melbourne
MK Dons: Nicholls, Lewington, Moore-Taylor, Williams, Poole, Houghton, McGrandles (Reeves 74), Gilbey, Healey, Nombe (Thompson 66), Morris (Kasumu 81)
Subs not used: Fisher, Walsh, Cargill, Agard,
Booked: Morrell, Grant, Bridcutt, Edun, Houghton