A FRANTIC opening 15 minutes saw Dons ahead, level, and then behind, before they left Leyton Orient with a well earned point on Tuesday night.
Stephen Gleeson’s stunning volley opened the scoring in the sixth minute, but his side were pegged back two minutes later when Scott McGleish capitalised on Dean Lewington’s slip.
Terrell Forbes’ header then put Orient ahead on 14 minutes as Dons looked to cling on to the game as their opponents looked rampant. But substitute Sean O’Hanlon’s header 10 minutes into the second half secured a draw for Dons as they climb above Peterborough into fifth place in League One.
Karl Robinson made just one change to the side that left it late at Dagenham on Saturday, replacing Dan Powell with goal scorer Mark Carrington, while Liverpool loanee David Amoo made the bench.
The possession stats from the first six minutes would indicate that Orient hardly touched the ball - and that was more or less the case - but the following six minutes would tell a completely different story.
The first thing Orient keeper Jamie Jones had to do was pick Gleeson’s magnificent volley out of his net. Collecting Dan Woodards’ throw, the midfielder turned and fired his half volley into the top left-hand corner of the net, giving Jones no chance.
But it took just two minutes for Orient to draw level when Lewington lost his footing on the edge of the area, allowing McGleish time and space to fire into the bottom corner past a helpless David Martin.
Dean Cox hit the post for the hosts, but Orient didn’t have to wait long to take the lead. Dons failed to fully clear a corner and Cox’s cross allowed Forbes to out-jump Adam Chicksen at the far post to head home - all that inside a quarter of an hour.
But after the flurry of action the game settled, with Orient looking the more confident side going forward, while Dons were often restricted to long balls in the hope of finding lone front man Jabo Ibehre.
And it wasn’t until the second minute of stoppage time that Jones was finally called into action again. Gleeson made a weaving run into the area and clipped a deft pass into the box, where Ibehre was just able to get a touch on it and angle the ball goalwards, but Jones was at full stretch to palm it away.
But the visitors were back in it in the 56th minute. Lewington was needlessly brought down on the byline by Jimmy Smith, and Peter Leven’s set-piece to the far post was headed into the bottom corner by half time substitute O’Hanlon.
Dons then came within inches of taking the lead when another Leven free-kick found its target in O’Hanlon, and the defender’s header across goal was just out of Mathias Doumbe’s reach.
At the time stage Dons were surging forwards in numbers at every opportunity. Doumbe again went close with a header with 10 minutes remaining, while Martin at the other end remained relatively scare-free.
Amoo had hardly touched the ball since his introduction, but he so nearly scored the winner with five minutes to play when his lofted cross almost out-foxed Jones, but bounced just in front of the far post and out of play.
But at the final whistle both teams would have been pleased with a point when on another night either side could have scored four or five.
Dons have the weekend off due to FA Cup fixtures and get back to action at Bristol Rovers next Wednesday.