MK Dons winning streak came to an abrupt end as they were well beaten by lowly Morecambe at the Globe Arena on Tuesday night.
Having won five in a row to get their automatic promotion chances back on track, Dons were 3-0 down by 57 minutes to the side which started the day 20th in the table, thanks to a Richie Bennett double, and an unfortunate own goal from Ouss Cisse.
Substitute Kieran Agard gave Dons an unlikely lifeline with two goals in six minutes to set up a thrilling finale, but Aaron Collin rounded Stuart Moore with four minutes to go to secure the win for the home side.
The result, along with Mansfield's draw with Crawley, mean Dons drop out of the top three on goal difference.
After picking up their fifth win in a row on Saturday against Macclesfield, Paul Tisdale made two changes to the side which started at the Moss Rose for the trip to Morecambe. Top scorer Kieran Agard dropped to the bench, with Jake Hesketh stepping in behind David Wheeler and Chuks Aneke, while an injury to Joe Walsh ruled him out. He was replaced in the backline by Jordan Houghton.
With Storm Gareth seeing wind whipping around the Globe Arena, it played havoc at both ends as neither side looked able to get a read on the conditions. Balls over head-height were being carried by the wind and making it a really stop-start affair with very little flow.
Having struggled in the opening half against Macclesfield three days earlier and falling behind to the League 2 strugglers, it was a repeat when Morecambe took the lead on 19 minutes when Rhys Oates' cross was headed home, almost in slow motion, by Richie Bennett.
Unlike at Macclesfield though, Dons were simply unable to get a foothold in the game, struggling to make passes or get the front three anywhere near involved in the game.
Morecambe meanwhile seemed to at least get more of a read of the wind as they kicked with it, but it would be a huge slice of luck for the home side four minutes before the interval which would double their lead. Zak Mills' cross from the right took a flick off Ouss Cisse's head on the edge of the box and it looped up over Stuart Moore's head to give the home side a two-goal advantage at the break.
Having the wind with them for the second period saw a minor change for Dons' fortunes early in the second period, but at the other end, Morecambe had the wind in their sails and it was not long before they seemingly put the game out of reach. The ball fell kindly for Bennett on the edge of the penalty area, but there was nothing lucky about his strike as it flew past Moore for 3-0 with 57 minutes on the clock.
Paul Tisdale introduced all three strikers he had on his bench in quick succession, and one of them, Kieran Agard, diverted Alex Gilbey's effort past Halstead to pull one back with 21 minutes remaining.
Remarkably though, Dons gave themselves another lifeline six minutes later when Agard got the final touch on a goal-mouth scramble to reduce the arrears to just one.
Bennett could have wrapped up a hat-trick barely two minutes later but saw his header crash against the crossbar with Moore well beaten.
But with four minutes to go, a loose ball from Jordan Houghton allowed Aaron Collins to break clear of the Dons defence, coolly rounding Moore to tap home Morecambe's fourth.
Referee: Ross Joyce
Attendance: 1,460 (160)
Morecambe: Halstead, Mills, Conlan, Kenyon, Old, Bennett, Sutton, Wildig (Fleming 72), Oates (Ellison 62), Mingoia, Collins
Subs not used: Roche, Mandeville, Mendes-Gomes, Brownsword, McKay
MK Dons: Moore, Lewington, Houghton, Martin, Brittain, Cisse (Walker 55), McGrandles, Gilbey, Hesketh (Agard 59), Wheeler (Simpson 68), Aneke
Subs not used: Nicholls, Watson, D'Ath, Harley