Fleetwood Town 1 MK Dons 1: Late goal pegs back Simon Grayson's players
Ged Garner’s third goal of the season wasn’t enough to give Fleetwood Town victory as they were pegged back late on by MK Dons at Highbury.
Garner had bagged a beauty just past the hour mark but substitute Charlie Brown evened it up for the visitors with just seven minutes left.
Town boss Simon Grayson had made a couple of changes from the side beaten at Burton Albion in midweek.
Midfielder Callum Camps was out after dislocating a shoulder at Burton, while striker Kyle Vassell was handed a breather.
Up stepped Wes Burns, after impressing as a substitute on Tuesday, along with Garner.
The visitors went into the game with an outside chance of sneaking into the play-offs but the woodwork saved them in the eighth minute.
Danny Andrew curled in a corner and Burns headed against the post with keeper Andy Fisher well beaten.
At the other end, Will Grigg – who bagged four against Swindon Town seven days earlier – pounced on a loose ball before drilling an angled effort inches wide.
Town saw a goal disallowed when Garner had strayed marginally offside before the Dons threatened again through Matthew Sorinola.
The midfielder comfortably got the better of Janoi Donacien before seeing a 20-yard strike well saved by Alex Cairns.
The final quarter-hour before half-time saw Town on top and, seconds before the break, Andrew’s curling free-kick was well saved by Fisher.
The Dons created the first opening of the second period after Harry Darling’s mazy run ended with him being tripped just outside the Town area.
He climbed off the ground and fired the free-kick into the wall, though there were vociferous appeals for handball which were turned down by referee Stephen Martin.
Scott Fraser shot straight at Cairns as the visitors continued to press, so it was slightly against the run of play when Town broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute.
Garner provided a smart curling finish from 15 yards, firing in off the post after a touch through from Barrie McKay.
Clearly buoyed by their goal, Town almost struck again within minutes as Sam Finley’s crisp strike rose just over the crossbar.
With their play-off hopes now well and truly over, the Dons probed for an equaliser.
It arrived in the 83rd minute when Brown mopped up a rebound after Cairns could only parry Sorinola’s initial strike from 12 yards.
Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Donacien, Connolly, Hill, Andrew, Finley (Vassell 87), Rossiter, Biggins, Burns, Garner (J Morris 87), McKay (Whelan 87). Subs not used: Coleman, Sheron, Baggley, Feeney.
MK Dons: Fisher, Lewington, Darling, Jules, McEachran (Brown 68), Surman (Houghton 68), Kasumu (Thompson 46), O’Riley (Sorenson 36), Sorinola, Fraser, Grigg (Bird 83). Subs not used: Nicholls, Laird.
Referee: Stephen Martin.
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