Read Rosie Swarbrick's verdict on Fleetwood Town 1 MK Dons 1

Hunter celebrates his goal with McAleny
Hunter celebrates his goal with McAleny
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Town began a new era – the John Sheridan era – and it seems the ‘Shezurrection’ is something tangible rather than just a play on words after all.

Conceding goals has become familiar to the home faithful and, after going behind to Robbie Muirhead’s strike, that could have knocked the stuffing out of a side on a eight-match losing run.

John Sheridan salutes the fans on his first game as Fleetwood boss

John Sheridan salutes the fans on his first game as Fleetwood boss

Instead they rallied back as Sheridan was able to make use of attacking trio Ash Hunter, Conor McAleny and Paddy Madden.

With that plethora of talent Town found a way back as McAleny’s effort cannoned back to Hunter and he did the rest, sublimely curling the ball home on 54 minutes.

But for the form of MK Dons keeper Lee Nicholls, Sheridan would have been starting his new role with a win.

With the Dons still five points below them, this draw, which moved Town a point above the drop zone was a much needed tonic.

It was as if Sheridan arrived at Highbury, put his arm around Hunter and told him he would keep Town up.

Gone are the booming instructions from the touchline to press and defend from the front; Sheridan, who has often been on the receiving end of Hunter’s talents, has given the forward a licence to attack.

The shackles were off and you could tell that with his goal.

Yes at times he can be selfish but when you can finish like that, who can blame him?

It was just a shame that McAleny did not join him on the scoresheet.

He had an abundance of chances, hitting the woodwork, but despite being unable to convert them thanks to Nicholls’ performance, he looked like the man who arrived at Town as the new goal king.

An ankle injury has blighted his time at Town but under Sheridan McAleny played his first full 90 minutes in the league for Fleetwood.

That was a big achievement for the injury-prone forward for whom the chances are coming – and it is only a matter of time before the goals flow.

That strike in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to Portsmouth has certainly boosted his confidence and, like Hunter, he has been given a renewed attacking freedom by Sheridan.

Now we come to an enigma in Town’s side, namely Toumani Diagouraga.

I could sit here and write a flowery essay as to why it has not clicked but for me the reason the man who helped reignite Plymouth Argyle before his January move north has not rekindled his sparkling form is a simple one.

He did not sign up for a relegation battle and just looked like he did not want to be on that pitch despite being talented and experienced.

In contrast, a man like Markus Schwabl may not have Diagouraga’s technical brilliance or height but certainly makes up for that in effort.

In a relegation battle you need commitment, desire and everyone pulling in the right direction.

Has Diagouraga showed that in his short stint thus far? No; but Sheridan made a statement with his substitutions and sent him for an early bath to give Harrison Biggins, a youngster with an abundance of talent, another chance to shine.

He fared well but despite his youthful exuberance he still has a lot to learn such as the loose pass at the death that nearly sparked an MK counter.

The one standout in the early post-Rosler era has been Joe Maguire, a kid dumped to the side by the German even though Kevin O’Connor, who once again was omitted from the squad, seemed to be incredibly out of his depth.

He looks like he has been playing in this team all term and while he is no Amari’i Bell he has single-handedly steadied that left flank.

Not bad for a kid deemed not good enough to make the step by Sheridan’s predecessor.

Aside from the performance and the end to Town’s losing run it was all about Sheridan.

And he has made a difference, even in a short few days.

It was a brave appointment by Andy Pilley; it might not be a glamourous appointment but, with Sheridan’s no-nonsense approach, Town have enough in their collective locker to avoid finishing in the bottom four.

He made the tough decisions, looked at his squad and played to their strengths.

It is also a simple approach and one could argue that, perhaps, the downfall thus far this season has been overcoaching.

Now, they go out with one message – score more than the opposition – while the defenders defend and the attackers attack.

Back to basics and back to not losing it seems.

But that is not to gloss over everything as the defensive frailties are still there.

Town once again conceded from outside the box as Muirhead curled a shot past Alex Cairns in the 20th minute to give the visitors the lead.

Those defensive issues do not suddenly disappear overnight and the Dons had some late counter-attacking opportunities that they could not capitalise upon.

Although only one goal arrived for Town, the chances and the calibre of them show that they will flow.

While there seems to be little less impending doom and gloom, however, MK Dons were not world beaters.

Instead, everyone connected with Town will truly get to see this team asked some real questions when they make the trip to Oxford United on Saturday.

For the moment though, there has been an end to Town’s extended losing run and a point for the new manager.

It might not have been a win but, for the first time in a long while, the Cod Army saw their men’s effort rewarded.