Sunderland continued their unbeaten away run but couldn’t get all three points in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Stadium MK.
Charlie Wyke scored the opening goal of the game early on, but the hosts quickly responded with two goals from Joe Mason and Cameron Jerome. Luke O’Nien scored a leveller for the lads midway through the second as the spoils were shared.
Sunderland made their second trip to Stadium MK looking to push forward in the promotion race and edge closer to the top two.
Lee Johnson made several changes from the Papa John’s Trophy game with many regulars coming back into the line-up. There were returns for Charlie Wyke, Grant Leadbitter, Aiden McGeady, Bailey Wright, and a debut for Jake Vokins at left-back.
Sunderland made a dream start with their star man Charlie Wyke on the scoresheet yet again; O’Brien held the ball up well to McGeady who played a lovely ball through to Wyke who slotted it past Andrew Fisher with an assured finish.
Wyke with his 13th league goal of the season has been in imperious form this year and never looked like missing.
MK Dons weren’t behind for long, they had a flurry of chances with Cameron Jerome initially denied by a great save from Burge, but it dropped to Joe Mason who couldn’t miss from close range.
Despite going behind in the first five minutes, the hosts had been the better side and dominated the early possession.
Sunderland found themselves behind, and it had been coming – Matt O’Riley’s effort from range ended up being a pass to Jerome who pounced to prod home.
The Dons had been by far the better team, Sunderland couldn’t keep the ball for longer than two minutes and were incredibly wasteful in possession.
Sunderland’s main threat was through Wyke, who did well to beat the last man, but his effort on the half volley was well saved by Fisher.
The lads should have equalised half an hour into the game - the lads nicked the ball back high up the pitch and Wyke raced towards goal, but with options around him, he was caught in two minds and blazed an effort over the bar.
Unsurprisingly, Sunderland’s main threat was through Wyke. The ball was played up to the big man who did well to beat the last man, but his effort on the half volley was well saved by Fisher.
Sunderland were getting closer and McGeady floated a lovely ball to Max Power who tried to volley It home from 12 yards, but it whistled over the bar.
Despite being poor in the opening 20 minutes, Sunderland had more than enough openings to go into the break level.
The home side had started the better ad almost extended their lead, Scott Fraser found O’Riley through on goal and beat Burge, but Wright was on hand to clear off the line.
Ten minutes into the second half Sunderland levelled, from a short corner McGeady cut inside and his effort dropped to O’Nien who turned well and fired across goal leaving Fisher with no chance.
An hour into the game and the lads were upping the temp and looking for that third goal to get back in front.
Sunderland players were screaming for a penalty as an O’Brien header was blocked by the hand of Dons defender, but the referee waived play on.
It was a finely poised game with both side trying to get a winner, Sunderland came close through a Power cross which just evaded everyone.
Jordan Jones was a threat on the break and almost got a league debut goal as it dropped to him with Fisher out of position, but the keeper did brilliantly to recover and keep the scores level.
With not long left on the clock McGeady was close to getting the winner, the Irishman’s effort on goal was well saved by Fisher who got a strong hand to save it.
With the last kick of the game the lads had a massive chance to win it as McGeady was in on the left-hand side with the goalkeeper to beat, he cut inside and was denied by the Dons keeper.
Full Time: MK Dons 2-2 Sunderland
ALS Man of the Match: Luke O’Nien
Sunderland: Burge; Power, Willis, Wright, Vokins (Sanderson 84’); Gooch (Jones 68’), Leadbitter, O’Nien (Scowen 77’), McGeady; Wyke, O’Brien (Maguire 84’)
Subs Not Used: Matthews, Neil & Diamond