MK Dons lost ground in their quest for promotion as they let a 3-1 lead slip at Bury to lose 4-3.
A lively match at Gigg Lane looked to have seen the Dons on the path to 3 points when Dean Lewington and a Chris Stokes own goal either side of the break gave the visitors a 2 goal lead.
Paul Tisdale’s side had earlier seen a Jay O’Shea penalty cancel out Jordan Moore-Taylor’s early opener, with O’Shea missing a penalty in-between the game’s opening two goals.
But a late twist came, as Bury struck three goals in the final 20 minutes to turn the match on its head completely, and ensure they would take the points instead in a clash between the teams who started 2nd and 3rd.
Nicky Adams and former MK Dons striker Nicky Maynard both had claims to the late winner, but whomever got it, the goal ensured that the home side would leapfrog the Dons in the table.
Their gap to the play-offs now one point after Colchester thumped Port Vale, but they will reflect on missing a chance to get clear.
It had earlier taken 9 minutes for the Dons to go ahead, as Moore-Taylor headed in an early corner to give the visitors the lead.
Bury won a penalty when O’Shea was fouled, but Lee Nicholls came up on top in the battle of wits as he saved the former Dons player’s spot-kick.
But O’Shea would then get another chance to score from the spot after Joe Walsh fouled Neil Danns. This time, O’Shea kept his cool, as he beat the keeper.
Both sides had gone close in the intervening period in a very lively game, and there would be a third first half goal as the Dons re-took the lead 3 minutes later. Lewington struck home a fine free-kick to re-establish an away lead.
Kieran Agard missed a chance late in the first half to re-establish a two goal lead, while Chuks Aneke hit the bar early in the second. But the Dons would grab a two goal when Stokes inadvertently turned in Lewington’s cross.
The Dons had chances to extend their lead but after failing to take them, the home side got back into things when Dominic Telford lashed home a second for the hosts.
Two would very quickly become three for the home side, however, as Danny Mayor cut in from the home side’s right and threaded a strike through Nicholls’ legs.
Maynard missed a great chance to win it late on when he fired wide. But the home side would still find a fourth late on, as Adams’ cross beat Nicholls.
There were suggestions Maynard got a touch onto Adams’ ball in, but whomever did get the final touch, it was still a fourth goal for the home side.
There was still time for Baily Cargill to have a late effort cleared off the line, but the Dons ultimately ended a thrilling contest empty handed.