A BATTLING second-half turnaround saw AFC Wimbledon snatch a priceless point in their fight for survival against League Two champions Gillingham.
First-half strikes from Deon Burton and former Dons hero Danny Kedwell left Wimbledon with it all to do against the league leaders.
But Neal Ardley's half-time team-talk worked wonders as a revitalised Dons struck twice in a dramatic second-half to give them hope of beating the drop in the final game next weekend.
Ardley took something of a gamble by thrusting Jason Prior straight into the starting line-up following the expiry of his loan spell at Dartford.
Prior has endured a frustrating time at Kingsmeadow since his arrival from non-league Bognor Regis but his inclusion was the only change to the side that drew with Exeter last time out.
Chris Whelpdale was first to try his luck for the home side as he followed up with a fierce low drive after his initial long throw had been met by the head of Alan Bennett.
And It took the Gills a little over 10 minutes to open the scoring at a packed Priestfield as another headed Dons clearance fell straight to the feet of a waiting Burton who lashed it home.
Gillingham were sensational in the opening stages and soon doubled their lead as Andy Frampton ran riot down the left, passing to Whelpdale, whose cross was met brilliantly by Kedwell.
It was one-way traffic and Wimbledon nearly conceded a third on the half-hour as Charlie Allen scraped the outside of John Sullivan's post with a vicious right-footed drive.
Wimbledon failed to warm Stuart Nelson's gloves at the other end, Harry Pell's blocked shot the closest the away side came in a miserable first 45 minutes for Ardley's men.
The Kingsmeadow chief resisted making changes at the interval and two minutes after the restart the Dons had their first real shot on goal as Luke Moore blazed wide from distance.
Wimbledon showed more attacking intent in the opening five minutes of the second-half than they did in the entirety of the first, Chris Hussey next to have a pop from the edge of the area.
Myles Weston, who replaced the sensational Whelpdale shortly after the restart, then rattled the bar with a fine effort as the hour mark approached in Kent.
Ardley made a double change. Mitchel-King, who had a torrid afternoon at right-back, was replaced by Curtis Osano and Prior, who had a quiet afternoon, was swapped for Charlie Strutton.
And Strutton was involved as the Dons grabbed a lifeline, hooking back a deep Meades cross and Midson was lurking in the six-yard box to stab home with an outstretched boot.
All of a sudden Gillingham were rattled and on-loan Crawley Town striker Gary Alexander entered the fray for one last push from the visitors, who for so long had failed to shine.
Within moments it was 2-2 as the Dons completed the turnaround.
Midson created space for himself on the edge of the six-yard box and squared for Jonathan Meades, who had been increasingly influential, and the Welshman swept home the equaliser.
Alexander came agonisingly close to winning it for Wimbledon, however his ferocious half-volley cannoned off the post.
DONS: Sullivan, Balkestein, Mitchel-King (Osano), Bennett, Meades, Hussey, Midson, S Moore (Alexander), L Moore, Pell, Prior (Strutton).
Subs (not used): Jaimez-Ruiz, Antwi, Long, Sainte-Luce.
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