TOP of the league, unbeaten after seven games, and yet there is still a slight sense of dissatisfaction for all concerned at Wanderers.

The quest for perfection continues for Phil Parkinson, whose side have yet to really flex their muscles in League One despite their lofty position.

This, a third consecutive 1-1 draw, was perhaps the least convincing display of them all. Magnificent for half an hour and ahead via Mark Beevers' first goal for the club, the remaining two-thirds of the game was fragmented, tired even.

Credit perhaps to MK Dons, the first real footballing team Wanderers have come across this term and one who will surely be challenging for the top six positions at the business end.

But after such widespread and relentless optimism towards Parkinson’s first month in charge, this was the first time we could cast a critical eye on his team in a league game and ask for improvement.

The Dons drew themselves level just after half time through Wigan Athletic loanee Ryan Colclough and then should have gone ahead via the penalty spot.

Keiran Agard was denied by a stunning one-handed save from Mark Howard but, in truth, should not have been testing the Wanderers keeper from 12 yards. More on referee Peter Bankes later.

Wanderers find themselves without a plethora of attacking talent right now, and will surely be more convincing in the final third of the pitch with Zach Clough, Max Clayton and Gary Madine on hand.

The Whites manufactured nowhere near as many chances as they did against Southend a week earlier but generally lacked conviction when they did get a sniff of goal.

In possession Wanderers were patchy and defensively, the back four struggled to track the movement of Dons’ wingers Colclough and Dean Bowditch when they stepped inside to play off the clever number 10, Ben Reeves.

Parkinson’s side won’t meet many better exponents of the 4-2-3-1 system, one mastered by Karl Robinson’s side for many years now. Their lack of tactical flexibility did them no favours in the Championship last season and Wanderers may now look at their 4-4-2 diamond and wonder how they can shake things up if necessary.

There seemed no reason to worry when Beevers swept the ball into the net via the underside of the bar just seven minutes in – albeit with Dons boss Robinson claiming there had been a push on his defender, Joe Walsh.

The Dons have made a habit recently of giving teams a two-goal start and David Wheater will wonder how he managed to miss a free header from Jay Spearing’s corner.

Bowditch flashed one low cross towards the far post but otherwise MK found themselves penned in.

James Henry warmed the palms of David Martin with one shot and Howard’s quick throw to find Keshi Anderson on halfway should have seen the pacy youngster get in on goal. It turned out to be a frustrating afternoon for last week’s goalscoring hero and the promising chance, like the half, frittered away.

The Dons had been given enough encouragement before the break but after play restarted, the lack of shape in Wanderers' midfield simply invited pressure.

Howard pushed over a curling shot from Agard, Reeves sent a dipping shot over the bar but Colclough finally brought his side back on level terms with a scrappy angled shot, taken at the second attempt.

Which brings us to Bankes, the Merseyside official who somehow managed to rub both managers up the wrong way with a performance best described as ‘erratic’.

Picking and choosing his moments to clamp down on physicality almost at random, Bankes quickly whipped the Macron up into a frenzy with two strange decisions.

Firstly, the Dons’ penalty, given for a pull by Lewis Buxton on Agard which had very clearly originated six yards outside the penalty box.

Howard’s superb save – one handed, pushing the ball on to the bar – deserves some headlines of its own.

Moments later Wanderers broke down the pitch and Proctor found himself bundled down. No penalty, said Bankes, who could just about get the benefit of doubt at that point.

There was no question, however, that when Proctor was pole-axed in mid-air by Walsh just a few minutes later as he lined up a volley, Bankes should have pointed to the spot.

Parkinson and his assistant Steve Parkin were incandescent. This is turning into a weekly soap opera.

Bankes did get one thing right, booking Samir Carruthers for a pathetic dive near the dugouts under a challenge from Josh Vela. That kind of thing did little to brighten the mood.

Regardless of the injustice, sub Sammy Ameobi should have scored with one of two late chances, one blocked by the legs of keeper Martin and the other by some great covering defending from Paul Downing.

Another replacement, Chris Taylor, angled a shot narrowly wide as things became increasingly scrappy towards the end, Wanderers almost out on their feet after chasing their opponents without reward for most of the second half.

Tom Thorpe came on for his first appearance in a Wanderers shirt to steady the ship in midfield but the lack of attacking options on the bench left Parkinson chasing a winner with just one, increasingly leggy, centre forward on the pitch.

Bankes blew his whistle to signal the end of a most unsatisfactory 90 minutes but with an unbeaten run still intact.

Wanderers have picked up 15 points from their opening seven games, a feat which took them 24 games last season. Perhaps that should be the over-riding thought as fans look towards next weekend’s game at Walsall.