Four goals in seven minutes midway through the second half led to Wimbledon and Grimsby sharing a 3-3 draw in a Selhurst Park thriller watched by only 1,336 supporters.
Grimsby led 2-0 after 51 minutes and looked to be well in control, but Wimbledon finally got their shooting on song and had Damien Francis to thank for securing them a draw.
Stuart Campbell was Grimsby's main threat, scoring one goal and having a shot deflected in for another, and he had the first attempt less than one-and-a-half minutes into the game but his long-range shot was held by goalkeeper Kelvin Davis.
Patrick Agyemang had a much better chance to open the scoring for Wimbledon five minutes later only to volley wide from a great position, and then he brought the visitors' goalkeeper Danny Coyne into the action by forcing him to clutch a 20-yard strike.
Only two players had tried their luck in the first 18 minutes as Campbell had the next effort, volleying wide before Grimsby defender John McDermott brought a superb save from Davis, who kept hold of his shot from outside the area.
After 25 minutes, Dons midfielder Francis fired over, while his team-mate Peter Hawkins was booked for a foul on Cooke. Francis got on the end of the free-kick but Coyne superbly blocked his close-range shot.
Michael Boulding, on loan from Aston Villa, then put Grimsby ahead in the 36th minute and they quickly got on top, restricting their hosts for the rest of the half to only a weak Neil Shipperley shot which was easily saved by Coyne.
But the goalscorer did not reappear for the second period and neither did team-mate Stacy Coldicott, the duo replaced by Darren Mansaram and Darren Barnard, who was returning from a thigh injury.
Francis continued his personal crusade to get on the scoresheet with a volley which went over and was then also too high with a header from a Hawkins corner.
However, the home side's efforts to get back on terms were undone six minutes into the second period when Campbell's long-range persistence finally paid off, his 30-yard strike deflected past Davis by Trond Andersen.
Francis headed a Joel McAnuff corner wide but just when it looked like it would not be Wimbledon's day, they suddenly drew level with two goals in three minutes.
The first was a bizarre one as Coyne's clearance struck Agyemang flush in the face and the ball spun into the Grimsby net. Then Jermaine Darlington made it 2-2 after 69 minutes when he drilled the ball home with his left foot.
Campbell swiftly restored Grimsby's advantage after Mansaram had cut the ball back for him and he finished first time, but less than 90 seconds later Wimbledon equalised again. Francis broke from midfield and stabbed the ball past Coyne from eight yards.
Shipperley looked the man most likely to hit a winner but despite trying valiantly, he could not find a way through.