Both sides had shouts for second half penalties and Stuart Beavon went close twice, but neither side could break the deadlock in front of the home fans.
The first half was a scrappy affair with neither side able to really test the opposition keeper, with set pieces the major threat for both teams.
Akpo Sodje, starting his first game for five weeks, slashed Jeffrey Monakana’s cross over the bar in the third minute and then later fired a bouncing ball well over the cross bar; trying to break the deadlock.
The best chance created by the Lilywhites in the first period came from Stuart Beavon – a man who had scored three goals against MK Dons the previous season. Scott Laird put in a good ball from the left and the North End No.29 cleverly flicked the ball goalwards, but Dons keeper David Martin was well positioned to claim at the front post.
The Lilywhites had a strong shout for a penalty in the 24th minute as a clever through ball from Keith Keane was run onto by John Welsh, skippering the side in a League match for the first time. Mathias Doumbe appeared to bundle Welsh over from behind, but North End’s 16 game run without a penalty in 2012/13 continued.
As the shouts were still dying down, the best chance of the first half was taking place at the other end. Alan Smith was threaded through by Chadwick and the former England and Manchester United forward found himself one-on-one with Thorsten Stuckmann, but the big German got down to brilliantly deny the visiting striker.
With ten minutes of the half left the manager made an early change, replacing the already cautioned Paul Huntington with Chris Robertson – who was making his first league appearance of the season.
Two minutes before the interval the home side had a good opportunity with a well worked free kick. It was 30 yards out in a left hand channel and the ball was played to Scott Laird who crossed deep towards Akpo Sodje, but Doumbe was able to get a head in at the vital moment to deny the whites.
Club captain John Mousinho replaced Will Hayhurst at the interval, also taking the armband.
On 56 minutes the first gilt-edged chance of the half came the way of the Lilywhites as first Keane and then Monakana broke with pace and purpoise down the right, before the No.17 pulled the ball back from the touchline for Stuart Beavon who fired across the goal, beating Martin, but also beating the left hand upright.
North End were then in the asdendency and Monakana was delivering good balls into the box; and on 63 minutes Martin was nowehere near a drilled effort that Doumbe had to hoof from under the bar.
A minute later and Bailey Wright headed a Chris Robertson header towards goal and with the whole of the Town End and the whole PNE squad screaming for handball on the line the referee, Craig Pawson, waved 'play on'.
Bailey Wright cut out a Dons break on 69 minutes to give the visitors a corner and another swiftly followed with the centre half Williams whipping over the balls but it was North End who broke from the second, resulting in Nicky Wroe firing just over the bar from 25 yards.
The visitors felt they should have had a penalty with five minutes to go when McDonald went down, but the referee awarded a goal kick, rather surprisingly not booking McDonald.
Four minutes were added on with both sides trying to win it. but it remained goalless for the second time at Deepdale this season.
PNE Line-Up: Stuckmann, Keane, Laird, Wroe, Huntington (Robertson, 35), Wright, Monakana, Welsh, Beavon, Sodje (Cummins, 82), Hayhurst (Mousinho, 46). Subs not used: Simonsen, Amoo, Cummins, Procter, King.
MK Dons Line-Up: Martin, Otsemobor, Lewington, Doumbe, Williams, Gleeson, Potter, Bowditch, Smith (Lowe, 64), Chadwick, Allan (McDonald, 64). Subs not used: Chicksen, McLoughlin, O’Shea.
Attendance: 8,327 (177 away)
Referee: Mr Craig Pawson