Dominant Dons thrash Bradford to begin Williamson era

MK Dons thrashed Bradford City
MK Dons thrashed Bradford City

An emphatic MK Dons ended their nine match win-less run on Tuesday night with a brilliant 4-1 win over Bradford City.

Joe Tomlinson and Jack Payne fired in first-half goals either side of an Alex Gilliead strike against the run of play, while Max Dean and Alex Gilbey fired in second-half goals to earn Mike Williamson his first win in charge of the club.

Williamson made three changes to the side for the visit of Bradford City, with MJ Williams, Mo Eisa and Tommy Smith dropping to the bench, and Jack Tucker, Conor Grant and Ethan Robson coming into the side.

Bantams interim manager Kevin McDonald named himself in the side for Bradford City for the first time since he took over from Mark Hughes in early October.

But it was his former Wolves team-mate Mike Williamson who was the happiest of the two, seeing his first goal as Dons boss after just four minutes when Joe Tomlinson stroked Jack Payne's corner home from the edge of the box.

Tomlinson, who a few weeks ago told the Citizen he wanted to add goals to his game, even convinced the control room his strike a few minutes later had gone in when the goal-music struck up again, only for the wing-back's right-footed effort to come back off the post.

Alex Gilbey also saw a strike well saved by keeper Harry Lewis as the Williamson revolution looked to be hitting the ground running.

Bradford barely had the ball in the opening 16 minutes, but found themselves level when Alex GIlliead picked up a loose ball in the centre of the park, driving to the edge of the area to pick out the bottom corner of Craig MacGilliray's net.

Dons continued to force the issue though, with Tomlinson having another strike turned behind by Lewis, before the man who set him up for his goal then fired one in himself on the half-hour to restore the lead.

And it was one to remember for Payne as he launched a rocket with his right-foot from a free-kick, rolled to him by Tomlinson, into the top corner to make it 2-1.

Max Dean, whose temper was beginning to flare after some rough-house treatment from the Bradford defence, should have made it 3-1 when he was put through one-on-one with Lewis, only to be denied by the keeper, though Gilbey swiped the loose ball wide of the mark when he too should have found the net.

The second-half continued the way the first ended, and but for a lack of clinical finishing, it should have been a lot more comfortable for the home side.

The industrious Dean was beginning to wonder what he had to do to find the back of the net when he hit the bar and then the post in two minutes, before finally converting arguably the hardest chance of them all to make to 3-1 on the hour mark.

The eventual margin of victory was kind to Bradford in the end, with Payne, Robson and substitute Mo Eisa all squandering efforts to extend the lead - Payne's chance in particular should have been converted when he went one-on-one with Lewis, once again denied by the excellent Bradford keeper.

Gilbey would become the third player to hit the post when his header was tipped onto the post by the keeper, but there was nothing Lewis could do when the skipper fired in Dons' fourth at the end to bring an emphatic end to their win-less run.

Referee: Matt Corlett

Attendance: 5,510

MK Dons: MacGillivray, O'Hora, Tucker, Harvie, Tomlinson, Norman, Robson (Devoy 89), Grant (Williams 62), Gilbey, Payne, Dean (Eisa 77)

Subs not used: Kelly, Leko, Tommy Smith, Ilunga

Bradford City: Lewis, Halliday, Ridehalgh, Taylor, Osadebe (Chapman 81), Cook (Tyler Smith 74), Gilliead, Stubbs, Pointon (Tulloch 64), McDonald (Oduour 74), Wilson (Oyegoke 64)

Subs not used: Doyle, Platt

Booked: Taylor, Pointon, Ridehalgh, Stubbs