By Martin Atherton
MK Dons recorded their first three points of the season after comfortably sweeping aside a disjointed Gillingham outfit at Stadium MK.
Cameron Jerome and Carlton Morris were both on target for the hosts, the former of which netting on his full debut for the club.
The Dons were forced to weather an early Gills storm in the opening exchanges of the game, Vadaine Oliver finding himself through on goal for the away side’s clearest chance – the former Cobblers man, however, shooting wide of Nicholls’ goal under pressure from Richard Keogh in a position from which he should have scored.
After seeing out the opening 20 minutes safely the Dons then poked themselves in front for the first time this league campaign, Regan Poole cutting a cross back onto which Cameron Jerome would latch, netting his first in MK colours and giving his side a crucial lead. 1-0.
The hosts then slowly grow ever more into the game and began to dictate the rhythm of play. Both David Kasumu and Scott Fraser shone in the centre of the park, the latter causing havoc with his exceptional passing range and showing exactly why his signature had been chased all summer.
The tide so nearly turned, however, when Lewington clearly upended Dominic Samuel in the box – but this seemingly meant nothing to referee Neil Hair, who instead gave a free kick in the Dons’ favour for handball after the Gills forward had picked it up. HT 1-0.
The Dons upped their game even further moving into the second half and immediately made their opposition pay for a slow start, some neat play on the right-hand side leading to Louis Thompson slipping in Morris (Main Photo) to coolly slot past Bonham and double his side’s advantage. 2-0.
Much of the same Dons dominance continued there on in, Fraser and Kasumu continuing to mop up the midfield and supply their forwards with a host of chances. Keogh expertly marshalled Oliver at the back, nullifying the Gills’ forward outlet and limiting Steve Evans’ side to a just handful of real chances.
Joe Mason, introduced for Jerome, nearly had the chance to add a third late on but aimed his effort directly at Bonham. Fraser also went close for an MK side ever growing in confidence but saw his effort shoot narrowly wide of the post.
Thankfully, this week the Dons were left not to rue their missed chances, however, as Russ Martin’s side strolled to an excellent victory to lift them off of the foot of the table. FT 2-0.
MK Dons: Nicholls, Poole, Williams, Keogh, Lewington, Harvie, Kasumu, Fraser (Houghton 78′), Thompson (Gladwin 82′), Morris, Jerome (Mason 69′).
Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Tucker, Medley, Ogilvie; Drysdale (Akinde 49′), Robertson (Eccles 67′), Dempsey; Samuel (Coyle 67′), Oliver, Graham.
MOTM – David Kasumu.