Gary Waddock praised goalscorers Izale McLeod and Brendan Galloway after they helped MK Dons book their place in the Second Round of the FA Cup with Budweiser on Saturday afternoon.
McLeod, on what his first home start of the season, put the Dons in the driving seat against FC Halifax Town with two goals either side of a Shaun Williams penalty before 17-year-old Galloway secured the 4-1 scoreline with his first professional strike in injury time.
The terrific long-range curler from McLeod and the cool finish from Galloway will no doubt be the two talking points from an entertaining afternoon at stadiummk and therefore Waddock was keen to reserve a special mention for the duo when speaking to the media after the game.
The Dons’ Head of Coaching said: “We’re all really pleased for Izale because this season, in the main, has been difficult for him.
“When he’s been coming on he’s been doing everything right, he’s been working hard on the training ground and today he got his reward. The first goal was an excellent strike and for the second one, he was in the right place at the right time.
“Brendan’s been away with England recently and he’s come on today and scored, so he’s had a decent few months. He’s done extremely well and we’re all pleased for him.
“He’s only 17 but if you look at the line-up towards the end; there were seven or eight players there who were under the age of 23. That can only bode well for the Club’s future.”
Although the scoreline may suggest otherwise, FC Halifax Town did make things difficult for the Dons, who didn’t enjoy as comfortable a last 15 minutes as may have hoped for, having been 3-0 up at one-stage.
Waddock, though, was just pleased to see MK Dons’ name go into the hat for tomorrow’s draw. He added: “These are always difficult ties and people expect you to come out and win comfortably but that wasn’t the case.
“You have to give credit to Halifax for the way they went about their performance today. I’m sure they’ll be pleased but the most important thing for us is that we’re in the next round.
“We did want to keep a clean sheet. We got ourselves into a decent position in the game and they’ve scored so from a defensive point of view on our side, we could have done better and that’s not taking anything away from Halifax.”
Today’s result also saw the Dons record back-to-back victories for first time since the beginning of August and with a difficult trip to Oldham Athletic on the horizon, Waddock is hoping the team can build on the last two results and begin their ascent up the Sky Bet League 1 table.
“October was a poor month but that’s gone now and it’s important we look forward. You’re always going to have spells during the season where things aren’t going your way and you don’t get the points you possibly deserve but the quicker you can get out of that little run, the better. Hopefully now we can build on the last two results.”