Widnes slumped to their ninth defeat in 10 games as they were soundly beaten 31-6 by Bradford.
An end-to-end first half saw the Bulls take the lead through Jordan Baldwinson’s try, the former York forward crashing over from close range to make the most of some weak marker tackling.
Dec Patton converted for 6-0 and it looked like it would remain that way until Steve Tyrer’s loose offload gifted possession to Samy Kibula and he found pacey winger Ryan Millar with an offload to make it 12-0 at the break.
The game still seemed there for the taking for the Vikings, but a poor start to the second half saw them fall further behind as Kieran Gill touched down.
Widnes did at least respond with a dubious try in the corner from Tyrer, but continued to look patchy and disjointed in attack.
Bradford’s sliding defence had no trouble in keeping Widnes out, even though they did need to bundle Jake Spedding and Ryan Ince in to touch on occasion.
A penalty for a high tackle, initially not seen by the referee, gifted Bradford the opportunity to go 20-6 ahead and virtually end the game as a contest on the hour mark.
Widnes, as they often have done in recent seasons, appeared to wave the white flag from this point and Bradford punished them with two quickfire tries.
First Millar got up superbly in the air to pull in Jordan Lilley’s kick after Danny Craven had conceded a penalty from the kick-off, and then Joe Burton slid in at the corner on the far side.
There was even time for a cheeky late drop goal for Bulls’ interchange hooker George Flanagan to round off the scoring.
It was Bradford’s third win in four since sacking John Kear, while Widnes have just one win since winning their first four back in February.
It was the first time Bradford had won at Widnes since 2012.
The Vikings, still coachless, now travel to Barrow – who were narrowly beaten 30-28 by Leigh on Thursday.
At the half-way point of the season, Widnes’ play-off hopes look virtually dead buried.
They sit five points behind Barrow, and it’s only that flurry of wins at the start of the year that keeps them ahead of the relegation battle between the bottom four.
The attendance, which has not normally been announced post-COVID, against Bradford was 3,258 which included a sizeable following from Yorkshire.
With seven home games left and not much inspiration coming from the field, it remains to be seen if crowds can be kept up for the rest of 2022.
Widnes team: Lyons, Ince, Tyrer, Spedding, Edge, Craven, Smith, Baker, Fozard, Doro, Wilde, Davies, Brown. Subs: Bent, Field, Farnworth, Lawton.