Wimbledon drag Robson into the mire

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The Independent Football

Wimbledon, relegated from the Nationwide First Division a few matches ago, dragged Bradford City down to the Second Division with them when they beat the Bantams 3-2 at Valley Parade, a rare away win. Bryan Robson's rescue mission had long looked doomed and three Wimbledon goals in the first 50 minutes - Malvin Camara, Gary Smith and Wayne Gray on target - starkly illustrated Bradford's jitters. They pulled two goals back in a three-minute second-half spell through Kevin Sanasy and Danny Cadamarteri, but they needed to win.

"It is obviously disappointing to be relegated," Robson admitted, "but the writing was more or less on the wall when we got beaten against Burnley at home three weeks ago. That was a big blow.

He added: "Things were working well until we went into administration at the end of February and I lost 13 players in four weeks, including my loan signings. I cannot speak about my future until we know what is going to happen on the administration side. I am open-minded, it is down to where the club are going. They have a lot of potential with good support, a good stadium and some decent players."

Other issues confirmed yesterday: Robson's former England international colleague Tony Adams took Wycombe down to the Third Division after a 3-0 home defeat by Swindon Town, and next season they will meet Chester City, managed by another former England centre-back, Mark Wright. Chester returned to the Football League from the Conference after a 1-0 win over Scarborough.

Elsewhere in the First Division, Crystal Palace and Wigan Athletic, both chasing a play-off place, drew 1-1 at Selhurst Park. The Latics led in first-half injury time when Nathan Ellington's shot took a big deflection and looped into the Palace net. But Danny Granville equalised and there was worse news for Wigan when their pair of Jasons, Roberts and Jarrett, were sent off in separate injury-time incidents.

West Ham United's dreams of a prompt return to the Premiership flickered back into life after a 2-0 home win over Coventry City, a Bobby Zamora shot and a David Connolly penalty earning the points. The Hammers moved up to sixth because Sheffield United lost 1-0 at home to Stoke and slipped to eighth.

A little over a month away from their FA Cup final date with Manchester United, Millwall showed their determination to book another couple of meetings with Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the Premiership next season in a 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest. The Lions, who have a game in hand on most of the sides in the play-off race, went ahead through David Livermore, but Andy Reid's solo run and shot got Forest level and his pass set up David Johnson to make it 2-1. Before that an off-the-ball incident had seen Millwall's Danny Dichio and Wes Morgan of Forest sent off. Six minutes from time, substitute Nick Chadwick equalised to earn a point for Millwall. "It's understandable the Cup Final is in the back of their minds," Ray Wilkins, the Lions assistant manager, said, "but it should be a springboard from which we can fly into the play-offs."

Reading were also grounded, held 1-1 at home by Crewe, and are three points off the play-offs with three matches left.

Back in the relegation battle, Derby County raced out of the bottom three when they thrashed visitors Preston North End 5-1, while Watford and Rotherham United edged closer to safety after their 1-1 draw at Millmoor, but Burnley lost 2-0 at Cardiff City.