Match Report: Bradford catch cold in final warm-up for Wembley

AFC Wimbledon 2 Bradford City 1

Jack Pitt-Brooke
Sunday 17 February 2013 01:00
Comments

The only consolation for Bradford City is that Swansea City will play on the floor. In their last game before next Sunday's Capital One Cup final, Bradford were beaten by the aerial assault of the team at the bottom of the League.

Bradford were 1-0 up with seven minutes to go and anticipating the perfect preparation for Sunday. But Wimbledon's high-ball approach, fiercer and faster as the game went on, eventually told and won them this League Two game.

The football, as with the pitch and so much else, was almost as different as possible from what Bradford will find at Wembley. On the patchy, sandy turf at the Cherry Red Records Fans' Stadium, the visiting side played commendably well. But the glistening pitch, 90,000 fans and the futuristic keep-ball of Michael Laudrup's side were some way away.

As well as the thrill of the occasion, the Bradford manager, Phil Parkinson, is rather looking forward to a better platform on which to play football. "Obviously the pitch was poor today for both teams and Wimbledon concentrated on set-plays," Parkinson said. "I thought we played some good stuff on a very difficult surface. Apparently they hadn't had any equipment to do any maintenance work on the pitch."

The first half had almost nothing to commend it, a cold scrap between Bradford's scurrying approach and Wimbledon's long balls. But as the game went on, Bradford's Gary Jones, the best player on the pitch, started to impose himself, while Kyel Reid was a constant threat outside him.

City were on top and took the lead when Gary Thompson volleyed in from Alan Bennett's soft back-header – a gift Chico Flores and Ashley Williams will not provide.

That should have been that. Bradford had chances to go 2-0 up, but Wimbledon equalised when Jack Midson bundled in from a long ball into the area. Then, in the third minute of added time, Gary Alexander header in Toby Ajala's corner.

Bradford should have won, but Parkinson would not blame cup distraction. "I don't think that showed," he said. "I think we were excellent all round, I couldn't fault the lads."

The frustration was obvious but it will not last for long. "We've got a great week ahead of us. The lads deserve it, they've worked exceptionally hard to get to this stage. It's obviously on your mind. Everyone is talking about it. It's going to be a great day for the city of Bradford and we're going to enjoy it."

AFC Wimbledon (4-1-4-1): Sullivan; Mitchell-King (Balkestein, 64), Meades, Bennett, Hussey; Sweeney; Ajala, S Moore (Midson, 60), Pell, Yussuff (Sainte-Luce, 64); Alexander.

Bradford (4-4-1-1): Duke; Darby, Nelson, Davies, Dickson; Atkinson, Jones, Doyle, Reid (Wells, 85); Gray (Hanson, 65); Thompson.

Referee Steve Bratt.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in