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Saturday 24 September 2011
Npower League 2

Bradford City    1 - 2    AFC Wimbledon
Michael Flynn (26)
  (31) Jack Midson
(57) Christian Jolley
 Matt Duke 1 Seb Brown 
 Michael Flynn 2 Samuel Hatton ( 66) 
 Luke Oliver 3 Gareth Gwillim 
 Richie Jones 4 Sammy Moore 
 James Hanson 5 Jamie Stuart 
(sub 59)  Chris Mitchell 6 Callum McNaughton 
 Liam Moore 7 Lee Minshull 
 Robbie Threlfall 8 Rashid Yussuff 
 Kyel Reid 9 Jack Midson 
(sub 81)  Jamie Devitt 10 Luke Moore (sub 82) 
 Andrew Davies 11 Christian Jolley 
 Luke O'Brien 12 Brett Johnson 
 Callum Tongue 13 Jack Turner 
 Guy Branston 14 Brendan Kiernan (sub 82) 
(sub 81)  Ross Hannah 15 Max Porter 
(sub 59)  Craig Fagan 16 James Mulley 

Match report

They say that confidence is at least half the battle in sport and today's fine win at Bradford City was achieved by a team that is beginning to look as if it enjoying life in League 2, against a team which looked desperately short of confidence after an unexpectedly poor start to the season.

With Kieran Djilalli suffering from a hamstring strain and Ricky Wellard having had only light training in the week, manager Terry Brown brought Rashid 'Toks' Yussuf into the starting line-up and recalled Luke Moore from the bench.

The game nearly started with a bizarre goal. Seb Brown came out of his penalty area for a long through ball, only to see his headed clearance rebound off the advancing James Hanson and drift tantalisingly towards the goal, before hitting the post and running off for a goal kick.

The next twenty minutes were even, with neither side creating much in the way of chances, other than some long range shots from Bradford and a Sam Hatton free kick that was pushed away fairly comfortably by the Bantams' Matt Duke, diving low to his right.

But then a moment's hesitation by Callum McNaughton let the ball bounce in the penalty area. His follow up header was weak and when trying to recover he clipped Jamie Devitt to give away a soft penalty. Michael Flynn sent Brown the wrong way and the Dons were 1-0 down.

Unfazed, they pushed forward and equalised when Luke Moore drifted out to the left touchline, chipped in a neat cross and Chritian Jolley laid the ball off with a gentle nod of his head into Jack Midson's path. Midson rammed the ball home in the only part of the goal open to him - by the near post - and the Dons were deservedly level.

The teams left the pitch at half time with Wimbledon looking the more comfortable. The second half continued much as the first one had done. Players were slipping over near the touchline closest to the dugouts - apparently caused by a recently watered pitch that was hard underneath - and one such slip almost let Bradford in, but Stuart's positioning and calm control saved the day.

With Wimbledon gradually taking control in midfield and winning almost every second ball the Dons finally took the lead when Toks slipped the ball to Jolley who had taken up a position just outside the Bradford area. Jolley, for once with the ball at his feet and facing the opposing goal, hit what is becoming his trademark curling shot around the 'keeper and safely into the net.

From that moment on the Dons never really looked like conceding an equaliser, with Sammy Moore dominating midfield and Gareth Gwillim rock solid in defence. In fact, with slightly better weight on the last pass, they might have put the game beyond reach when breaking quickly from defence. While Brown was forced to make a couple of saves, neither was a real stretch for him.

All that was left was for Brendan Kiernan to make a cameo appearance, which he did with aplomb, laying on a chance for Jolley whose shot was deflected wide for a corner.

So, these three points see the Dons slip quietly into a play-off place, perhaps slightly flattering the performances for the season so far. But success breeds confidence and Terry Brown's team will be able to put it to the test against Gillingham next Saturday, with ex-Don Danny Kedwell finally finding his shooting boots, before travelling to top-placed Morecambe in two weeks' time. Those games will be an interesting test of how well the team has settled into the league and their new-found confidence.

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