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Saturday 03 December 2011
FA Cup

Bradford City    3 - 1    AFC Wimbledon
Ross Hannah (09)
(og) Chris Bush (14)
Craig Fagan (70)
  (50) Jack Midson
 Jon McLaughlin 1 Seb Brown 
 Simon Ramsden 2 Samuel Hatton (sub 76) 
( 86)  Michael Flynn 3 Chris Bush 
 Luke Oliver 4 Sammy Moore 
(sub 60)  James Hanson 5 Brett Johnson 
 Ross Hannah 6 Jamie Stuart 
( 90)  Ricky Ravenhill 7 Ricky Wellard 
(sub 78)  Kyel Reid 8 James Mulley ( 33) 
 Marcel Seip 9 Jack Midson 
 Andrew Davies 10 Christian Jolley (sub 67) 
(sub 90)  Craig Fagan 11 Luke Moore (sub 83) 
 Luke O'Brien 12 Gareth Gwillim 
 Matt Duke 13 Jack Turner 
(sub 78)  Jack Compton 14 Max Porter 
(sub 90)  Luke Dean 15 Charles Ademeno (sub 67) 
(sub 60)  Nahki Wells 16 Lee Minshull (sub 76) 
 Liam Moore 17 Brendan Kiernan (sub 83) 
 Jamie Devitt 18 Rashid Yussuff 

Match report

AFC Wimbledon made the five-hour trip to Bradford for the second time this season. No doubt they headed north with great expectations of gaining a place in the Third Round of the FA Cup but they were unceremoniously dumped out of the competition by a side containing Oliver and Fagan.

Dickensian puns aside, this was one of Terry Brown抯 darkest days as AFC Wimbledon manager. The Dons threw away a fantastic chance of progressing with a dismal first-half display in which they were fortunate to go in at the break trailing only by two horribly soft goals.

A quiet opening provided no clue of what was to come, but after six minutes the visitors committed their first collective cardinal sin. Former Hull striker Craig Fagan抯 cross from the right was nodded on by James Hanson; the ball fell to Ross Hannah, completely unmarked in the six-yard box and looking suspiciously offside, and the former Matlock man bundled the ball past Seb Brown. Offside or not, Hannah should not have been all alone that close to goal. From that moment on, the Dons faced an uphill struggle that would prove to be far too steep.

Nine minutes later, in which time Wimbledon had done precious little other than surrender possession far too easily time and time again, City found themselves two up. Ricky Ravenhill burst between Sammy Moore and Jamie Stuart on the edge of the penalty area, and as Brown came out to narrow the angle, the midfielder on loan from Notts County dinked the ball over him. The shot looked to be going wide of the far post, but the retreating Chris Bush, in attempting to flick the ball clear, somehow managed to toe it over his right shoulder and into the back of the net for his second bizarre own-goal of the season.

Within two minutes Jack Midson fashioned a golden opportunity for Luke Moore to pull a goal back, but after Midson had beaten two defenders on the edge of the box and finding his team-mate with a cute pass, Moore dragged his shot wide from just six yards. A 25-yard dipping volley by the same player on the half-hour mark and a rasping first-time drive from Midson from similar distance represented the only other attempts the Dons had on City抯 goal in the entire half.

Bradford, on the other hand, looked dangerous every time wide men Fagan and former West Ham winger Kyel Reid had the ball at their feet, both men realising that they had the beating of full-backs Hatton and Bush. That City failed to add to their lead before half-time was a testament, more than anything else, to Seb Brown抯 ability to punch and palm clear under pressure. Wimbledon were struggling to cope with Bradford抯 4𣯔 formation, and Ricky Wellard, James Mulley and Sammy Moore constantly looked to be on the verge of being overrun. With Midson and Christian Jolley starved of the ball, and Hatton and Bush抯 distribution deserting them, the Dons offered next to nothing up front.

For the second half Terry Brown surprisingly opted to retain the 11 players who had started the game. The 500 or so Dons fans who had watched what was by some distance the most disappointing display of the season in the first half were fully entitled to expect more from a side that had risen to third place just a few weeks previously. Six minutes into the half, they finally had something to cheer about. Sammy Moore fed Wellard, Wellard slipped in Midson, and the former Oxford striker netted with a neat finish off the outside of his right foot from 16 yards.

One goal from one good move is not a bad return, but what Wimbledon needed now was an equally rapid second to put the home side, languishing nine places below them, under some sustained pressure. What they produced, however, was little better than their sloppy first-half showing. Pass after pass went astray, player after player was robbed of the ball, and the Dons grew more and more frustrated at their lack of penetration. An equaliser seemed only faintly possible as City dealt easily with whatever their visitors threw at them and that amounted to little more than gently lobbing the ball into the box in the hope that something would come their way. There was no conviction, no crucial cutting edge.

Fifteen minutes from the end, the game was as good as over. Yet another defensive error gifted City the chance of pulling a plum Third Round glamour tie out of the plastic ITV bowl. Reid crossed from the left, and Ravenhill nodded the ball into the Dons area; although Hannah had his back to goal, Stuart saw fit to wrestle him to the ground, and the referee had the simple task of pointing to the spot. Fagan despatched the penalty with aplomb, and despite a late rally in which they forced four corners most of which failed to clear the first defender Wimbledon were well and truly beaten by a side they had well and truly beaten in September.

Terry Brown will doubtless have looked for positives from this performance. The fact that the only obvious one is that none of his players picked up any injuries says everything you need to know about AFC Wimbledon抯 exit from this season抯 FA Cup.

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