Luke who's a hit with City fans!

Omar Daley is fouled by Levin Mackin

Omar Daley is fouled by Levin Mackin

Omar Daley is fouled by Levin Mackin

Omar Daley is fouled by Levin Mackin

Eddie Johnson is all smiles after giving City the lead

Eddie Johnson is all smiles after giving City the lead

Eddie Johnson is all smiles after giving City the lead

Eddie Johnson is all smiles after giving City the lead

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford City Reporter

City 2 Wrexham 1

City's unlikely match-winner celebrated his big moment by going home to watch X-Factor.

But even Simon Cowell would struggle to thrust Luke Medley into the limelight as dramatically as the teenager did yesterday.

Before 4.30pm, few fans had heard of the former Spurs youngster called into Stuart McCall's plans for the first time.

Within two minutes of stepping out into the action, his name was on everyone's lips. Another instant hero was born.

Whether Medley will turn out to be a Valley Parade one-hit wonder alongside the likes of Joe Brown and Keighley's Danny Forrest only time will tell. Sending a volley crashing into the top corner of the net with your first touch sets the bar at Olympic-qualifying dimensions.

But the 13,500 "judges" in the audience voted overwhelmingly in his favour as the Coral Windows Stadium rocked to the first home victory since before Christmas.

For what its worth at this early stage, the win catapulted the Bantams up to mid-table and just three points off top. Their position is largely irrelevant; getting the home monkey off everyone's back was the significant achievement. The signs were promising as City made the positive start that McCall had demanded. No ninth-minute nerves like the Macclesfield and Shrewsbury games.

Paul Evans was at the hub of most things while Kyle Nix, in for the injured Alex Rhodes, looked like a man on a mission to convince the manager his short-term contract was worth extending. And it was good to see Eddie Johnson enjoying a bigger influence than he had of late.

Johnson's form since being converted to midfield had been one of the few shining lights during the death throes of City's relegation from League One but a slow start to the new campaign had some questioning whether he was really suited to the position.

Saturday was more like the warrior of last spring; keen and competitive in the tackle and eager to push on and support the attack.

For the fourth game in a row, City were cursing the woodwork. Guylain Ndumbu-Nsungu was the unlucky man this time as his rising shot clipped Richard Hope and crashed against the bar.

Evans showed great technique with a side-foot volley that Anthony Williams plucked away and Nix started and nearly finished a neat move with a flashing header across goal.

But the first goal, when it came four minutes after the break, was worth the wait.

Nix, not overly keen on using his right foot, was being shepherded along the penalty-box edge when Johnson whisked his lay-off into the bottom corner of the net with a crisp drive from 20 yards out.

McCall said: "Eddie can pop up like that from the middle of the park because he's an attacking player. He's still getting to grips with the role he wants to play and I believe, as an attacking midfielder, he's good at.

"He was getting about the park and that goal will give him great confidence."

Johnson's strike looked to be the launchpad for a comprehensive win. Mark Bower had a header blocked on the line by Ryan Valentine and City screamed for a penalty when Nix was left in a heap.

But Wrexham dusted themselves off and came back fiercely.

Tricky winger Matty Done's shot glanced just wide off David Wetherall and Donovan Ricketts denied the diving Danny Williams. The danger signs were flashing but City never properly cleared the resulting corner and Michael Proctor's cut-back was nodded in by Neil Roberts.

The feeling of deja vu descended on the home stands, especially when Evans saw another free-kick tipped round the post. Inspiration was needed as time ticked away.

Barry Conlon made way for Medley, with the raw rookie given instructions from the bench to hit the channels behind the full backs. The tactic worked to perfection.

Nix floated a clever pass over right back Valentine, the ball sat up invitingly for Medley and the finish soared past a disbelieving Anthony Williams and into the far corner of the Wrexham net.

McCall said: "I was stood there thinking please give us something from somewhere' and thankfully Luke did that.

"Consistency is what we're after, particularly with the strikers and widemen. Defenders will be six, seven or eight out of ten every week but strikers can be nine one minute and five the next.

"But Luke is only a young boy who wants to learn and this will do him no harm at all."

Medley could have had a couple more, just failing to get a toe to one Omar Daley cross and then flicking another over the bar.

Referee Mike Oliver condemned McCall to "the longest five minutes of my managerial career" with an excessive amount of added time but there was no late sting in the tail.

Medley greeted the final whistle by jumping for joy on the spot like a young boy given his favourite bike for Christmas. His reaction was echoed by 13,000 others.

When all the euphoria has died down, McCall won't be blinded into thinking that everything in the garden is rosy.

Ricketts handled confidently but, in his manager's words, had far too much to do for a home keeper.

And there were times when City were second best, especially in the 15-minute spell in and around Wrexham's equaliser.

McCall knows there is plenty still to work on in training - but it's an easier job when the players are smiling after a big result.

He will be concerned about the groin injury to right back Darren Williams, which looks more of a worry than the hamstring tweak that forced Alex Rhodes out of his plans.

Williams' unscheduled departure meant a first appearance of the season for Simon Ainge, who had his hands full dealing with Done. Ainge stuck at the job enthusiastically but Barnsley youngster Tom Harban, a more natural right back, is likely to get the nod for the Barnet game on Saturday.

  • Start or join a debate on this issue in our online forum - Click here

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree