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WIMBLEDON 2 BRADFORD CITY 1
Stunned City fell to a stoppage-time goal at bottom club Wimbledon this afternoon.
The Bantams were on course for a second away win a week when Garry Thompson fired his fourth goal of the season.
But Wimbledon equalised with seven minutes left – and then won it in dramatic fashion in the third minute of added time.
The first half was a dour affair not helped by fussy referee Steve Bratt and the bobbly surface.
Toby Ajala, Wimbledon’s best player, finally had the first real shot on target after 57 minutes.
But two minutes later City were ahead. Kyel Reid’s ball into the box was misjudged by Alan Bennett and Thompson seized on his poor back-header to comfortably beat veteran keeper Neil Sullivan.
Thompson could have had another a minute later and Reid also went close as City looked to take control.
But Wimbledon’s subs made a difference to the home side – and two combined for an 83rd-minute equaliser.
Pim Balkestein crossed into a crowded box towards top scorer Jack Midson but the decisive touch appeared to come off Bantams left back Ryan Dickson.
Worse followed in stoppage time when Ajala’s corner was headed home by Gary Alexander. Hardly the way for City to head to Wembley.
Decent inswinger by Ajala but Jones heads away at near post. It's another corner and this one is IN - ALEXANDER 2-1 to Wimbledon
Wimbledon force their first corner of the game - in the 92nd minute.
City chance to counter wasted by miscued pass from Hanson.
Three added minutes to play.
Hanson cannot get any contact on Darby cross. City pushing for another goal.
Wimbledon's subs have made a difference, adding pace and an edge to their play.
City will be kicking themselves for letting the lead slip. Trying hard now for a second.
1-1. MIDSON appears to get touch from cross but Davies also got touch. Wells come on for Reid.
Sainte-Luce's pace is putting City on the back foot. But another promising run breaks down with a tired-looking shot from Pell.
Nelson wins important header from Sainte-Luce.
Flurry from Wimbledon. Sainte-Luce low cross cut out by Davies.
Thompson leaps to meet Darby cross but cannot direct his header.
Midson looking sharp since coming on for Wimbledon but still nothing to trouble Duke yet.
Balkestein makes important tackle on edge of box on Jones.
Reid continues to see a lot of the ball and wins another corner off right back Meades. Been a good battle between them.
Balkestein rises highest in the pack to nod away Jones' kick.
City make their first change after 66 minutes as Hanson replaces Gray.
Wimbledon throw all in by making two more subs. Balkestein and Sainte-Luce replace Mitchel-King and Yussuff.
City win their sixth corner of game as pressure stays on home side. But nothing comes from it.
Wimbledon replace Moore with Midson.
Thompson almost has another but drives wide, then Reid fires across goal. Suddenly City have come alive.
Reid pumped ball forward, mistake by Bennett and THOMPSON finishes with neat half-volley. His fourth goal of the season.
GOAL.... THOMPSON 1-0 to City.
Cleared as far as Ajala who's dipping half-volley is held by Duke. First genuine shot on target of the game after 57 minutes.
Free-kick for Wimbledon in good position.
Ajala robs Reid and beats Davies on dangerous run but his cross flies into crowd. Run does lift the home fans though.
Wimbledon clear under pressure.
Crowd is 4,320 with 621 away fans.
City free-kick 30 yards out after Gray is pulled down. Reid's effort is poor but deflected behind for corner.
Reid opens the second half with charge from halfway line and wayward shot.
Only one added minute. City try to make it count from Darby's throw-in but ball cleared from Davies.
But again there's nothing to show from it.
Reid wins one more corner for City as half-time approaches.
Ref's constant whistling preventing the game from flowing.
Ajala tries to find room for a shot inside the City box but solid defending closes the door.
Alexander is the first name in ref's book for something of nothing.
Duke long free-kick nodded down by Thompson and Atkinson fires half-volley over bar.
Now they break dangerously and Nelson does well to stop Pell getting return pass from Alexander in box. Shouts for hand ball but he used his chest well.
Reid, who is getting booed by home fans after earlier foul, wins City's third corner but Dons get it away easily.
Sullivan again very positive to claim Dickson's long throw-in. Still sprightly for 42...
Reid wins soft free-kick to left of Wimbledon box. Jones free-kick well taken by Sullivan. Davies and Gray both down after colliding with each other but able to continue a bit groggily.
Good skill from Atkinson to find Reid, whose cross is glanced well wide by Gray.
Dickson gets pocket picked by Ajala on halfway line but recovers well to thwart Pell with sliding tackle. City counter and Atkinson strikes shot well from distance but it's always rising over.
Alexander looks five yards offside as ball comes to him but flag stays down. City see off the danger but Parkinson livid with fourth official.
Referee with an unfortunate assist for Wimbledon. Jones pass hits Steve Bratt and drops for Pell to run
Great cross from Reid after decent move down City's left. Gray flings himself at it but can't get a touch.
Low cross from Pell cut out by Davies, Sweeney tries luck from 25 yards and doesn't miss by much.
Reid wins header, gets return from Thompson, then launches ambitious volley. Well struck but comfortably wide of goal.
Gray breaks promisingly but is stopped by fine challenge by Mitchel-King.
Sullivan punches away as Jones' deep kick looks for Davies.
City win another on the other side.
Sharp work from Thompson wins first corner for City in third minute.
City kick off. Good turn-out of away fans behind the dug-outs.
Neil Sullivan, now 42, is in goal for the Dons as they look for a first win at home since October.
AFC WIMBLEDON: Sullivan, Meades, Hussey, Sweeney, Bennett, Mitchel-King, Ajala, Pell, Alexander, Yussuff, S Moore. Subs: Cummings, Long, Sainte-Luce, Midson, Strutton, Balkestien, Jaimez-Ruiz.
Same team as Tuesday good call PP don't change a winning side. No Connell involved tho?? #bcafc— @Adam_Ellis1986 16 February 2013
This is prob not a good time for Wimbledon to be playing us, off back of dodgy spell & playing 4 cup final places! #bcafc #IPredictAWin— @Wilsation11 16 February 2013
City name an unchanged starting line-up for their last game before Wembley.
Having impressively seen off Wycombe in midweek, Phil Parkinson saw no need to tinker for the visit to bottom club Wimbledon.
That means Andrew Davies makes his second start in four days after a solid return from his four-month injury lay-off on Tuesday.
There is a change on the bench where Zavon Hines replaces Alan Connell.
CITY: Duke, Darby, Nelson, Davies, Dickson, Atkinson, Jones, Doyle, Reid, Thompson, Gray. Subs: Hanson, Wells, McHugh, Hines, Good, Turgott, McLaughlin.
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