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Match Reports

Match Report : 22/02/2014

22 February 2014

Bradford City 1 MK Dons 0

Bradford City's James Hanson struck in the second-half to condemn MK Dons to their first defeat in four games on Saturday.

Despite spending the afternoon on the back-foot, Bradford took all three points from the contest at Valley Parade after Hanson pounced on a mistake from Dons 'keeper David Martin to score the game's only goal.

Robinson's side did have chances both before and after Hanson's strike but failed to find a way through a stubborn Bantams defence and, as a result, they slip nine points adrift of the play-off places with 14 games left to play.

The Dons were forced into making two changes to the side which drew 0-0 with Preston North End in mid-week after right-back Lee Hodson and forward Samir Carruthers were ruled out through injury. 

George Baldock and Luke Chadwick were the players drafted into replace the duo and it was those two who combined to win the Dons their first corner of the game but Ben Reeves’ cross was well claimed by City ‘keeper Jon McLaughlin.

Izale McLeod, starting up-front for the fourth game in succession, then had a decent penalty appeal turned down by referee Gary Sutton before Bradford striker Aaron McLean forced a strong save out of David Martin after sneaking-in behind the Dons defence.

Then, having watched his opposite number do well at the other end, McLaughlin produced an equally-strong save to prevent Reeves’ drilled shot from bursting the net.

The Dons were by the far more dominant side in the opening exchanges and they once again went close to breaking the deadlock on 22 minutes when Powell found himself in plenty of space inside the Bradford penalty area, only for his shot to be blocked by Andrew Davies.

Davies’ team-mate Stephen Darby then came to the hosts’ rescue with another block three minutes later, after McLeod’s shot had beaten McLaughlin from a tight angle; the Dons striker had done well in the build-up to create the chance for himself.

It took until the 36th minute for the Dons to have their next chance on goal – Reeves drilling a shot wide of right-hand upright after dribbling across goal to make room for the effort – before City threatened on a rare venture forward through Nathan Doyle, who blasted a shot off-target from the edge of the box.

The towering James Hanson then had his first sniff on goal just before half-time with an ambitious over-head kick which looped over Martin’s crossbar before the same man struck the crossbar with a fierce shot after Davies’ knockdown.

The half-time break seem to come at a bad time for both sides and it took a while for either side to threaten in the second period. In fact, it wasn’t until the 60th minute when McLeod shot straight at McLaughlin from a tight angle.

Powell then quickly followed up McLeod’s effort with another effort which struck the chest of the Bantams ‘keeper as the Dons began to find their feet once again.

On 68 minutes, Reeves’ attempted cutback for Chadwick was well blocked by McLaughlin but the Irish ‘keeper couldn’t prevent a corner over on the far side. From that set-piece, Antony Kay headed over inside the six-yard box.

Despite their numerous chances, the Dons still had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard and that proved costly on 72 minutes when Martin misjudged a heavy back-pass and Hanson pounced to score the easiest of tap-ins and put the hosts in-front.

Things then went from bad to worse for the thin-on-the-ground Dons as Baldock, who was stepping in for the injured Hodson, limped off following a heavy collision on the half-way line.

Ryan Hall was brought on in his place shortly before Robinson handed Sanmi Odelusi his Dons debut just 24 hours after the forward joined on a month’s loan from Bolton Wanderers.

Keen to make amends for his mistake which led to the goal, Martin produced a point-blank save to deny Hanson before Powell blocked the striker’s follow-up to keep the deficit at one goal heading into the final six minutes.

But it didn't make too much of a difference to the result, as Bradford hung on to close the gap on the ninth-placed Dons to just two points.

Bradford City: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, McHugh, Bennett (Thompson 56), Jones (c), Doyle, Reach (Dolan 90), Hanson, McLean (Atkinson 65)

Subs not used: Jameson (GK), Gray, Yeates, McBurnie.

Goals: Hanson 72

MK Dons: Martin; Baldock (Hall 77), Spence, Kay, Lewington (c); Gleeson, Alli; Chadwick (Odelusi 79), Reeves, Powell; McLeod.

Subs not used: McLoughlin (GK), Smith.

Booked: Kay, McLeod

Referee: Gary Sutton (Lincolnshire)

Attendance: 13,501 (253 away)

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