Bradford City 1 v 0 Milton Keynes Dons (Skybet League One)
Bradford City collected another three points with back to back wins in a hard fought battle against MK Dons at the Coral Windows Stadium. The victory secured the Bantams a first “double” of the season after Bradford beat the Dons at Stadium MK back in November.
Referee Gary Sutton had his first big decision to make after only three minutes when Rory McArdle tangled with Izale McLeod in the penalty area, Sutton waved play-on despite all the claims for a penalty from the MK Dons supporters in the TL Dallas Stand.
Stephen Gleeson then had an effort on seven minutes when his free-kick from just outside the Bradford penalty area sailed harmlessly over Jon McLaughlin’s crossbar.
The Dons continued to press and Ben Reeves’ went close from the edge of the penalty area, but his powerful strike was turned away by a strong handed save from Jon McLaughlin.
On twenty-three minutes, Bradford had their first real effort at goal, a Jon McLaughlin free-kick was headed down by James Hanson into the path of Kyle Bennett but his half-volley from the edge of the area was well saved by Dave Martin in the Dons goal.
Five minutes later, Stephen Darby is perfectly placed to clear the ball off the line following a powerful Izale McLeod shot from inside the area.
Ben Reeves again went close for MK Dons, when his low drive from the edge of the area went just wide of Jon McLaughlin’s goal.
In injury time at the end of the first half a lofted free-kick from Gary Jones was headed back across the MK Dons area by Andrew Davies, the ball fell to James Hanson, who sent his half-volley crashing against the bar.
The second half was a very hard fought but even midfield battle with limited chances at either end, however on seventy-one minutes James Hanson chased down a ball which forced Martin in the MK Dons goalkeeper into an error.
Martin missed the chance to clear and James Hanson beat him to the ball to make him pay for his error, by slotting the ball into an empty goal to give Bradford and 1-0 lead, which they held onto despite the six minutes injury time at the end of the game.
The result gives the Bantams their second victory in a week and means the team can now focus on the visit of bottom of the league Stevenage to the Coral Windows Stadium.
Manager Phil Parkinson said, “Today was a tough game against a very technical side in MK Dons, I thought James Hanson was excellent, he never stopped runner, that’s back-to-back games now were he has performed like this which is some effort.
Despite the error from the goalkeeper, James still had to close him down and show calmness to slot the ball in the net, I felt James deserved the sponsors Man of the Match award.”
Bradford City – McLaughlin, Darby, McHugh, Davies, McArdle, Jones, Doyle, Reach, Hanson, Mclean, Bennett (Sub) Jameson, Dolan, Gray, Thompson, Yeates, McBurnie, Atkinson
MK Dons – Martin, Baldock, Spence, Kay, Lewington, Alli, Gleeson, Reeves, Chadwick, Powell, McLeod (Sub) McLoughlin, Smith, Hall, Odelusi
Goals – (Bradford) Hanson (71)
Attendance – 13,501