"Not Good Enough" Wimbledon Slump To Bradford Defeat

Bradford City 3 v Wimbledon 0

Wimbledon’s abysmal end-of-season form continued as they slumped to a predictable 3-0 defeat at play-off chasing Bradford City on Saturday 22 April. The result means the Dons have now gone over 480 minutes without a goal.

The Dons last scored in the 3-1 win over Rochdale on 28 March, and have since rarely threatened a goal as they’ve drawn 0-0 against Swindon and Peterborough whilst also losing against Port Vale, Bristol Rovers and now Bradford City.

‘The squad has not been good enough in the second half of the season,’ manager Neal Ardley admitted afterwards in a DonsPlayer interview.

‘We had a spell between September and January when we were exceptional and that gave us the platform to stay up.

‘We need a good summer and I’ve not got a magic wand, we’ve not got much money, but we have to do something. We have to somehow shake it up a bit.

‘I will be sitting down with all the players next week. They will get told where they stand and I have to rule with an iron first from now on.

‘What we’ve shown over the last three months, it has not been good enough.’

The Dons’ performance at Bradford was typical of recent ones, with some neat passing at times but little cutting edge or impetus.

The hosts took the lead shortly before the half hour when Jon Meades was harshly adjudged to have fouled Josh Cullen in the box.

Although Joe McDonnell went the right way, Tony McMahon’s penalty strike was convincing enough to end up in the back of the net.

The Dons then lost Meades to an injury inflicted by Romain Vincelot, although referee John Busby deemed the offence only worthy of a yellow card.

And right on the stroke the Dons were 2-0 down as Mark Marshall’s effort deceived McDonnel and ended up in the back of the net.

Wimbledon made a positive switch at the break, bringing on attacker Dominic Poleon to replace Darius Charles, and in the 50th minute the Dons produced their solitary effort on target when Andy Barcham cut inside and shot straight at Bradford goalkeeper Colin Doyle.

But the second period soon developed into a replica of the first, and Bradford got their third with five minutes remaining when McMahon finished clinically.

The Dons round off their season with a midday kick-off against Oldham Athletic at Kingsmeadow on Sunday 30 April.

Bradford: Doyle, McMahon, McArdle, Knight-Percival, Meredith, Cullen, Vincelot (Dieng 62), Law (Kiwula-Mayifuila 79), Marshall, Wyke, Jones (B. Clarke 72). Subs not used: Darby, Toner, Sattelmaier, Devine.

Goalscorers: McMahon 29 (pen), 85, Marshall 45.

Booked: Vincelot 43.

Wimbledon: McDonnell, Nightingale, Charles (Poleon 45), Robinson, Meades (Kelly 44), Barcham, Parrett (Egan 73), Bulman, Reeves, Francomb, Taylor. Subs not used: Shea, Fitzpatrick, Barnett, Sibbick.

Booked: Francomb 58.

Att: 18,615.

By Rob Crane

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April 24, 2017