THE HISTORY OF WIMBLEDON FOOTBALL CLUB
2001
 
30 October 2001
Nationwide League Division 1
Valley Parade (Bradford & Bingley Stadium)
Attendance: 18,255
Ref: Alan Wiley
Bradford City
Andy Tod (2), Eoin Jess
3 (1) - (3) 3
Wimbledon
David Connelly (2), Kevin Cooper
1
Gary Walsh
18
Gunnar Halle
Yellow 46
3
Andy Myers
12
Robert Molenaar
Subbed 46
20
Andy Tod
Goal 40 Yellow 68 Goal 80
22
Wayne Jacobs
25
Matthew Etherington
4
Stuart McCall
6
Gareth Whalley
Subbed 46
11
Eoin Jess
Goal 77
8
Robbie Blake
--
21
Lee Makel
Sub (12 46)12
17
Aidan Davison
14
Gary Locke
Sub (6 46)6
38
Danny Forrest
33
Lewis Emanuel

The emergency striker Andy Tod capped a remarkable comeback with a late header that earned a point for Bradford that could keep their manager Jim Jefferies in his job.

Tod headed Gary Locke's cross past the goalkeeper Kelvin Davis on 80 minutes to equalise for Bradford, three minutes after Eoin Jess had given the home side a lifeline with a close-range tap-in.

One minute before Jess's goal, David Connolly had wasted a great chance to complete a hat-trick and make it 4-1 to Wimbledon when he hit the side netting after rounding the goalkeeper Gary Walsh.

Such fine margins can be the difference between success and failure and Jefferies will surely look at Connolly's missed chance as a job-saver.

Many good judges had earmarked Bradford as candidates for an immediate return to the Premiership this season. Yet Jefferies' team could hardly describe themselves as form horses in recent weeks.

Bradford's thrilling 4-3 weekend victory over Watford ended a four-match losing streak in the league, but their chairman Geoffrey Richmond, who sacked the previous manager Chris Hutchings after only four months in charge last November, made it clear in his programme notes for this game that all was not well.

Richmond's mood could not have been helped by Wimbledon's lively start to the game, which saw them two goals in front after only 17 minutes.

The first, on 15 minutes from Connolly, came courtesy of Kevin Cooper's cross into the box which would have been cleared but for a slip by the defender Robert Molenaar. And the storm clouds began to swirl even more ominously for Jefferies two minutes later when Cooper scored with a left-foot strike from 25 yards.

Tod replied for Bradford with a header on 39 minutes but Connolly quickly restored the two-goal margin with a 20-yard free-kick two minutes before half-time.

Jefferies, realising the need for a rapid improvement, replaced Molenaar and Gareth Whalley with Locke and Lee Makel. Neither player could inspire Bradford, however, and it was left to Robbie Blake and Jess to provide the creativity required to break Wimbledon down. The closest they came was when Blake saw an angled drive from 20-yards fly narrowly past the far post.