Date:Saturday November 8 2008
I didn't think it would happen but Bradford City today emerged from stadium:mk victorious in the First Round of the FA Cup.
For the third time this season we had been drawn away from home against higher league opposition and with a growing list of injuries taking their toll it looked for all the world that for the third time this season Stuart McCall's men would find themselves 'concentrating on the league'.
Clearly Omar Daley had different plans. The first move of the game saw the Bantams take the lead as Nicky Law played the returning Jamaican in to tuck home from 12 yards and give the visitors the lead.
For the rest of the half chances came and went at both ends with goal-line clearances and finger-tip saves from both sides keeping the score at 1-0, a scoreline it looked like remaining for half time until Jemal Johnson struck from 30 yards to level matters after good work from the McCall-rejected Peter Leven.
With Stuart McCall's patchwork side bearing up well it was Roberto Di Matteo who made the first changes. Kevin Gallen replacing the injured Flavien Belson on 28 minutes and Jude Stirling coming off for Miguel Angel Llera as the second half got under way. And it looked like the changes would see the Bantams crumble but far from it.
After weathering the storm of the first twenty minutes of the half Stuart McCall's men began to exert pressure of their own. A flurry of corners and shots could find no way through a solid MK Dons defence whilst the hosts could find no way bast a stout Bantams backline.
But with scarcely ten minutes to go a freekick on Michael Boulding by the substitute Llera 30 yards from goal was struck sweetly home by the Bradford City captain to ensure that the Bantams find themselves progressing to the second round of the FA Cup for the second season in succession.
Although we're third in the league there have been a number of grumbles already this year. Going to Milton Keynes and beating a team lying 4th in the table and who twice defeated us last year with a supposedly weakened side should go some way to proving how far we've come in the last twelve months.
With Nicky Law's Alfreton Town also still in the hat the opportunity for the second round to involve some familiar faces is still on the cards. Although, tragically, the opportunity for retribution against Huddersfield Town will have to wait until next season as they allowed a 3-1 lead to slip to a 4-3 defeat to Port Vale. Stan Ternant may be gone but his team don't seem to be benefiting from it!
Date:Saturday November 8 2008
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