Mark Hughes’ 10-man Bantams left the Cherry Red Records Stadium with a point, being forced to share the spoils in a 0-0 draw against AFC Wimbledon.
A hard-fought encounter with chances for both sides ensued, as Vadaine Oliver saw his header cleared off the line, before Richie Smallwood’s curled effort was brilliantly stopped.
Jamie Walker’s second yellow card for a late challenge meant City had to dig deep for the draw, as Harry Lewis was forced into several saves which saw the Bantams travel back to West Yorkshire with a point.
The Bantams began their first match at Plough Lane since its redevelopment the brighter, with Abo Eisa testing Nik Tzanev with a thunderous shot just outside the area.
Despite the Bantams enjoying large amounts of possession, the hosts were the next to threaten just before the half-hour mark.
The Dons’ No.9 Josh Davison outmuscled Romoney Crichlow, but his cut-back to Harry Pell was crucially intercepted by Matty Platt.
The momentum of the first half faded without either side causing their opposition many problems, as Hughes’ men went into the break with the game goalless.
It was a tentative start to the second half, with the South London outfit creating a few half chances. George Marsh had a speculative effort fly over the bar, following a failed corner, and Harry Lewis did well to close down Davidson.
City’s first huge chance to take the lead came just before the hour mark. Matty Foulds did impressively on the left-hand side and floated a cross to Vadaine Oliver, but his effort was headed off the line by Hus Biler.
Just as the visitors looked to be gaining a foothold on the game, they were reduced to 10 men on 60 minutes, being forced to play the final half-hour a player down.
Jamie Walker was handed a second yellow card for a late challenge, which looked to spur on the visitors.
Marsh’s close-range effort looked destined to sneak in the bottom-right corner, but Harry Lewis got down excellently to avert any danger. Then, a Levi Sutton foul just outside the 18-yard box presented Ethan Chislett with a chance to net the game’s first, but City’s No.1 was again on hand to acrobatically steer the shot out for a corner.
With substitutes freshening City’s frontline, and a reshuffle in formation, both sides fought until the end in search of a dramatic winner. Skipper Richie Smallwood did well to wrestle the ball back inside the Dons penalty area, before his curled effort forced Tzanev to tip just around the post.
The Dons’ sustained pressure lasted until the closing stages, which required the Bantams to dig deep, as the spoils were shared in Wimbledon.
WIMBLEDON: Nik Tzanev, Alex Woodyard, George Marsh (Ali Al Hamadi 67’), Harry Pell (Armani Little 78’), Josh Davison, Ethan Chislett, Alex Pearce, Huseyin Biler, Jack Currie (Lee Brown 86’), Sam Pearson (Courtney Senior 67’), Paul Kalambayi. Subs Not Used: Nathan Broome, Chris Gunter, Aron Sasu.
CITY: Harry Lewis, Brad Halliday, Matty Platt, Richie Smallwood (C), Jamie Walker (booked 44’, dismissed 60’), Alex Gilliead (Yann Songo’o 81’), Matty Foulds, Vadaine Oliver (Andy Cook 77’), Romoney Crichlow, Abo Eisa (Thierry Nevers 81’), Dara Costelloe (Levi Sutton 59’). Subs Not Used: Colin Doyle, Harry Chapman, Dion Pereira.
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