AFC Wimbledon 2 (McDonald 7, Taylor 71)
Bradford City 1 (Taylor 47)
Saturday 23rd December 2017 | Sky Bet League One | The Cherry Red Records Stadium
The Bantams fell to defeat on the road for the first time since October at the hands of struggling AFC Wimbledon. Cody McDonald gave the Londonders an early lead before Paul Taylor equalised for City early in the second half. Stuart McCall's side hit the woodwork three times through Matthew Kilgallon, Nicky Law and Adam Thompson and Lyle Taylor's goal in the final quarter of the game proved to be decisive and hand his side victory.
City started the game on the front foot, keeping hold of the ball in long spells inside AFC Wimbledon's half of the pitch but the hosts gradually started to impose their direct and battling style of play on the game and with virtually their first chance of the gane, they took the lead. A hopeful ball was played in-behind for Cody McDonald and he capitalised on some hesistancy in the City defensive ranks to prod the ball past a despairing Rouven Sattelmaier.
The Bantams were rocking after falling behind and Jon Meades came very close to doubling his team's lead just five minutes later. Lyle Taylor whipped an excellent corner into the penalty area and the Dons defender powered a header inches over the crossbar.
It was a hectic start to the game with chances at both ends of the field and Matthew Kilgallon came as close as he possibly could when he latched onto a Tony McMahon corner to rise above McDonald and crash a header back against the crossbar.
McDonald lashed a half volley inches over the bar after Taylor's free kick i to the box had broken free into his path and then Tony McMahon forced the best out of Dons stopper George Long with a 25 yard free-kick which headed towards the top corner.
Taylor and McDonald were linking up well for the hosts and causing City a number of problems, particularly in the first half and after the former cut the ball back into the path of the latter, he blazed a shot over the bar - failing to add to the goal he had already managed to score.
City looked to be on the ropes for a spell in the first half and but for an importasnt all or nothing block by Adam Thompson, Taylor would have doubled his team's advantage after being found by a clever reverse pass by Andy Barcham.
Barcham himself then had a curling right-footed effort clawed around the post by Sattelmaier after he had been picked out by McDonald's cross-field pass and before the half was out, McDonald ran the line brilliantly and squared the ball to Taylor who was denied by the German stopper.
City were deservedly behind at the break but came out of the traps for the second half with the bit between their teeth, and with that came the equalising goal. Alex Gilliead punished the hosts for some slack defending by running in behind and delivering a cross towards Charlie Wyke which was ultimately smashed into the back of the net by Paul Taylor after Long's intervention.
Stuart McCall's side tried to kick on and Taylor almost provided a second goal, but his cross-shot wouldn't quite fall kindly for Charlie Wyke or Nicky Law in the box who came very close to getting onto the end of it. Taylor was City's brightest spark on an ultimately difficult afternoon and he saw a right-footed rocket go a yard or so wide of the mark with Long rooted to the spot; all City at this stage.
Lyle Taylor saw a free kick held onto by Sattelmaier before Cody McDonald was denied by the City stopper as the pendulum began to swing back into the favour of AFC Wimbledon. The next chance proved to be decisive as Taylor's swerving shot from distance found the net despite Sattelmaier getting contact on the ball. A head in hands moment as the hosts regained their advantage.
City certainly huffed and puffed in an attempt to get back into the game and Nicky Law was denied by the woodwork after latching onto a Tony McMahon cross with a header which had Long rooted to the spot.
AFC Wimbledon looked to be productive on the counter-attack and Lyle Taylor's shot was blocked importantly once again by a resolute Adam Thompson before Sattelmaier had to be at his best to keep out George Francomb's free-kick.
Thompson almost resuced a point in the eight minute of added time but his tremendously executed first time half-volley came back off the post after a ball into the box had fallen into his path. Not the ideal Christmas present for the Bantams but opportunities are on the horizon to bounce back!