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 Saturday, 9 November, 2002, 17:45 GMT
Bradford 3-5 Wimbledon

David Connolly scored four as Wimbledon came from behind three times to inflict Bradford's first home defeat of the season.

The Republic of Ireland international, who scored a hat-trick in last week's 4-2 win over Norwich, fired three equalisers for the Dons before heading what proved to be the decisive goal in the 61st minute.

Connolly's exploits cast a shadow on Delroy Facey's Bradford debut, which had started so well when he scored within eight minutes of the kick-off.

Facey, who only joined on a month's loan from Bolton on Friday, has yet to kick a ball for the Trotters since signing in the summer.

But he showed the goalscoring potential which prompted Sam Allardyce to take him to the Reebok Stadium.

The 22-year-old got on the end of an inviting whipped cross from Michael Standing and made no mistake from six yards.

As well as handing Facey his debut, Nicky Law gave Harpal Singh a first start after his loan move from Leeds, to ease Bradford's mounting injury list.

In the 23rd minute that injury list got even longer when goalkeeper Steve Banks, himself on loan from Bolton as cover for the injured Gary Walsh, was stretchered off.

Just about the first thing substitute goalkeeper Aidan Davison had to do was pick the ball out of the back of the net, Connolly grabbing the equaliser after 29 minutes from Neil Shipperley's neat lay off.

The status quo lasted less than a minute, however, before Standing lashed a cracking drive past Kelvin Davis from 25 yards.

Connolly scored his second equaliser of the afternoon in the third minute of first-half injury-time, lashing home a blistering drive from 18 yards which gave Davison no chance.

A minute later though, Bradford were ahead again, Standing scoring his second of the game.

With the half-time whistle imminent, Andy Gray fired in a shot which Davis could only parry and Standing was on hand to put the Bantams ahead for a third time.

Within four minutes of the restart, Connolly completed his hat-trick to drag Wimbledon level for the third time.

Experienced striker Shipperley again provided the assist, nodding into Connolly's path, and the former Feyenoord forward provided a clinical finish.

And Wimbledon took the lead for the first time in the match when Connolly scored his fourth of the afternoon.

Joel McAnuff found some space down the right wing and bent in a cross which Connolly emphatically headed home for his ninth goal in four games.

Bradford, with only one win in 10 games, looked stunned to be behind.

And while they huffed and puffed, the home side never looked like getting back on terms and Jermaine Darlington added insult to injury with a fifth goal for Wimbledon a minute from time.


Bradford: Banks, Uhlenbeek, Molenaar, Bower, Emanuel, Standing, Warnock, Evans, Singh, Gray, Facey.
Subs: Davison, Juanjo, Reid, Cadamarteri, Francis.

Wimbledon: Davis, Holloway, Leigertwood, Gier, Hawkins, McAnuff, Andersen, Reo-Coker, Darlington, Connolly, Shipperley.
Subs: Francis, Agyemang, Heald, Morgan, Gray.

Referee: R Pearson (Co Durham).


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