24 September 2022

Bradford boss Mark Hughes has high hopes for Vadaine Oliver

24 September 2022

Bradford boss Mark Hughes expects the goals to flow for Vadaine Oliver after his first for the club snatched a last-gasp 2-2 draw against AFC Wimbledon.

The summer signing from Gillingham has had to wait for his chance behind leading scorer Andy Cook, but his stoppage-time equaliser preserved Bradford’s unbeaten home record

Hughes, who saw his side surrender an early lead to trail 2-1, said: “It’s really important for him and his confidence moving forward.

“He’s clearly a very good player at this level and will score goals. He has done throughout his career.

“He just needed that initial one and I’ve no doubt now he will go on a run.

“It’s a great moment for his relationship with the crowd to score under those circumstances.

“We didn’t play as well as we wanted to. We went into the game in good confidence and you have to give credit to Wimbledon because they came and had a go.

“At 2-1 down, we needed to show some character and resolve to get something out of the game. We did that and I’m really pleased.

“It would have been very easy to feel sorry for ourselves and think it wasn’t our day.”

Bradford went in front after four minutes through a free-kick from winger Scott Banks.

And Wimbledon, who had lost their previous four league games, were grateful to goalkeeper Nikola Tzanev for denying Dion Pereira a second soon after.

The visitors almost equalised after 38 minutes when Ayoub Assal set up Ethan Chislett for a curling effort that clipped the bar and Wimbledon were again denied by the woodwork when Josh Davison’s shot hit a post.

But they levelled after 58 minutes as Harry Pell converted from close range after Assal’s shot was parried.

Chislett fired Wimbledon in front after 77 minutes with another spectacular set-piece before Oliver headed home Matty Foulds’ cross in the fifth minute of added time.

Wimbledon manager Johnnie Jackson said: “I’m really proud of the performance. I thought the lads were outstanding to a man and left everything out on the pitch.

“They put bodies on the line and I thought we were going to see it through to a deserved win.

“We spoke in the build-up to the game about how were we going to deal with little setbacks. There are always going to be moments when you have to tough it out.

“Perhaps in the last couple of games, we haven’t dealt with those situations well.

“Sure enough we got a setback within minutes and I thought the response was excellent. We could have folded and gone under, given the run we’ve been on, but the lads stood up.

“I thought we were the better team after they scored for that half and again for the majority of the second half.”

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