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MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town 1-0 Bradford City

Late Williams header sees Robins past high-flying Bantams…

18 April 2023

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Swindon Town 1-0 Bradford City

Late Williams header sees Robins past high-flying Bantams…

18 April 2023

Swindon Town got back to winning ways and put a dampener on Bradford City’s promotion charge as a Jonny Williams header finished off a fine attack eight minutes from time which proved the only goal of the game at The County Ground.

Town had been without a win in nine before this evening’s clash, while their visitors hadn’t given up hope of automatic promotion with an unbeaten run stretching back to February.

Both sides had chances in a lively encounter with Andy Cook forcing Tom Clayton into a smart block before Saidou Khan had a curling effort saved by Bradford keeper Harry Lewis. Tom Brewitt and Frazer Blake-Tracy also did superbly in blocking a number of goal-bound shots from Scott Banks.

But it was Williams who won the game for The Robins, spraying the ball wide before surging into the area to meet Remeao Hutton’s perfect cross with a header that left Lewis rooted to the spot in the Bradford goal, giving the Wiltshire side a hard-fought and much deserved three points.

Jody Morris made two changes to the side that was held to a goalless draw at home to Barrow at the weekend, with Charlie Austin and George McEachran making way for Luke Jephcott and Dylan Kadji.

There was one change to a Bradford side that won 3-0 at Rochdale with Mark Hughes bringing Luke Hendrie back into the fold to replace Brad Halliday.

The game had a fast pace from the get go, and in the ninth minute Tom Clayton was on hand to get across and block Andy Cook’s shot from close range. From the resulting corner, Town broke and Jephcott found Jacob Wakeling surging down the left wing before his cross was cleared by a Bradford head.


The first clear-cut chance fell to Bradford’s Richie Smallwood though after a low ball from the right found the midfielder on the edge of the box, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.

Williams had Town’s first attempt on goal, trying his luck from 30-yards after a short free kick, but the right-footed effort sailed safely wide of Lewis’ post.

Sol Brynn made his first save of the evening soon after, snaffling Jamie Walker’s fizzed effort at the second attempt. Walker was then involved again to tee up Scott Banks who curled an effort around the far post.

After referee Darren Drysdale had halted proceedings to let Town midfielder Khan break his Ramadan fast and take on fluids, Bradford’s Cook mistimed a volley from Banks’ floated cross with Brynn ushering the ball wide for a goal kick.

Bradford were forced into a change after 33-minutes as Chapman made heavy contact with the advertising hoardings at the Town End whilst trying to keep the ball in play.

His replacement, Thierry Nevers, was involved immediately to tee up Walker on the edge of the area, but the number 10’s shot curled harmlessly wide.

Town had their best opportunity to take the lead in the 40th minute when Jephcott won possession on the edge of the box before dragging a right-footed shot directly into the path of Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, but the striker couldn’t make contact with the ball and it rolled harmlessly to safety.

At the other end, Brynn made sure of a Crichlow header from close range, diving low to his right and holding on to keep the ball from trickling over the goal line.

Swindon kept moving the ball forward into dangerous areas and Wakeling managed to find Khan on the edge of the box moments later with the Gambian able to open his body out and bend an effort towards the far corner which forced Lewis to tip the ball behind for a corner at full stretch – a great stop.


Town captain Frazer Blake-Tracey then did superbly to deny Banks on the stroke of half-time, blocking a goal-bound shot with an outstretched leg to keep the game goalless heading into the break.

After the interval, the game was as fast paced as the first with both sides creating chances.

Tom Brewitt did exceptionally early on to keep Banks’ drilled shot away from goal, stopping the ball with his heels on the line and allowing Town to clear.

Banks went close again soon after, cutting in on to his favoured left foot before firing a shot straight at Brynn.

Swindon countered and a beautiful switch of play found Blake-Tracey in space on the left wing, his cut back was well-dummied by Wakeling for Jephcott, but Lewis scrambled to tip a well-struck shot over the crossbar to divert another great chance.

In the 57th minute, Kadji made way for Jake Cain to make his eleventh league appearance of the season, and moments  later, Hutton was afforded space down the right and showed great technique to beat his man before guiding an inch-perfect ball to Hepburn-Murphy in a crowded penalty area, but Bradford regrouped to block the striker’s effort.

Town continued to dictate after the hour with Wakeling showing determination to win a corner that allowed Williams to deliver a teasing ball, but the Town winger couldn’t quite get his head on it and the ball looped onto the roof of the net.

Shortly after the visitors made a double switch in the hope of shifting the momentum as Emmanuel Osadebe and Matt Derbyshire replaced Banks and Hendrie.

Brewitt continued his heroics in preserving the home side’s clean sheet with two headed clearances preventing sizable Bradford chances before Brynn smartly stuck out a leg to deny Derbyshire an instant impact with Williams then on hand to clear the danger.

The came the breakthrough with just under ten to go as Williams collected the ball in Bradford’s half, benefitting from a ricochet to spray a pass out to Hutton on the right wing.

The Town number two then cut inside to play a beautifully weighted cross back to the Welshman who had surged into the area to meet the ball, impeccably powering a header home beyond the rooted Bradford keeper.


Seven minutes were added on by the fourth official after a string of second-half injuries and Derbyshire came closest to bringing the visitors level in that period, but Brynn comfortably collected a tame header.

Another Bradford injury held up proceedings in added time but Town were able to hold on for a much-deserved victory and make it four points from their last two league games, with a trip to AFC Wimbledon up next for Morris’ side.


Swindon Town Line-up: 4-3-3

  1. Sol Brynn (GK) – 20. Frazer Blake-Tracy ©, 4. Tom Clayton, 12. Tom Brewitt, 2. Remeao Hutton, 23. Saidou Khan, 21. Dylan Kadji (16. Jak Cain 57mins), 8. Jonny Williams, 24. Jacob Wakeling, 19. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy (22. Marcel Lavinier 87mins), 15. Luke Jephcott (11. Charlie Austin 87mins).

Subs not used: 25. Conor Brann (GK) – 28. Tyrese Shade, 10. Ronan Darcy, 31. Harrison Minturn.

Scorers: Williams 82

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None

Bradford City Line-up: 4-2-3-1

  1. Harry Lewis (GK) – 3. Liam Ridehalgh (7. Tolaji Bola 90+9mins), 36. Sam Stubbs, 24. Romoney Crichlow, 17. Luke Hendrie (8. Emmanuel Osadebe 72mins), 20. Harry Chapman (34. Thierry Nevers 34mins), 11. Alex Gilliead, 6. Richard Smallwood ©, 12. Scott Banks (23. Matt Derbyshire 72mins), 10. Jamie Walker, 9. Andy Cook.

Subs not used: 13. Colin Doyle (GK) – 5. Matthew Platt, 16. Ryan East.

Scorers: None

Yellow Cards: 8. Osadebe 88mins, 3. Ridehalgh 78mins.

Red Cards: None

HT: 0-0

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Assistant Referees: Alan Cresswell & Grant Taylor

Fourth Official: Wayne Cartmel

Attendance: 7,413 (557 away fans)


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