NEW BOY OBIKA IS RIGHT AT HOME

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Steven Chicken

JONATHAN Obika hit the ground run­ning in a Swin­don shirt but a de­but dou­ble for the Robins new boy was just an added ex­tra for de­lighted man­ager Mark Cooper.

Swin­don re­sponded to an early bar­rage, in which Brad­ford had a penalty saved, be­fore trail­ing through a Louis Thomp­son own goal.

But some woe­ful City de­fend­ing al­lowed the op­por­tunis­tic Obika to net twice and seal the three points for the vis­i­tors – and the man­ager be­lieves they de­served noth­ing less.

He said: “I felt we had enough chances to win the game more com­fort­ably but we didn’t take them.

“When you don’t you al­ways leave your sus­cep­ti­ble to pres­sure at the other end of the pitch, but we de­fended pretty well.

“Some of the foot­ball was very, very good again. Some of the link play and the in­ter­play to get be­hind the Brad­ford mid­field and run­ning at the back four was out­stand­ing.

“We’ve got some good young foot­ballers and they can hurt teams at times. It was a good start for Jonathan Obika and hope­fully he can follow that up.”

It looked as though Brad­ford were go­ing to en­joy a walkover early on, with a se­ries of sloppy passes from Swin­don re­sult­ing in keeper Wes Foder­ing­ham bring­ing down Billy Clarke just two min­utes in.

Foder­ing­ham saved Alan Shee­han’s re­sul­tant spot kick, but was pow­er­less eight min­utes later when Louis Thomp­son turned Mark Yeates’ cross into his own goal un­der pres­sure from Ja­son Kennedy. That woke the Robins up and they were the bet­ter team for the rest of the game, though their goals were ex­ploita­tive of some ter­ri­ble City de­fend­ing.

Both came from debu­tant Obika, signed from Tot­ten­ham on trans­fer dead­line day, and he’s un­likely to score many eas­ier goals for Swin­don. The striker showed good re­flexes for the first, throw­ing him­self onto Michael Smith’s goal-bound header from Bradley Smith’s cor­ner to wrong-foot keeper Jor­dan Pick­ford.

Another cor­ner pro­vided the sec­ond just be­fore the in­ter­val, with Nathan Byrne’s de­liv­ery half-cleared, al­low­ing an un­chal­lenged Obika to ham­mer into the top cor­ner.

Swin­don’s dom­i­nance con­tin­ued after the break, with Mas­simo Luongo – who made his first start for Aus­tralia on Tues­day – pulling the strings.

Brad­ford boss Phil Parkin­son fi­nally made a much-needed change to the Ban­tams’ shape with 25 min­utes to go, but the hosts were un­able to find a way through. And to make mat­ters worse, Shee­han was sent off in in­jury time for punch­ing Raphael Rossi Branco.

Parkin­son said:“It looked to me as if Alan’s just gone over and punched him. I can’t be sure, but it’s un­ac­cept­able if he’s done that.

“We’ve had a poor re­sult but it makes it a re­ally bad day when one of your player loses his dis­ci­pline. It’s un­ac­cept­able and Alan will be fined the max­i­mum he can.

“Over­all the way we played was a long, long way ahead of where we were last week at Yeovil, but we can’t keep con­ced­ing goals the way we’ve done. Four of the last five have been from set plays.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd

NEW HERO: Swin­don’s Jonathan Obika cel­e­brates his win­ning goal STAR MAN MASSI MO O LUONG

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