El­liott win­ner ce­ments top spot

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Richard Latham

BRIS­TOL City match win­ner Wade El­liott’s rapid change of for­tunes was not missed by op­pos­ing man­ager Karl Robin­son who ad­mit­ted the Robins cap­tain had made the dif­fer­ence.

The veteran mid­fielder’s de­ter­mi­na­tion saw him win a 50-50 tackle with Dons cen­tre-back Antony Kay on the edge of the box be­fore shoot­ing low past David Martin on 74 min­utes.

The strike came just mo­ments after El­liott’s weak back-pass had al­lowed Benik Afobe to force his way past goal­keeper Frank Field­ing and slot into an empty net for MK Dons.

The vis­i­tors had fought back from two goals down to equalise and looked the more likely win­ners be­fore 35-year-old El­liott proved oth­er­wise.

Robin­son said:“You can see why he is their cap­tain.

“I though he showed great spirit to re­cover from his mis­take and grab the win­ner.

“I felt we were the bet­ter side and that is no dis­re­spect to Bris­tol City be­cause they have as­sem­bled a very strong squad.

“They got away with slow­ing up the game and didn’t have a player booked for it un­til in­jury time.

“But they will see that as show­ing how to win a match.

“I am so proud of my team. I love go­ing to work ev­ery day be­cause it is an ab­so­lute plea­sure to deal with this group of play­ers I have here.”

Kieran Agard gave City a fourth­minute lead when left with a sim­ple tap in by Mark Lit­tle, who beat Dean Lew­ing­ton to a Joe Bryan cross from the left and lifted the ball over keeper Martin.

The striker dou­bled the ad­van­tage from the penalty spot on 35 min­utes after go­ing down un­der a chal­lenge from be­hind by Kyle McFadzean, a decision that in­fu­ri­ated the Dons play­ers and their man­ager.

But there was no rolling over from the vis­i­tors and Dean Bowditch halved the deficit on 51 min­utes, shoot­ing home after Field­ing had made a fine dou­ble save from Ben Reeves and Afobe. City boss Steve Cot­ter­ill ad­mit­ted: “Wade El­liott went from zero to hero in the space of a minute.

“He is the sort of lad who would have beaten him­self up over their sec­ond goal so I couldn’t be more de­lighted that he scored the win­ner.

“I felt we might have been fur­ther in front at the break, but in the sec­ond half our ball re­ten­tion was poor and that ef­fected us.

“If you sur­ren­der the ball to a team like MK Dons they can hurt you.

“I’m sure most of the coun­try saw what they did to Manch­ester United this sea­son and a lot of those play­ers were out there.

“We needed to work hard for our win and I couldn’t ask more from the play­ers in that re­spect.

“A lot of graft on the train­ing ground and a great deal of ef­fort from lots of peo­ple went into that vic­tory.”

Bowditch cleared an Aden Flint header off the line, while Martin made fine late saves from Aaron Wil­bra­ham and Joe Bryan.

At the other end Field­ing was kept busy and had to be sharp com­ing off his line.

Young­ster Dele Alli was also an in­creas­ing in­flu­ence in mid­field for the Dons.

Agard ran his socks off for the hosts as well as scor­ing his two goals and had an ef­fec­tive part­ner in for­mer Dons player Wil­bra­ham.

The re­sult sees MK Dons drop down to fourth in the ta­ble, while their op­po­nents ce­mented top spot, with their lead at five points.

And while happy with the en­ter­tain­ment on show, Cot­ter­ill in­sists there is still a long way to go yet in the sea­son.

“It’s great to be top of the ta­ble con­sid­er­ing where we were for much of last sea­son.

“But no one will be get­ting car­ried away. We have a long sea­son in front of us.

“I thought both sets of fans were tremen­dous and now I have time to re­flect it must have been a hugely en­ter­tain­ing game.”

GO­ING BY: Benik Afobe beats Bris­tol City goal­keeper Frank Field­ing to score



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