Tough decisions have to be made when you are a manager but Dean Wilkins is learning the art pretty quickly.

Leaving Dean Bowditch on the bench again and then bringing him on at Jake Robinson's expense with 20 minutes left turned out to be a masterstroke.

It must have been a close call to keep Bowditch waiting for his first start.

He launched his loan spell from Ipswich with a promising cameo as a second-half replacement for Tommy Fraser in last Wednesday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie against MK Dons.

Wilkins reasoned that he could not change a side which had scored four goals and three in the game before at Huddersfield.

Robinson was the hat-trick hero on that occasion, of course, and he won a penalty on Saturday but that did not stop Wilkins taking him off with Bradford's recovery from a two-goal deficit well under way.

He has spoken before of Robinson's tendency to lose the ball cheaply, so Bowditch was introduced for his quality in possession and liking for dropping into that no man's land between the midfield and strikers.

How it paid off. It was from that area of the pitch that Bowditch released Alex Revell down the right flank, then made strides into the area to meet a pinpoint cross with a first-time finish.

It was a classic counter-punch which turned a wasteful draw into a stirring third away win in succession.

Bowditch said: "It's just a great feeling to get the goal. I cannot blame the manager for not starting me but I was glad to get on in the end.

"I'm here for goals and that is the first. Hopefully there are a few more to follow.

"We showed great character. We lost a two-goal lead and they put immense pressure on us.

"At the end we showed a bit more quality to see out the game. When we broke and broke quickly we were always dangerous.

"Luckily Revs had a bit of energy left to get the ball in and I stuck it away.

"I don't think I have seen a team so on fire. They have done really well and all the youngsters are showing great enthusiasm."

Over-zealous stewards, peeved no doubt by Bowditch's last-gasp winner, decided the injured Wayne Henderson was too enthusiastic in jumping on and off a wall to celebrate and he was evicted from the ground.

Wilkins saw that as another example of the togetherness which has helped Albion to five wins and a draw from their last six outings since five defeats on the trot.

"The atmosphere and spirit in which players are competing for places is first class," he said.

"It would be easy for players not in the side to sulk or mope but there is a really good atmosphere at the moment and everybody is getting behind each other, whether they are playing or not."

The resolve shone through after a two-goal cushion early in the second half, provided by Revell and Dean Hammond, was squandered.

Revell took only 13 minutes to add to his double against MK Dons.

He toe-poked his sixth of the campaign past Bradford's advancing Jamaica international keeper Donovan Ricketts from a typically cute pass through a square defence by Dean Cox.

Robinson, picking up a short pass from Hammond just inside the Bradford half, won a spot-kick three minutes into the re-start with a penetrating run into the Bradford box.

David Wetherall clipped him from behind and Hammond calmly gave Albion what seemed at the stage to be an unassailable advantage, sending Ricketts the wrong way.

Bradford were handed a route back into contention eight minutes later when the ball struck Kerry Mayo's arm as he tussled with Dean Windass from a throw-in.

The widely-travelled Windass blasted his 200th career goal beyond Henderson's deputy Michel Kuipers from the ensuing penalty.

Albion survived an extraordinary mix-up involving Kuipers and Adam Hinshelwood with 13 minutes left.

The young defender lifted the ball over the bemused Dutchman towards a gaping goal, then got back in the nick of time to clear off the line. It was a brief reprieve. Three minutes later Andrew Whing knocked Wetherall's header from a corner off the line at the far post but the ball was eventually delivered back into the box for Steven Schumacher to equalise with a left-foot shot on the turn.

Henderson was not the only one to let his enthusiasm get the better of him in an absorbing contest.

The fiery Adam El-Abd and Wetherall were cautioned as the players headed for the dressing rooms after a flare-up involving a number of players from both teams at the end of the first half.

Wilkins said: "He (El-Abd) loves his team-mates and if one of them gets elbowed, which is exactly what he thought happened, his first response is to defend him. But he needs to do it in a slightly different manner, maybe count to five before he starts to get involved."

ALBION (4-4-2): Michel Kuipers (GK), Andrew Whing (RB), Adam Hinshelwood (CB), Guy Butters (CB), Kerry Mayo (LB), Tommy Fraser (RM), Adam El-Abd (CM), Dean Hammond (CM), Dean Cox (LM), Alex Revell (CF), Jake Robinson (CF). Subs: Dean Bowditch (for Robinson 70), Joel Lynch (for Mayo 57), Joe Gatting , Sam Rents, John Sullivan.

BRADFORD (4-4-2): Donovan Ricketts (GK), Nathan Doyle (RB), David Wetherall (CB), Mark Bower (CB), Richard Edghill (LB), Jermaine Johnson (RM), Ben Parker (CM), Steven Schumacher (CM), Lee Holmes (LM), Dean Windass (CF), Eddie Johnson (CF). Subs: Simon Ainge (for Edghill 35), John Swift, Joe Colbeck (for E Johnson 66), Patrick McGuire, Ben Saynor.