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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:35 6th April 2013
By  Luke Gallagher

Bradford City 1 Northampton Town 0

A first half Nahki Wells strike following a calamitous defensive error from Northampton was enough to seal all three points and leave City's play-off fate very much in their own hands. 


Both teams had plenty chances to score goals but The Bantams' back line were terrific on the day and stood firm against the visitors' physical attacking threat and long throw ins.

 

Having played Northampton three times already this season, City were very much aware of their main threats and the long throw of Ben Tozer was certainly one of them. It was the former Newcastle man's throw-in that allowed Clarke Carlisle to power a header marginally over the bar from inside the area within the first minute.

 

The first notable Bradford chance of the game also came from a centre half; Andrew Davies was picked out with a pass and he roamed forward into space before trying an audacious 30 yard shot that failed to trouble Lee Nicholls and flew well over the bar.

 

Chris Hackett came close to giving his side an early lead a minute later; a loose ball was looped forward and he latched onto it firing a vicious angled strike over the bar when he perhaps should've done a little better by testing Jon McLaughlin.

 

Inside the 23rd minute, The Bantams took the lead in bizarre fashion. Garry Thompson looped a hopeful ball forward, Lee Nicholls came out to try and deal with the loose ball but Nathan Cameron proceeded to head past him and leave the pair stranded, giving Nahki Wells the easy task to poke the ball into an open goal from merely a yard out.

 

Ben Tozer showed he is more than capable with his feet as well as his arms when he came close to hitting a spectacular equaliser. James Meredith headed a bouncing ball half clear and Tozer latched onto the ball with a venomous half volley from 25 yards that went a yard or so wide.

 

City lead a counter attack moments later through Garry Thompson, Gary Jones produced an accurate cross which was nodded to Thompson by James Hanson and the former could only manage to head a yard or so over the bar.

 

On the stroke of half time Nahki Wells tried to beat Lee Nicholls with a dipping freekick but he could only beat the wall as The Cobblers' stopper stood firm to The Bermudian's tame strike.

 

Early in the second half Kyel Reid played a neat interchange with Nahki Wells and almost capped a neat move with a goal but after cutting inside his low right footed strike was saved alertly by Lee Nicholls.

 

Ben Tozer's long throws were presenting City's back line with a constantly tough challenge all afternoon and after the hosts had initially failed to clear one on this occasion, Chris Hackett delivered a cross which was met by the head of Ben Harding but held by Jon McLaughlin.

 

Gary Jones was denied a goal shortly after by a stunning reaction save from Lee Nicholls; after bursting into the area to bear down on goal Jones was beaten in the battle of wits by the visiting stopper who produced an athletic low save.

 

Both goalkeepers were certainly having an action packed afternoon and Jon McLaughlin was called into action to beat away Ben Harding's acrobatic half volley after Tozer's long throw had dropped to him invitingly in the area; John Johnson had a chance to test him once more from the rebound but he could only slice his shot wide of the target.

 

James Hanson was presented with a chance to put the game to bed with a killer second goal but after Nahki Wells had picked him out with a low cross he could only scoop his effort comfortably over the bar when Nicholls should've really had more to do.

 

Nahki Wells eluded Lee Collins' with his pace when he intercepted his attempted back header, the goalscorer couldn't quite find a shot so instead opted to tee Hanson up with another cross which he could only head a yard wide of the target at the far post.

 

 

Northampton had two decent opportunities to rescue a point at the death. Tozer's long throw into the area caused chaos once again, Andrew Davies got some contact on the ball but it still made its way into the path of Jake Robinson who fired a volley wide of the target.

A minute later the visitors counter attacked and Roy O'Donovan was picked out with an angled pass to present him with a shooting opportunity; he could only slice his effort wide however.

 

The Bantams held on to earn a second successive league victory to record the league double over Northampton and put themselves very much back in the play-off picture. Two points is now the gap to be bridged and with a game in hand and most of the contenders still be played, it certainly looks a distinct possibility if the run can be continued for the remaining 5 games of the season.