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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:23 11th March 2013

Port Vale 0 Bradford City 0

The Bantams battled to a well deserved point against promotion contenders Port Vale and even had their fair share of chances to win the game. 


James Hanson and Rory McArdle could've won the game with their second half openings but Phil Parkinson's men couldn't find a goal but still extended their post Wembley unbeaten run to three games.

 

After quite an uneventful opening quarter of an hour to the game, City came close to going ahead from Gary Jones' corner; his delivery was allowed to bounce in the area and the ball couldn't quite be latched onto by a pink shirt and the ball was scrambled clear by a sea of Port Vale players inside the area.

 

Will Atkinson was proving key to getting in behind Vale's line of midfield in the early stages of the game and after bursting forward to play a neat one-two with Garry Thompson he found space to produce a shot. His shot however, lacked the assurance of the move itself and he could only trickle a shot wide of Chris Neal's goal.

 

The hosts came into the game shortly after and Louis Dodds tried his luck with a speculative shot that deflected wide for a corner kick; from Jennison Myrie-Williams' resulting delivery it was the league's leading goalscorer Tom Pope that failed to hit the target with his glancing header.

 

Tom Pope found the target with his next attempt but was denied by a stunning save from Jon McLaughlin. Myrie-Williams' deep delivery from a freekick was headed back into the mix by Darren Purse and Pope headed towards goal, but despite going the wrong way, McLaughlin managed to tip the ball over the bar to produce arguably his best save of the season.

 

City came close to going in front a couple of minutes later; James Hanson turned away from Liam Chilvers excellently and got himself into the area, his dangerous low cross almost fell kindly to Garry Thomspon but he could only kick thin air in his attempt to score and the ball was cleared to safety.

 

Early in the second half James Hanson was denied by a combination of Chris Neal and the crossbar. Carl McHugh delivered a pin-point first time cross that was met cleanly by the head of Hanson but Neal got something on the ball to help it onto the crossbar.

 

The Bantams were then rescued by both a defensive block from Stephen Darby and some less than lethal finishing from Tom Pope. An intelligent pass from Louis Dodds allowed Ashley Vincent a shooting opportunity, though his low shot was blocked by Darby the ball fell kindly to Pope who could only fire the ball straight at McLaughlin.

 

James Hanson's aerial presence, as ever, was proving to be a headache for the opponents and he nearly headed City in front shortly before the hour. Gary Jones' whipped in a dangerous ball from a freekick situation and Hanson steered a header marginally wide of the near post with Chris Neal getting nowhere near the attempt.

 

Probably City's best chance of the whole game came on the 61st minute; Zavon Hines did brilliantly to drag the ball past Richard Duffy and get in behind him but his resulting cross was blocked away for a corner kick. Gary Jones' excellently delivered corner kick was met at the near post by Rory McArdle who saw his effort blocked on the line, the ball came across the area to James Hanson who scrambled a shot towards goal but the ball was eventually cleared to safety.

 

Louis Dodds came close to scoring a superb goal when Gary Jones could only clear Doug Loft's deflected cross into his path, but his dipping half volley from 20 yards dropped narrowly over the bar.

 

Tom Pope was guilty of missing another decent opportunity for the hosts when Richard Duffy's pass allowed Ashley Vincent to deliver a decent cross into the area, Pope got to the ball first but could only direct his header wide of the target.

 

The game probably would've been won late on by Tom Pope if it wasn't for a crucial block coming in from Rory McArdle. A long ball was neatly played into the path of Pope by substitute Lee Hughes and as Pope looked set to snatch a second late winner against The Bantams at Vale Park in successive seasons, McArdle came across to deny him.

 

With limited room to manoeuvre, Daniel Jones produced a superb cross into the area from by the corner quadrant and Tom Pope met the ball with a powerful header, that not for the first time, was fortunately straight at Jon McLaughlin and not much of a problem for the stopper.

 

In the 3rd minute of injury time, Doug Loft was given a straight red card for a seemingly reckless challenge on Ricky Ravenhill and City almost snatched a winner twice in the 5th minute of injury time. Both chances came from Kyel Reid's crosses, the first was headed down by Hanson but Nahki Wells couldn't get to the loose ball ahead of his marker and the second was clung onto at the second time of asking by Chris Neal with Hanson lurking.