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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:07 16th April 2013
By  Luke Gallagher

Bradford City 0 Rotherham United 2

In a closely contested Yorkshire Derby, The Bantams were beaten by two goals in the final ten minutes. 


A largely questionable penalty was tucked away by Lee Frecklington and a counter attacking goal in injury time scored by Kieran Agard sealed the win for Steve Evans' men to move them into the automatic promotion places and leave City still clinging onto seventh position by a single point.

 

City started the brighter of the two teams in what would ultimately be a very tentative affair and after a handful of corner kicks early on the Rotherham defence was undone, but undone unfairly in the eyes of referee Mark Haywood. Gary Jones' corner was met by James Hanson who crashed home a header past Scott Shearer. The goal however, was chalked off for a foul on Claude Davis in the build up.

 

Rotherham then displayed their own attacking intent when Kieran Agard burst clear down the right hand side, he proceeded to produce a low cross which was met by Lee Frecklington. The former Lincoln City midfielder saw his shot blocked but he headed the rebound towards goal and Jon McLaughlin gathered the ball under pressure from Ben Pringle.

 

The Bantams thought they'd gone in front once again only to see the goal chalked off once more. James Hanson flicked on a long punt upfield and Gary Jones gathered the ball before threading a ball across to Garry Thompson who slotted a shot coolly past Scott Shearer but the flag was up on the far side for an offside decision.

 

The visitors came close to going ahead a couple of minutes later but were denied by a tremendous save from Jon McLaughlin. Rotherham lead a counter attack and Pringle's teasing cross was headed downwards towards goal by Alex Revell but he was denied expertly by City's in-form stopper.

 

Phil Parkinson's men pushed for a goal before the half time interval and came close twice in stoppage time. Garry Thompson's long throw in bounced about inside the area and the ball came out as far as Gary Jones who tested Scott Shearer with a firm half volley from the edge of the area. Wells was then denied by a smart block after he had received Thompson's knock down to twist and turn before producing a shot from inside the area.

 

The second half started brightly for both teams as they both went in search of the opening goal. Garry Thompson came close to grabbing the first goal when he controlled a ball on the edge of the area before hitting a dipping shot a yard or so over the bar.

 

Jon McLaughlin had to be on his toes once again to push Alex Revell's goal bound stab behind for a corner following Ben Pringle's fizzing low cross.

 

Garry Thompson was trying his luck from long distance once again and after receiving James Hanson's knock down he let rip with a fierce half volley from 30 yards that fizzed a yard or so over the bar.

 

Rotherham were awarded a freekick around 30 yards from goal and it was the unlikely figure of Kari Arnason that looked set to take the set-piece; the Icelander stepped up and drilled a low shot through the wall and McLaughlin had to be alert to gather the ball without hesitation ahead of players inside the area.

 

With ten minutes of the ninety remaining, the visitors were awarded a penalty kick. An aerial ball was challenged for by both Alex Revell and Michael Nelson, Revell seemed to unfairly nudge Nelson out of the way and referee Mark Haywood pointed to the spot for an extremely harsh handball decision against Nelson. Lee Frecklington took the penalty and made no mistake, hammering the ball into the bottom corner.

 

Phil Parkinson had to throw everything at the cause at such a late stage now and Alan Connell was introduced from the bench and joined the attacking cavalry. Shortly after his arrival he created a a chance for Nahki Wells. Gary Jones laid the ball back to Connell who produced a first time cross that Wells could only head comfortably over the bar.

 

Alan Connell then wasted a goal scoring opportunity of his own two minutes into the five of injury time. Jon McLaughlin launched a hopeful long ball forwards and James Hanson knocked it down, the ball hit Nahki Wells and bounced to Connell who scooped the ball over the bar from around 6 yards out.

 

City were awarded a corner that was to be virtually the last kick of the game, McLaughlin got the nod to go up for the corner and when Jones' delivery wasn't capitalised on Rotherham ignited a counter attack. With McLaughlin sprinting back towards his own goal the ball was worked to Kieran Agard and he used his unbelievable acceleration to find himself through on an empty goal, he tapped home to hand his side a somewhat undeserved second goal.

 

Agard's killer goal was the last action of the game and City's brilliant recent form received a significant dent. Still in pole position to take the final play-off place The Bantams face Burton Albion at home on Saturday in what could be a season deciding fixture!