The Bantams suffered their first defeat of the 2013-14 season last Saturday at the hands of Micky Adams’ Port Vale.
Lee Hughes pounced on James Meredith’s attempted pass back to Jon McLaughlin to fire the hosts ahead but Nahki Wells equalised in the second half to keep his terrific goal scoring form going. Despite a much improved second half from the visitors it was Vale who took all three points through Doug Loft’s deflected strike.
City started the game brightly and almost went ahead inside four minutes when Vale could only half clear their lines from Mark Yeates’ free kick before Nathan Doyle saw a ferocious goal bound volley deflect over the bar for a corner kick.
Port Vale seemed to use physicality to force their way into the game and after Hughes switched play well to find Jennison Myrie-Williams the latter produced a teasing cross which was headed wide at the far post by last season’s top scorer Tom Pope.
Tom Pope wasn’t standing out as one of the better performers in the game but whilst he was present in the area he was always a threat. Daniel Jones provided the cross on this occasion, again Pope met the ball with a header but once more he couldn’t keep his effort on target.
Jon McLaughlin was forced into an excellent double save late on in the first half; Hughes forced him into an outstanding low save with a firm volley from the edge of the area and the stopper was up quickly enough to deny Kaid Mohamed from the rebound.
A few minutes before the half time interval Vale took the lead. James Meredith’s attempted pass back to McLaughlin fell way short and Hughes intervened before composing himself and slotting into a barely guarded goal.
Just before the hour mark Parkinson’s men deservedly got the equalising goal. Wells got into the area well before producing a firm low shot which was beaten away by Chris Neal in Vale’s goal, Garry Thompson’s follow up was blocked in the goalmouth and Wells reacted quickest to stab the ball home from close range.
In the 67th minute the hosts went back in front. A ball into the area is picked up by Hughes amongst a crowd of players before he teed up Doug Loft for a shot from 18 yards that deflected off Gary Jones and nestled into the top corner, had the deflection not occurred McLaughlin would have most probably dealt with effort.
The Bantams were dominant in the latter stages of the game as they tried desperately to find an equaliser, the introduction of Kyel Reid strengthened the attacking options and it was his cross that fell to fellow substitute Raffa De Vita but after squirming past two players he saw his shot blocked before Nathan Doyle’s follow up was also deflected away to safety.
Reid’s cross-shot deflected narrowly over the bar as City continued to press and Alan Connell saw a header blocked from De Vita’s cross before Meredith skied an effort over the bar. Vale held on for their first victory of the season as City suffered their first league defeat.