The Bantams recovered from last weekend’s narrow defeat at Port Vale to produce an outstanding victory over Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United. Nahki Wells caught the eye yet again as his double continued his terrific goal scoring form as he moved top of the League 1 top scorers chart with 5 league goals in only 4 games. His first came on the stroke of half time and his second put the game to bed late on to seal three points for his side.
United began the game well and after Lyle Taylor picked out Jamie Murphy with an incisive through ball the latter emerged through on goal but was denied brilliantly by Jon McLaughlin. City tried their luck at the other end when Wells fired a low shot half a yard or so wide of the target after finding some space 20 yards from goal.
Wells surely thought he had scored with his next opportunity; James Meredith burst into the area and pulled the ball back to him but the Bermudian could only watch as England U21 goalkeeper George Long pulled off an extraordinary point blank save.
Febian Brandy was beginning to cause problems with the ball at his feet and after forcing a decent save from McLaughlin one moment the next he was going to ground in the area under a challenge from Rory McArdle. Big claims for a penalty came pouring in but the challenge looked to be a fair one and the ref waved play on.
Blades’ young keeper George Long was certainly having a decent first half between the sticks and after the ball had hit the referee it then fell kindly to Wells who forced another top save from the stopper with a fierce 25 yard strike.
The game was evenly balanced going into the closing stages of the first half but it was the United defence that was broken down first. Wells was picked out in the area and he isolated Neil Collins before turning him inside and out and firing an unstoppable angled low drive into the far corner to send the hosts into the half time interval a goal to the good.
The start of the second half was not exactly high octane stuff but a seemingly uncharacteristic error by Long almost gifted City a second goal. He came outside his area to meet the ball and sliced an attempted clearance horribly; fortunately for him though, Collins was on hand to clear up with James Hanson lurking.
Jon McLaughlin hadn’t had the busiest afternoon he will have all season but he had to make an alert save to keep the scores level 5 minutes later. Substitute Ryan Flynn’s 20 yard strike deflected off Stephen Darby and looped towards goal and the City stopper had to backtrack to tip the ball over the bar.
City thought they had a dead certain penalty in the 71st minute when Garry Thompson went down under a challenge from a United player but the appeals were waved away; The Kop was furious with the decision as them and most others in the ground thought they was a very strong case for a spot kick to be given.
David Weir’s men began to become more and more urgent in their attempt to find an equaliser with the clock against them. Substitute Joe Ironside missed the best of their chances when he scooped a close range shot over the bar after Flynn had headed Conor Coady’s cross into his path.
Liverpool loanee Coady saw a low 25 yard drive fizz narrowly wide of the target and Jamie Muphy’s shot was sliced wide as the visiting supporters continued to be left frustrated.
The result was put beyond all doubt in the 89th minute when Wells scored his and City’s second of the afternoon. Long could only parry Raffaele De Vita’s powerful shot into the air, Hanson headed down into the path of Wells who scuffed a half volley into the far corner to leave Long wrong footed and seal an impressive 3 points for his side.