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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
23:30 29th December 2013
By  Luke Gallagher

Bradford City 1 Swindon Town 1

City were made to settle for a share of the spoils against play-off contenders Swindon Town despite taking the lead through a first half Rory McArdle header. After losing Nahki Wells to injury early on The Bantams couldn’t quite find a second goal and Tottenham Hotspur loanee Alex Pritchard came up with a sublime equaliser with just under half an hour remaining.

With barely a couple of minutes on the clock, Swindon almost took the lead. A ball dropped kindly to Alex Pritchard who hit an ambitious 30 yard half volley that fizzed only inches over the crossbar.

Nicky Ajose’s low cross towards Nathan Byrne at the far post had to be alertly diverted behind for a corner by Stephen Darby before up at the other end of the field, on his return, Ricky Ravenhill hit a rising volley comfortably over the bar from the edge of the 18 yard box.

In the 16th minute City took the lead; Gary Jones corner was met by the head of the towering Rory McArdle to divert the ball in off the crossbar for his 4th of the season.

City were in their element now and almost got a second goal soon after through Nahki Wells. Twisting and turning in the area he evaded Grant Hall before hitting a low shot narrowly wide of the target.

Pritchard was proving to be a real live-wire all over the pitch for the visitors and he twice came close to equalising before the half time interval. His first attempt was a firm 25 yard drive that was held at the second time of asking by Jon McLaughlin before he saw a curling free kick fly just the wrong side of the post after Jones had brought down Jay McEveley.

The first meaningful chance of the second half belonged to James Hanson; Kyel Reid produced a perfect cross into the area but Hanson’s header proved to be a little too close to Wes Foderingham who held the ball alertly on his goal-line.

Swindon were getting closer and closer to their equaliser and were doing so through Pritchard and after the youngster saw a low shot go inches wide of the target he then tried a different way of trying to score; picking up the ball some 40 yards from goal he went on a mazy run beating 4 or 5 players before slotting the ball coolly past McLaughlin from 12 yards out.

Featuring more regularly for the first time of late, Oli McBurnie was introduced as a second half substitute and with his first touch of the ball he produced an excellent low cross which Hanson was inches away from turning in at the far post.

Nathan Doyle was the next to try his luck when he hit a sweet 20 yard volley towards goal, after a free kick was cleared only as far as him, which had to be tipped behind by Foderingham.

The game could’ve gone either way late on and the visitors worked a short corner to the edge of the area where Byrne hit a low shot which went just wide of the target to let City off the hook.

Substitute Mark Yeates curled a free kick a yard or so over the bar from 20 yards after Doyle had been brought down and Town almost snatched it with the last kick of the game when Miles Storey’s angled shot had to be tipped round the post by McLaughlin.