The Bantams conceded three goals as they fell to a second successive home league defeat at the hands of Yeovil Town.
Aaron Martin headed the Glovers ahead inside the opening 8 minutes and he scored another header 15 minutes later to give his side a comfortable lead. Rory McArdle powered home a header from Alan Sheehan’s corner shortly after to give City hope but in a game where the hosts weren’t too much of a threat going forward, the visitors were the opposite however, and scored their third in the second half through Ajay Leitch-Smith to wrap up all three points.
Phil Parkinson made a whole host of changes from the side that were beaten at Oldham Athletic in midweek in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, five in total with Gary Liddle, James Hanson, Billy Clarke, Billy Knott and Mason Bennett coming in for Matthew Dolan, Aaron Mclean, Mark Yeates, Christopher Routis and Oliver McBurnie who all dropped to the bench for this game. There was only a single change from the last league match – a 2-0 win at Rochdale with Billy Clarke coming in for Filipe Morais who was ruled out with injury.
Both teams had a half chance in the opening few minutes of the game with Billy Clarke heading over at one end before Ajay Leitch-Smith saw an angled shot go comfortably over Jordan Pickford’s bar. It took only 8 minutes though for Yeovil to take the lead; Sam Foley’s corner was met powerfully by the head of Aaron Martin to give the visitors the perfect start.
Leitch-Smith was proving to be a lively outlet for Yeovil and after seeing a low angled shot trickle narrowly wide of the far post, a few minutes later, after latching onto Jack Price’s through ball he saw a firm angled shot beaten away by Pickford.
With City on the ropes, the visitors added a second and it was the towering centre half Aaron Martin who was responsible for it once again. After Mason Bennett had given away a free kick 25 yards from goal, Foley delivered a floaty free kick and Martin glanced the ball into the far, bottom corner beyond the reach of Pickford.
City responded within three minutes and pulled a goal back through Rory McArdle. Alan Sheehan’s corner was met on the move by McArdle who powered a header past Chris Weale from close range to drag his side back into the contest.
The combination of Sheehan and McArdle proved useful once again from a set piece as the Bantams went close to levelling the game a few minutes later; Sheehan’s floated free kick was headed across the area by McArdle but Ben Nugent got something on the ball meaning James Hanson’s connection on the stretch couldn’t quite force the ball towards goal.
There needed to be a response early in the second half from the home side but it was Yeovil that came close to scoring again within a couple of minutes of the restart, Foley who already had two assists laid the ball into the path of Nathan Smith who lashed a shot across goal and narrowly wide of the far post.
The Bantams didn’t look as creative as usual on the ground but would always pose a threat from set-pieces or aerial attempts in the area and Gary Liddle went close when he glanced Sheehan’s near post corner a yard or so over the bar as it looped towards the far corner. James Hanson then went very close to levelling the score; Smith half cleared danger and Darby headed the ball back into the mix but Hanson’s header went inches wide of the near post to let the visitors off the hook.
Clarke tried a curler from 25 yards after Hanson had teed him up well but his first time shot went harmlessly over the bar, pretty much summing up City’s bad day at the office.
Yeovil were still looking a real threat going forward and after McArdle had done excellently to get in the way of James Hayter’s goal bound shot, Town’s third goal did come moments later. Jack Price kept the resulting corner in on the far side and he got the better of Clarke before pulling the ball back for Leitch-Smith to fire an impressive first time shot into the top corner from just inside the area.
With a couple of minutes remaining Billy Knott produced City’s best attempt on goal all afternoon; after Smith had headed Sheehan’s free kick half clear the ball hit McArdle and fell into the path of Knott who then proceeded to hit a half volley towards goal that went marginally over Weale’s bar.