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Bradford City 4 Bristol Rovers 1

PUBLISHED

19:35 9th April 2013

Tuesday 9 April 2013
npower League 2
Bradford City 4 (Wells 6, pen 22, Davies 45+3, Thompson 57)
Bristol Rovers 1 (Hitchcock 50)
Kick Off: 7.45pm
at the Coral Windows Stadium

Attendance: 10,621 (180 visitors)
Pictures kindly provided by Gintare Karpaviciute

The Bantams pushed themselves back into the Play-Off places with a convincing victory over Bristol Rovers.


Helped by a highly-intense start from Phil Parkinson's men, City found themselves two goals to the good after only 22 minutes thanks to two Nahki Wells strikes.


Wells, who hit the bar after only seventeen seconds, headed home from close range following an accurate Garry Thompson cross with six minutes gone before the Bermudian drove home a second from the penalty spot after a foul on Ricky Ravenhill.


Two goals up, City never truly looked back as Andrew Davies realistically made the points safe in first half injury time when he headed home a Gary Jones free-kick.


Rovers did open up the potential for a slight wobble in the City camp at the start of the second half, however, when Tom Hitchcock seized on a mistake from Rory McArdle to slot past Jon McLaughlin five minutes after the restart.


Any Rovers dreams of a comeback with quickly ended just seven minutes later though when Wells turned provider this time for Thompson to net City's fourth.


Taking advantage of a sloppy pass from Michael Smith, Wells played Thompson into space behind Rovers' backline and the attacker was able to race clear and fire the ball between Mildenhall's legs.


The win - City's fourth in their last five league games - sees Parkinson's men leapfrog Exeter City into that vital seventh spot in the League 2 table - the last Play-Off place - with only four games of the regular season to go.


MATCH UPDATES
FT: Bradford City 4 Bristol Rovers 1
90+1min: Connell fires a yard or so wide of Mildenhall's near post with a rising drive from an angle inside Rovers' box.
90min: There will be three minutes added on at the end of the match.
88min: YELLOW CARD - Michael Smith is booked for clipping Reid's ankles as the City winger burst forward deep into Rovers territory.
87min: Mildenhall makes a bright save to his right to keep out an effort from Reid after the winger had burst into the area and earned himself a sight of goal.
86min: Ravenhill picks up possession of the bouncing ball around 25 yards from goal before fizzing in a low half-volley which is straight at Mildenhall.
81min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Alan Connell for Wells.
80min: Brunt strikes for goal from the edge of the area but his rising effort flies a good few yards over the bar.
76min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Will Atkinson for Thompson.
75min: Brunt tries his luck from around distance but his half-volley on the turn sails well over McLaughlin's bar.
72min: SUB - The Bantams take off Jones for Nathan Doyle.
71min: SUB - Rovers bring on Eliot Richards for Anyinsah.
68min: Wells turns away from a couple of Rovers defenders before Mildenhall produces a great reaction save to tip the Bermudian's rising angled drive around the post.
66min: YELLOW CARD - Hitchcock is booked for arguing too much over the award of a City free-kick.
65min: James Meredith appears in a spot of bother as he is caught on the ball just inside his own penalty box by Brunt. In an attempt to redeem the situation, Meredith toe-pokes the ball away from Brunt and back to McLaughlin. The Bantams 'keeper picks up the ball, leading to claims of a back-pass from the visitors but nothing is given.
62min: Reid fizzes over a low dangerous cross along the six yard box but Mildenhall pounces on the ball gratefully.
62min: YELLOW CARD - Norburn is booked for giving a foul away out on City's left flank.
57min: GOAL!!!! Bradford City 4 Bristol Rovers 1 - The Bantams have a fourth when Wells plays Thompson into space in behind Rovers' defence with only Mildenhall to beat. Driving forward to just outside the Rovers penalty area, Thompson drills the ball through the legs of the 'keeper.
50min: GOAL - Bradford City 3 Bristol Rovers 1 - The visitors have a goal back when McArdle misses the ball when attempting to kick clear, allowing Hitchcock a run on goal. One-on-one with McLaughlin, Hitchcock strokes the ball home via the inside of the far post.
49min: Rovers have a couple of half-opportunities to get a strike on goal as City fail to properly clear their lines from a free-kick. The danger eventually ends for City when they are awarded a free-kick for a push on McLaughlin as the 'keeper went up to claim a hanging ball.
46min: The Bantams restart the match.
HT: Bradford City 3 Bristol Rovers 0
45+3min: GOAL!!!! Bradford City 3 Bristol Rovers 0 - City have a third in first half injury time! Jones' flighted free-kick into area from distance is met by Andrew Davies, who heads home past a stranded Mildenhall.
45+1min: Brunt charges down McArdle's attempted clearance but the striker's first time effort from a wide position around the edge of City's penalty area sails well wide of McLaughlin's goal.
45min: There will be five minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
31min: Reid drives in a low cross-come-shot from outside the area but the strike bobbles a good few yards wide of Mildenhall's far post.
28min: CHANCE - Rovers squander a great chance to pull a goal back when McLaughlin produces a great reaction save to keep out a header from point blank range by an unmarked Hitchcock following Broghammer's cross into the area. Ryan Brunt and Joe Anyinsah try to fire the loose ball home as it pings around City's area but after a couple of timely-blocks, the Bantams are eventually able to clear their box.
24min: Mildenhall comes to the edge of his penalty area to claim a Gary Jones free-kick but can only spill the ball to the ground. Thankfully for Rovers though, Broghammer is on hand to hook the ball clear from danger.
22min: GOAL!!!! Bradford City 2 Bristol Rovers 0 - Wells drives the penalty home into the bottom corner despite Mildenhall guessing the right way.
21min: PENALTY TO THE BANTAMS!!!! - City have a penalty when Ricky Ravenhill is first to a half-cleared Bantams corner before being brought down by Broghammer just inside Rovers' area.
20min: Wells drives for goal when the ball falls into his path around fourteen yards out and Mildenhall gets down to scoop the effort over the bar. 
17min: CHANCE - With one of his first touches on the pitch, Clarke charges down an attempted clearance from Rory McArdle to give him the opportunity to race clear for McLaughlin's goal.  Clarke drives into the area and strikes for goal but McLaughlin makes himself big and keeps makes the save before Stephen Darby follows up with the clearance.
15min: SUB - Woodards has now been replaced for Oliver Clarke.
15min: Play has been stopped for a few minutes now after Danny Woodards is discovered in a heap on the floor shortly after City's recent attack involving Thompson. Woodards, who is down just inside his own half, appears to have seriously damaged his leg or ankle and will need to be stretchered off.
11min: Kyel Reid's delightful cross into the area finally finds the feet of Thompson, but the attacker seems to snatch at the chance and his effort for goal is sliced high and wide.
9min: Tom Hitchcock takes aim from around 20 yards out but his low effort rolls a yard or so wide of Jon McLaughlin's goal.
6min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 1 Bristol Rovers 0 - City have a dream start as Wells nets! After Garry Thompson robs Brown of the ball out on City's right flank, the Bermudian is in the perfect place to head home from barely five yards out with a simple header after being found by Thompson's subsequent cross.
4min: Following a half-cleared City corner, James Meredith attempts to shoot for goal from distance. His effort is helped on by the out-stretched boot of James Hanson, but the striker's intervention seems to take all the power out of the strike and Mildenhall can gather easily.
1min: CHANCE! Nahki Wells hits the crossbar! Cutting in from a wide position, Wells turns away from Lee Brown before rifling in a drive from inside the area that has Steve Mildenhall beaten but also rattles against the frame of the goal as well.
0min: Bristol Rovers kick off the match. City will attack towards the T.L Dallas Stand end in the first half.
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP
McLaughlin, Darby, Davies, McArdle, Meredith, Thompson, Jones, Ravenhill, Reid, Wells, Hanson
Subs: Duke, Atkinson, McHugh, Connell, Hines, Nelson, Doyle

Bradford changes:
Doyle for Jones (72), Atkinson for Thompson (76), Connell for Wells (81)

Bradford cautions:

Bradford dismissals:

BRISTOL ROVERS LINE UP
Mildenhall, Smith, McDonald, McChrystal, Brown, Anyinsah, Woodards, Norburn, Broghammer, Brunt, Hitchcock
Subs: Gough, Paterson, Richards, Harding, Clarke, Lockyer

Bristol Rovers changes:
Clarke for Woodards (15), Richards for Anyinsah (71), 

Bristol Rovers cautions:
Norburn (62), Hitchcock (66), Smith (88)

Bristol Rovers dismissals:

MATCH OFFICIALS:
Referee: Tony Harrington
Assistant Referee: Alan Clayton
Assistant Referee: Philip Dermott
Fourth Official: Mark Astley