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19 April 2019 Venue Ricoh Arena Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

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Match Reports

BANTAMS HANDED DECISIVE DEFEAT BY COVENTRY

19 April 2019

Gary Bowyer's Bantams began their extended Easter weekend with a 2-0 defeat by play-off chasing Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena.

Goals from former Bantams loanee Jordy Hiwula and Bright Enobakhare proved enough to send Bowyer's men to a Good Friday loss at the hands of the Sky Blues.

The Bantams had to play the entire second half with ten men after Nathaniel Knight-Percival was given his marching orders on the stroke of half time for a second bookable offence.

With only three games of the season still to go for the Bantams, this Coventry defeat for City sadly all but confirms relegation from Sky Bet League One.

Bowyer made three changes to his starting XI for City's trip to the Midlands.

Ben Wilson was handed his first league start in Bradford colours, while Anthony O'Connor and Connor Wood were recalled into the team.

Although the game ultimately ended in a comfortable victory for the hosts, it was the Bantams who certainly started the brighter.

Bowyer's men could have actually been in front in just the second minute when Sky Blues 'keeper Lee Burge failed to hold onto a cross into the box from Wood.

Lewis O'Brien was quickly onto the loose ball and fired for goal, but an alert Tom Davies was on hand to throw his body in the way and block the effort behind.

Sean Scannell, who was a constant threat to Coventry down Citys right all afternoon, then got involved twice in fairly quick succession minutes later.

A run down the wing from Scannell and a cross into the area eventually saw the ball drop into the path of Jacob Butterfield.

Butterfield shot for goal from just inside the box but the effort was held by Burge.

Scannell tested the Coventry defence once again soon after when he surged towards their penalty area from deep.

The winger twisted and turned into shooting space but his eventual strike from inside the box was deflected off target.

With the Bantams enjoying a bright opening to the contest then, it was all the more frustrating when Coventry took the lead nine minutes in with virtually their first meaningful attack on City's goal.

Hiwula was played into space in the box behind City's back-line and despite the efforts of a couple of recovering defenders, the attacker was able to fire low past Wilson.

Suddenly following Hiwula's opener, Coventry came forward again on the counter-attack less than a minute later and could easily have doubled their lead.

Luke Thomas found himself on the end of the move and with a clear sight of Wilson's goal, but City somehow managed to scramble the danger away as the attacker delayed getting his shot away.

To continue the fast-paced start to the encounter, City went up the field with their next attack and could have actually drawn themselves level.

The dangerous Scannell fired for goal from just inside the box but the low angled drive was superbly tipped around the far post by Burge.

It wasn't long before another chance came along - just four minutes in fact - as Enobakhare was found in the box.

The Coventry forward fired for goal from an angle and the rising drive crashed against the outside of Wilson's near post.

The game eventually settled down midway into the fixture, but what didn't change was that Scannell was still proving to be City's greatest attacking threat going forward.

Another burst down the right from the winger found O'Brien in the box, but the midfielder's low drive was held by Burge.

Five minutes after the half hour mark Knight-Percival received his first caution of the afternoon for a fierce challenge on Jordan Shipley just outside the box.

A deflected strike wide by Scannell at one end and a low Hiwula drive held by Wilson at the other end then followed, before Knight-Percival unfortunately doubled his yellow card tally for the half just before the break.

As Coventry ventured forward, Amadou Bakayoko appeared to eased over off the ball by Knight-Percival.

Referee Lee Swabey spotted the infringement and gave the City defender his marching orders.

In an attempt to occupy Coventry's defence in the second period, Bowyer called for the fresh legs of George Miller to lead the attack - the striker replacing fellow attacker Eoin Doyle before the restart.

A man down, City's plan in the second half was clearly to keep things as tight as possible at the back and hope they could claim something on the break or from a set-piece.

As long as the game only stayed 1-0, the Bantams had a chance, but Hiwula blew two great opportunity within four minutes either side of the hour mark to put the hosts in the driving seat.

Hiwula's first golden opening came when Enobakhare flicked a Thomas cross low into the striker's path.

Hiwula was unmarked as he fired for goal, with some Coventry fans already celebrating, but the effort flashed just wide of the far post.

The former City forward was found in space again in the box soon after from another Thomas cross, but Anthony O'Connor got his body in the way to block the close range strike.

As Coventry kept coming, kept trying to use their one-man advantage to full affect, City remained resolute.

Wilson gathered up from a Bakayoko header following Dujon Sterling's centre, while Anthony O'Connor and Wilson combined to deny sub Conor Chaplin and Sam McCallum from a separate attack twenty minutes from the end.

Hiwula was the next Coventry player to get involved from an attack literally a minute or so later, but this time it was Paudie O'Connor on hand to make the block - the Leeds loanee getting his body in the way of the striker's angled drive in the box.

Following those series of missed opportunities by Coventry to seemingly put the game to bed, the Bantams could have easily levelled things up with just over fifteen minutes to go.

A towering far post header from Anthony O'Connor from a City corner put the ball goalwards.

City subs Miller and Jermaine Anderson both threw themselves at the ball to try and scramble it home, but Coventry were able to clear from right in front of their own goal-line.

Coventry threatened from a set-piece of their own in the eighty-fifth minute, however, when Davies sent a thumping header goalwards from a Zain Westbrooke corner.

The effort looked to be heading in, but Daniel Devine - City's third substitution of the afternoon - got back to head clear off the line.

Sadly for Devine and City, though, Coventry were finally able to register a second goal of the afternoon two minutes before the end of normal time.

Sky Blues skipper Liam Kelly's clipped ball into the box found Enobakhare in space and the attacker rifled a strike past Wilson at his near post.

City did have one final chance to claim a goal in the last seconds of four minutes injury time, but Miller fired narrowly wide of the far post while inside the area after chasing down a ball over to top.

 

Match line-ups, stats and updates from the Coventry fixture can be found via our Match Centre - HERE.

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