Saturday 15 December 2012
npower League 2
Southend United 2 (Cresswell 80, Tomlin 90+1)
Bradford City 2 (Wells 28 Prosser O.G 64)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at Roots Hall
Attendance: 5,142 (210 visitors)
City suffered late frustration at Roots Hall as two goals in the last ten minutes from Southend United forced the Bantams to settle for a share of the spoils from an entertaining clash with their fellow promotion-contenders.
Two goals up thanks to a close finish from Nahki Wells in the first half and an own goal from Southend's Luke Prosser in the second period, City looked set to pick up a hugely impressive win on their travels barely days after their titanic effort against Arsenal.
Southend defender Ryan Cresswell gave his side hope on 80 minutes, however, when he headed home Kevan Hurst's corner and Gavin Tomlin was then on hand to snatch a point for the hosts with a neat finish a minute into injury time.
Tomlin's late, late strike was heartbreaking for the Bantams after looking on course for all three points for so long in the game, but, in truth, Southend, who are now unbeaten in eleven matches, probably warranted something from the fixture after putting City under periods of pressure in the second half.
Given City's stunning achievement in the Capital One Cup during the week and Southend's fine form coming into the match though, on reflection, a point was probably something all within the City camp would have gladly taken pre-match.
After a bright start from Phil Parkinson's men which saw James Hanson head against the crossbar, City took the lead just before the half hour mark when Wells netted his fifteen goal of the season from close range.
Great link up play between James Meredith and Will Atkinson down City's left flank saw the former slide the ball across to Wells in space.
Wells' first effort was blocked by the legs of Prosser but with Southend 'keeper Paul Smith already committed to making the save, Wells had the time and space to tap the rebound into an empty net.
Southend went on the attack as they attempted to restore parity before the interval, with Britt Assombalonga heading narrowly wide with a downward header, but City still maintained their slender lead at the break.
The Shrimpers continued their forceful play after the restart but with City defending manfully as a solid unit, they kept their hosts at bay before managing to double their lead after 64 minutes.
Atkinson's low cross into the area found the frame of Prosser in the middle but the defender could only horribly slice the ball into the far corner of his own goal as he tried to kick clear.
City had a real foothold in the match now but with Southend throwing more and more men forward, they could never be counted out of the game, and they had lifeline ten minutes from time when Cresswell rose to head home.
The Bantams felt Matt Duke was fouled as the ball came into the area but the goal stood and it gave Southend the platform they needed to stage a late comeback.
One minute into the three allocated added minutes City failed to deal with a punt forward by Smith and Tomlin was able to latch onto the bouncing ball before slotting past a helpless Duke.
FT: Southend United 2 Bradford City 2
90+2min: Forsyth heads comfortably over the bar following Jones' free-kick into the area.
90+1min: GOAL - Southend United 2 Bradford City 2 - Heartbreak for City as they fail to deal with a long ball down the middle and Tomlin is able to turn into space inside the area before slotting back a helpless Duke.
90min: There will be three minutes of time added on.
89min: Hines does brilliantly to wriggle into the area from a wide position before eventually seeing his shot from a tight angle bundled away by Smith at his near post.
88min: Cresswell heads a yard or so over the bar following Hurst's free-kick into the area.
87min: McArdle gets a vital tackle in to take the sting out of a Assombalonga shot around the edge of the area, allowing Duke to gather with relative ease.
87min: SUB - Southend bring on Freddy Eastwood for Barker.
84min: McHugh makes a vital headed clearance to flick an in-swinging Tomlin cross over his own bar and away from a couple of Southend players.
84min: Assombalonga comes within inches of grabbing and equaliser for Southend when he latches onto a flick on from Corr before firing in a drive from the edge of the area that deflects narrowly wide of goal.
81min: SUB - City bring on Ricky Ravenhill for Doyle.
80min: GOAL - Southend United 1 Bradford City 2 - Southend have a goal back when Ryan Cresswell rises highest to head home a Hurst corner.
79min: After Hines' cross-come-shot is blocked out, Atkinson fires the rebound back in with menace but his rising strike from around fourteen yards out is tipped over the bar by Smith.
71min: Within seconds of coming on, Hines surges into the area before drilling the ball across the six yard box, narrowly missing the diving frame of Hanson in the middle.
71min: SUB - City bring on Zavon Hines for Wells.
69min: SUB - Barry Corr is brought on for Tamika Mkandawire for Southend.
68min: Tomlin low drive across goal from inside the area is pushed around the post by Duke.
67min: Timlin's far post cross is headed right across goal by Chris Barker but Rory McArdle is on hand to clear with a header of his own.
64min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!! Southend United 0 Bradford City 2 - City double their lead in slightly fortunate circumstances when Prosser slides a low cross into the area by Atkinson into the far corner of his own goal.
61min: Forsyth takes to slide Wells in on goal but the pass is narrowly over-hit and Prosser can eventually clear.
60min: SUB - City bring on Craig Forsyth for Thompson.
58min: Prosser fires narrowly wide of the target with a low drive across goal after a hanging cross into the area had eventually fallen into his path.
58min: YELLOW CARD - Nathan Doyle is booked for kicking the ball away following the award of a Southend free-kick inside City's own half. Given that the booking is the midfielder's fifth of the season, Doyle will now miss City's trip to Brentford in the F.A Cup next Tuesday.
56min: Assombalonga heads comfortably wide of goal following Clohessy's in-swinging cross into the area.
55min: After picking a fine cross-field pass from Timlin, Hurst cuts inside from a wide position before firing in a fierce left-footed rising drive from just outside the area that whistles narrowly wide of Duke's top corner.
46min: Carl McHugh misses his kick as he tries to clear a low Tomlin cross into the area. The ball goes through to Assombalonga around the edge of the six yard box but the striker doesn't seem to be expecting it and the ball bounces off him and out for a goal-kick.
46min: Southend restart the match.
HT: Southend United 0 Bradford City 1
45min: There will be one minute added on at the end of the first half.
43min: Tomlin shows great control to bring down a long pass from deep by Timlin to leave the striker in with a sight of City's goal. Duke is out quickly from his goal, however, and manages to do just enough to force the attacker to rush a wayward effort.
33min: Britt Assombalonga sends a downward header narrowly wide of Duke's goal after the striker had climbed up to attack a hanging Sean Clohessy cross into the area.
31min: A Hurst free-kick from around 20 yards out is blocked by the City wall before Timlin fires the loose ball over the bar with a fierce first-time drive from slightly further back.
28min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Southend United 0 Bradford City 1 - Wells gives the Bantams the lead of the match when he taps home from close range after his initial effort had been blocked out by Luke Prosser. The move to bring City the breakthrough began thanks to great play down their left flank involving Atkinson and Meredith. The Bantams left-back picks out an unmarked Wells on the edge of Southend's area and despite his first effort being blocked, the Bermudian is on hand to gobble up the rebound.
25min: YELLOW CARD - Timlin is booked for catching Stephen Darby with a late tackle out on the far touchline. Hanson glances a header well wide of the target from Jones' resulting free-kick from a wide position.
23min: A sharp turn from Wells inside Southend's area gives the striker a yard or so of space to get a shot away but his low effort for goal lacks the power to beat Smith, who saves with relative ease.
21min: Back-pedaling to reach the ball, Thompson fires a first-time effort over the bar from just inside Southend's penalty area after Meredith had robbed Hurst of the ball and whipped a low cross in.
17min: After a surging run forward and a one-two with Wells, Will Atkinson strikes for goal from just outside the area but the left-footed drive lacks the power and accuracy to overly-trouble Smith.
9min: A clever back-heel from Gavin Tomlin plays Michael Timlin into space inside City's area but his low angled drive from around ten yards out is saved by the legs of Duke at his near post.
9min: Hanson strikes the bar with a looping header following a Gary Jones free-kick floated to the far post from outside the area.
7min: Ryan Cresswell sends a far post header looping onto the roof of Duke's net following Hurst's corner into the area.
6min: A smart and flowing move from City ends with James Hanson heading narrowly over the bar from around the far post following James Meredith's teasing cross into the area.
3min: Following a poor kicking clearance from Matt Duke at the edge of the 'keeper's own area, Kevan Hurst picks up the ball and tries to lob the stranded shot-stopper with an effort from all of 50 yards. The strike isn't too far away but drifts a yard or so over the bar.
2min: Southend 'keeper Phil Smith has to race to the edge of his own penalty area to just beat Nahki Wells to a searching through-ball from deep by Nathan Doyle.
0min: The Bantams kick off the match.
SOUTHEND LINE UP
Smith, Clohessy, Cresswell, Prosser, Barker, Mkandawire, Timlin, Hurst, Laird, Assombalonga, Tomlin
Subs: Bentley, Straker, Eastwood, Martin, Donnelly, Leonard, Corr
Corr for Mkandawire (69), Eastwood for Barker (87)
BRADFORD LINE UP
Duke, Darby, Meredith, McArdle, McHugh, Thompson, G Jones, Doyle, Atkinson, Hanson, Wells
Subs: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, Forsyth, Connell, Hines, Turgott, Good
Forsyth for Thompson (60), Hines for Wells (71), Ravenhill for Doyle (81)
Referee: Stephen Martin
Assistant Referee: Michael Blackledge
Assistant Referee: Ian Fissenden
Fourth Official: David Avent