Saturday 24 November 2012
npower League 2
Bristol Rovers 3 (Branston 1, Eaves 32, Smith 62)
Bradford City 3 (Wells 28, McHugh 55, Hanson 68)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at the Coral Windows Stadium
Attendance: 5,092 (310 visitors)
Pictures kindly provided by Neil Brookman
City commendably came from behind THREE times to grab a hard-fought draw from an event-filled encounter with Bristol Rovers at a rain-lashed Memorial Stadium.
Efforts from Nahki Wells, Carl McHugh and James Hanson secured a fully-deserved point for Phil Parkinson's men, but City also suffered the blow of losing Nathan Doyle to a controversial red card in injury time.
Under darken skies, City suffered a nightmare start in the rain as former Bantams defender Guy Branston, who had only signed on loan at Rovers this Thursday, got clear at a corner to send a glancing header past Matt Duke within the first minute of the match.
Will Atkinson was positioned on the line to try and clear the effort but the ball still managed to squirm through his legs.
Parkinson's men recovered from the early blow, however, to equalise through a fine finish from Wells - his fourteenth goal of the season - after the Bermudian had been played into space inside the area by Atkinson.
The Bantams didn't remain on level terms for long though when Tom Eaves strode to the edge of City's penalty area before beating Duke at his near post with a low drive.
In fairness to Duke, his efforts to keep the strike out weren't helped by Eaves' strike taking a slight deflection off the leg of Rory McArdle.
City drew themselves level for the second time of the afternoon ten minutes after the restart when McHugh sent a thumping header crashing past Rovers 'keeper Sam Walker direct from a Gary Jones corner.
To the frustration of all within the City camp though, Rovers were once again able to take the lead of an increasingly eventful match when Michael Smith drove home from just inside the area after Derek Riordan's blocked effort had fallen into his path.
Despite the blow of falling behind once more in the game, City rallied around yet again - showing praiseworthy spirit and character in the process - to equalise for a third time thanks to Hanson.
After playing the ball out wide to birthday boy Garry Thompson, Hanson completed the move in pleasing fashion when he headed home into the bottom corner via an accurate downward header.
Hanson's header may have marked the end of the goals, but it wasn't the end of the action as two players - including Doyle - saw red in injury time.
Already on a yellow for an earlier foul, Wayne Brown dived into James Meredith with a wild tackle right in front of the dug-outs, sparking off a heated confrontation between both sets of players.
Doyle, clearly incensed by Brown's needless lunge, ran over to confront the Rovers man before players from both sides joined in with the pushing and shoving.
Despite not appearing to touch a grounded Brown, Doyle was sent off after a couple of minutes spent by the officials trying to work out what had actually happened in the fall-out from dangerous tackle.
Brown himself was then given his second caution of the afternoon for the foul to see Rovers drop down to ten men as well.
In the tenth minute of an extended added time period, substitute Alan Connell had a great chance to snatch it at the death but he narrowly missed getting on the end of Hanson's flick-on right in front of goal.
FT: Bristol Rovers 3 Bradford City 3
90+10min: Connell is inches away from latching onto Hanson's knock down right in front of Rovers' goal.
90+8min: YELLOW CARD = RED CARD - Wayne Brown is also given his matching orders for his second yellow of the afternoon for the initial tackle on Meredith.
90+7min: RED CARD - After taking a good few minutes to try and decide who has done what, the referee gives Nathan Doyle a straight red card for his path in the confrontation.
90+5min: A fierce tackle from Wayne Brown on Meredith right in front of the dug-outs sparks off a mass confrontation between both sets of players.
90+3min: Play is halted briefly as Kenneth is down received treatment. Kenneth is back on the pitch soon enough but the delay will add further time onto the five minutes of originally scheduled overtime played here.
90min: There will be five minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
88min: YELLOW CARD - Clucas is booked for holding back Atkinson as the Bantams midfielder looks to try and close down Paterson down by the near touchline.
84min: YELLOW CARD - Anyinsah is booked for catching Duke as the Bantams 'keeper just beats the Rovers attacker to a searching through ball.
83min: SUB - Alan Connell is brought on for Wells.
79min: YELLOW CARD - Despite letting play carry on, referee Mr David Phillips still books McHugh for an earlier tackle on Seanan Clucas.
77min: SUB - Ritchie Jones is brought on for Thompson.
74min: McHugh fires a yard or so wide of the target with a sliding volley on the stretch as the defender flings himself to reach a teasing Jones delivery from a City corner.
68min: GOAL!!!!! Bristol Rovers 3 Bradford City 3 - The Bantams are level yet again! Thompson's searching cross into the area is converted by Hanson via a downward header into the corner.
66min: Duke makes a good reaction save to keep out a drive from just inside the area from Derek Riordan that took a deflection on its way through to the Bantams 'keeper.
62min: GOAL - Bristol Rovers 3 Bradford City 2 - Rovers are back in front for a third time this afternoon when Michael Smith rifles home from just inside the area after City had failed to properly clear the danger following a Wayne Brown cross.
61min: Hanson's powerful drive from an angle inside Rovers' penalty area is held by Walker.
60min: Meredith is back on the pitch now to bring City back up to their full allocation.
60min: Play is carrying on now while Meredith receives further treatment by the touchline, leaving City temporarily down to ten men.
58min: Meredith is down receiving treatment after appearing to take a nasty whack to his head.
55min: GOAL!!!! Bristol Rovers 2 Bradford City 2 - Carl McHugh grabs City's second leveller of the afternoon when he sends a thumping header past Walker direct from Jones' corner.
53min: YELLOW CARD - Wayne Brown is booked for bringing down Jones as the midfielder surged forward with purpose into Rovers' half.
50min: Hanson's downward header from a Jones corner seems to slip through Walker's clutches but the 'keeper is relieved to see the effort bounce over his bar and not into his net.
48min: Wells' weak angled drive from just outside the area is easily gathered at his near post by Walker.
46min: Thompson lashes a first-time effort well wide of the target after Hanson's knock-down had fallen his way about 20 yards out.
46min: The Bantams restart the match.
HT: Bristol Rovers 2 Bradford City 1
45min: There will be two minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
43min: Thompson fires over the bar with a first-time rising half-volley following James Meredith's low cross into the area.
41min: Wells fires a yard or so over the bar with an angled drive from around 20 yards out.
38min: After latching onto a free ball just outside Rovers' area, Garry Thompson fires for goal with menace but his drive takes a big deflection up off a Rovers defender and loops up and out for a corner.
34min: Joe Anyinsah's fierce strike for goal is blocked out for a Rovers corner after the home striker had run onto the ball at pace following a deflected cross within City's area.
32min: GOAL - Bristol Rovers 2 Bradford City 1 - Rovers fire themselves back in front when Eaves finds the net. Picking up the ball around midway into City's half after the Bantams had coughed up possession, Eaves travels forward to just outside City's penalty box before beating Duke at his near post with a low drive that takes a little nick off Rory McArdle on its way through.
28min: GOAL!!!! - Bristol Rovers 1 Bradford City 1 - The Bantams equalise through Wells! After surging forward with the ball deep into Rovers territory, Atkinson feeds Wells into plenty of space inside the area. Positioned wide of goal, Wells runs onto the ball before curling a well-taken strike past Walker and into the far corner.
18min: James Hanson shows great control to bring down Wells' far post cross but his strike for goal from around eight yards out is skewed well wide of the target.
16min: Tom Eaves' downward header from around twelve yards out following Paterson's cross into the area is gathered by Duke.
10min: Will Atkinson volleys narrowly wide from the edge of the area after Bristol Rovers had failed to completely clear the resulting City corner.
9min: Nahki Wells wriggles away from the attentions of Gary Kenneth but sees his low angled strike from inside the area take a slight deflection on its way past Sam Walker's far post.
1min: GOAL - Bristol Rovers 1 Bradford City 0 - Nightmare start for the Bantams as former Bradford defender Guy Branston scores with the first attack of the match for Rovers. From a Jim Paterson corner, Branston heads home past Matt Duke with a glancing header that Will Atkinson can't quite clear off the line.
0min: Under dark skies and with the rain lashing it down, Bristol Rovers kick off the match.
BRISTOL ROVERS LINE UP
Walker, Woodards, Branston, Kenneth, Paterson, Smith, W Brown, Clucas, Riordan, Anyinsah, Eaves
Subs: Gough, Gill, L Brown, Norburn, Harding, Lockyer, Santos
Bristol Rovers changes:
Bristol Rovers cautions:
W Brown (53), Anyinsah (84), Clucas (88)
Bristol Rovers dismissals:
W Brown (90+8)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP
Duke, Darby, McArdle, McHugh, Meredith, Thompson, G Jones, Doyle, Atkinson, Hanson, Wells
Subs: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, R Jones, Forsyth, Connell, Naylor, Turgott
R Jones for Thompson (77), Connell for Wells (83)
Referee: David Phillips
Assistant Referee: Derek Eaton
Assistant Referee: Ollie Yates
Fourth Official: Timothy Wood