Saturday 20 October 2012
npower League 2
Bradford City 3 (Wells 45+4 pen, 68, Meredith 83)
Cheltenham Town 1 (Pack pen 29)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at the Coral Windows Stadium
Attendance: 9,648 (131 visitors)
Pictures kindly provided by Claire Epton
A double from Nahki Wells helped inspire City to a deserved home victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Cheltenham Town.
Wells' eighth and ninth goals of the season - his first coming from the penalty spot - were enough to overturn a lead picked up by Cheltenham just before the half hour mark thanks to a penalty of their own from Marlon Pack.
James Meredith then put the seal on the victory seven minutes from the end with his first ever goal in league football.
The victory moves City up to fifth in the League 2 table - one point off an automatic promotion spot - and hands Cheltenham their first away defeat of the season in the process.
With new loan signing Craig Forsyth in their side, Phil Parkinson's twice went close to opening the scoring with two James Hanson efforts in quick succession, but it was the visitors who made the breakthrough when Andrew Davies was adjudged to have bundled Jermaine McGlashan over in the area.
Pack coolly sent Jon McLaughlin the wrong way with the resulting spot-kick to give the Robins the edge after an tight opening period to the contest which City had probably just shaded.
City responded to the blow in positive fashion - putting pressure on Scott Brown's goal as the volume in the home end intensified - but Cheltenham could have easily doubled their lead when Luke Oliver appeared to block off McGlashan inside the area as he sprinted for goal.
To the amazement of the visiting bench and the relief of the Bantams though, nothing was given.
To then seemingly rub salt into Cheltenham's wounds further, City were given their own chance to score from the spot minutes later when a grounded Sido Jombati seemed to flick the ball away from Forsyth with his hand in the box.
Wells didn't waste the opportunity as he blasted the penalty into the roof of the net to get Parkinson's side back on level terms for the half-time break.
After half-chances for both sides and the introduction of Zavon Hines and Will Atkinson from the bench, City completed the turnaround in the match after 68 minutes when Wells latched onto a Hines header to steer home from close range.
Shortly afterwards, City could have extended their new-found advantage but Hanson was denied by a smart reaction save from Cheltenham 'keeper Scott Brown after the giant striker had volleyed for goal following a Hines cross.
City did get their third of the afternoon, however, when Hanson and Atkinson combined to tee up the marauding Meredith to smash past Brown with an angled drive that flew into the top corner from inside the area.
FT: Bradford City 3 Cheltenham Town 1
90min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
88min: YELLOW CARD - Duffy is booked for diving after going down too easily in the area under McArdle's attempted challenge.
87min: SUBS - Cheltenham bring on Sam Deering and Darryl Duffy for Mohamed and Zebroski respectively.
83min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 3 Cheltenham Town 1 - The Bantams double their lead via a first goal for City from Meredith! After Hanson had headed down Oliver's long pass forward, Atkinson flicks the ball on in an instant into the path of the surging City left-back, who finished the move well with a fierce angled drive into the top corner from around eight yards out.
73min: SUB - Cheltenham bring on striker Shaun Harrad for Penn.
71min: There a moment's panic in City's defence when McGlashan knocks forward a cross into Zebroski's path to leave the striker in the clear right in front of goal. The Cheltenham forward strikes the bar with a close range looping effort but, crucially, he had already been flagged for offside.
70min: Hanson forces a brilliant reaction save from Brown after the striker had volleyed for goal following Hines' cross into the box.
68min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 2 Cheltenham Town 1 - The Bantams are in the lead thanks to Wells' second of the game! Atkinson's inswinging cross is headed back across goal by Hines and Wells is on hand to tap home from close range.
66min: City are back up their full allocation of eleven now after Davies had to leave the pitch for a few minutes following treatment for a knock.
63min: Oliver is merely inches away from connecting with a Doyle near post corner after the defender had flung himself at the ball.
62min: SUBS - City bring on Zavon Hines and Will Atkinson for Forsyth and Thompson respectively.
61min: Ricky Ravenhill fires comfortably wide with an mishit volley inside the area after a Thompson drive had looped up into his path.
59min: Mohamed heads over from a Jones cross after the defender's initial corner had only been half-cleared by City.
58min: James Meredith threatens at one end with a burst into the box and cross which eventually leads to nothing. Doyle has to block out an attempted centre from McGlashan seconds later, however, after Cheltenham had burst forward on the counter-attack.
56min: McLaughlin clings onto a shot on the turn inside the area by Mohamed after the winger had been found in the box by a cut-back from Zebroski.
54min: Doyle enjoys a rare sight on goal when he dispossesses last-man Elliott to leave him with a run through on Brown in Cheltenham's net. Just as the midfielder goes to take aim from the edge of Cheltenham area, however, Elliott gets back and tackles him with a well-timed recover challenge.
48min: Steve Elliott heads wide from a far post Billy Jones corner.
46min: The Bantams restart the match.
HT: Bradford City 1 Cheltenham Town 1
45+4min: McLaughlin has to race to the very edge of his area to stop Zebroski from latching onto a long ball forward. The Bantams 'keeper has to let go of the ball as his momentum takes him out of the area but Oliver is on hand to blast the loose ball clear.
45+4min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 1 Cheltenham Town 1 - City are level thanks to Wells from the penalty spot! Brown guesses right, but Wells' powerful effort from the spot still finds the top corner.
45+3min: PENALTY TO BRADFORD + YELLOW CARD: City are awarded their own spot-kick in the match when a grounded Sido Jombati, who has just been beaten by Forsyth, pushes the ball away with his hand while on the floor to stop the City winger from driving forward.
45+3min: YELLOW CARD: Darren Carter is the next to be booked for catching Doyle with a high foot in a challenge just inside City's own half.
45+2min: YELLOW CARD: Wells is cautioned for catching Pack late in an aerial challenge a few yards outside Cheltenham's area.
45+1min: YELLOW CARD: After bursting forward with lightning pace on the counter-attack, McGlashan appears to be blocked off inside the area by Oliver. No penalty is awarded, however, much to the amazement of Penn, who is booked for his protests.
45min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
43min: Wells goes down in the penalty box under an attempted tackle from Russell Penn. City fans go up for a spot-kick but probably correctly, nothing is given.
37min: Wells curls an effort direct from a free-kick just outside the area a yard or so over the bar.
34min: Rory McArdle and Luke Oliver narrowly miss out on bundling the ball home from close range after Davies had headed a Forsyth corner down into the six yard box.
29min: GOAL - Bradford City 0 Cheltenham Town 1 - Marlon Pack takes responsibility for the spot-kick and coolly sends McLaughlin the wrong way to hand the visitors the lead.
28min: PENALTY TO CHELTENHAM - Andrew Davies is penalised for bundling Jermaine McGlashan over from behind inside the area after the winger had wriggled free by the byline.
27min: Hanson twice goes close within the space of a few seconds! The striker first threatens Cheltenham's goal when his powerful header from a Wells cross is pushed away by Brown. Thompson gathers up the loose ball and crosses to the far post in Hanson's direction but the forward heads narrowly wide from close range.
21min: Nahki Wells warms Scott Brown's hands with a low drive from just outside the Cheltenham area. The Bermudian's effort is well-struck but Brown is perfectly placed to gather with relative comfort.
20min: From a similar distance out, Kaid Mohamed fires his own free-kick even further over, sending the ball flying into the T.L Dallas Stand behind McLaughlin's goal with a rising drive.
16min: Craig Forsyth sends a free-kick comfortably over the bar from around 25 yards out.
8min: A hopeful effort along the ground from distance by Chris Zebroski is simple enough for Jon McLaughlin to deal with.
0min: Cheltenham kick off the match. The Bantams will attack towards the Carlsberg Stand end in the first half.
BRADFORD LINE UP
McLaughlin, McArdle, Davies, Oliver, Meredith, Thompson, Doyle, Ravenhill, Forsyth, Hanson, Wells
Subs: Duke, Darby, Atkinson, McHugh, Connell, R Jones, Hines
Hines for Forsyth (62), Atkinson for Thompson (62)
CHELTENHAM LINE UP
Brown, Jombati, Lowe, Elliott, Jones, Pack, Carter, McGlashan, Penn, Mohamed, Zebroski
Subs: Roberts, Deering, Duffy, Goulding, Harrad, Andrew, Graham
Harrad for Penn (73), Duffy for Zebroski (87), Deering for Mohamed (87)
Penn (45+1), Carter (45+3), Jombati (45+3), Duffy (87)
Referee: Brendan Malone
Assistant Referee: Paul Kettlewell
Assistant Referee: James Wilson
Fourth Official: Michael Denton