Tuesday 16 April 2013
npower League 2
Bradford City 0
Rotherham United 2 (Frecklington pen 80, Agard 90+5)
Kick Off: 7.45pm
at the Coral Windows Stadium
Attendance: 13,467 (1,710 visitors)
Pictures kindly provided by Gintare Karpaviciute
The Bantams fell to a harsh defeat at the hands of promotion rivals Rotherham United in a keenly-contested Yorkshire derby.
After a mainly tight contest going into the final stages of the game, the match swung decisively Rotherham's way in controversial fashion when Steve Evans' side were awarded a debatable penalty with just over ten minutes left.
Substitute Michael Nelson, who had replaced Andrew Davies in the first half following a flare up of the defender's old calf problem, was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box when challenging in the air with Rotherham attacker Alex Revell.
The penalty award incensed the City bench though, who were minus Steve Parkin after the Bantams' assistant had been sent to the stands in the first half following words with the fourth official.
Not only did Nelson's handball contact look accidental, replays seem to show that the central defender only had his arms out because he was trying to regain his balance after being shoved into.
Rotherham's Lee Frecklington rubbed salt into City's wounds by calming slotting home the resulting spot-kick to give the Millers the crucial, and barely deserved, opening goal in the match.
Frecklington's goal meant the arrival of Alan Connell off the bench as Phil Parkinson went for broke with a 3-4-1-2 formation in the final minutes of the game.
With the Bantams pushing for a leveller as time ticking by, it was actually Connell who enjoyed City's best chance to equalise when he flicked over from close range following James Hanson's knock down.
In the fifth and final minute of injury time, Jon McLaughlin came up to support his team-mates after Parkinson's men had won a late corner.
Rotherham were eventually able to clear their lines from the set-piece, however, and with McLaughlin out of his goal, Kieran Agard was able to sprint clear on the counter-attack and tap home into an unguarded goal.
Before the controversy of the second half, City had to endure some frustrating moments in the opening period as well, with Parkinson's men seeing two goals chalked off before the half time interval.
Hanson saw a header from a Gary Jones corner after only four minutes correctly ruled out for a push on Claude Davis, although the decision to flag Garry Thompson offside when he slotted home another Jones corner later in the half looked a far tighter call.
Along with the withdrawal of Davies due to a recurrence of his calf problem, James Meredith had to be replaced after the restart after taking a nasty bang to the hip.
FT: Bradford City 0 Rotherham United 2
90+5min: GOAL - Bradford City 0 Rotherham United 2 - The visitors seal it deep in injury time through a breakaway goal finished by Agard. With McLaughlin up for a late corner, Rotherham break forward on the counter-attack looking to take advantage of McLaughlin being out of his goal. The Bantams keeper tries to sprint back but Agard, who leads the breakaway, is too quick and is able to tap into an unguarded goal.
90+2min: Connell latches onto Hanson's flick on from a big kick forward by McLaughlin but the striker can only flick a first time effort over the bar from just outside the six yard box.
90min: There will be five minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
85min: Jones sends a looping header wide of goal after latching onto a loose ball on the edge of Rotherham's penalty area.
83min: Wells heads well over the bar from Connell's cross into the penalty area.
80min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Alan Connell for Stephen Darby. City have switched to a 3-4-1-2 formation as a result of Connell's introduction.
80min: GOAL - Bradford City 0 Rotherham United 1 - Frecklington sends McLaughlin the wrong way to slot the penalty low into the left hand side of the goal.
79min: PENALTY TO ROTHERHAM - The visitors have a penalty when referee Mr Haywood spots a supposed handball inside the area by Nelson as he jumped in the air with Revell for a long kick forward by Shearer.
77min: Mullins glances a header a good few yards wide of McLaughlin's goal following Arnason's cross into the area.
75min: Arnason's low driven effort direct from a central free-kick around 30 yards from goal is held by McLaughlin.
67min: Morgan heads Pringle's far post corner back into the mix but Revell's overhead kick on the stretch sails a good few yards over the bar.
64min: Thompson tries his luck with a half-volley from around 30 yards out but the slightly ambitious effort sails a couple of yards over Shearer's bar.
61min: YELLOW CARD - Craig Morgan is booked for wrestling back Wells as City try to get an attack going halfway into Rotherham territory.
50min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Carl McHugh for James Meredith. Although not confirmed, an educated guess would suggest that Meredith has had to go off because off an injury.
49min: Thompson's shot on the turn from around 20 yards out goes a yard or so over the bar.
46min: Rotherham restart the match. Steve Parkin is now sat among the assembled media in the club's press box following his dismissal from the touchline at the end of the first half.
HT: Bradford City 0 Rotherham United 0
45+1min: Thompson's throw into the area eventually falls into the path of the lurking Jones, who volleys at Scott Shearer from just inside the area.
45min: There will be three minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
44min: SUB - Rotherham bring on Mitchell Rose for O'Connor, who seemed to take a whack in the lower back a minute or two earlier.
43min: During a break in play, the fourth official Mr Alf Greenwood steps onto the pitch to have a word with referee Mr Mark Haywood. As a result, and seemingly for something he has said to the fourth official, City assistant Steve Parkin has been sent to the stands.
36min: CHANCE - Jon McLaughlin produces a great save low down to his left to prevent Alex Revell's downward header from creeping in following Ben Pringle's floated ball to the far post.
34min: GOAL!......NO!....AGAIN! City have a second goal disallowed in the game when Garry Thompson, probably correctly, is flagged for offside as he slots home a low Jones cross.
30min: YELLOW CARD - Kari Arnason is booked for blocking off Kyel Reid as he burst forward into Rotherham territory.
29min: YELLOW CARD - Nahki Wells is booked for taking away the legs of Michael O'Connor with a late tackle around midway into Rotherham's own half.
24min: SUB - Sure enough, Davies has to be replaced by Michael Nelson.
24min: Andrew Davies is down and it looks like he won't be in a position to carry on - it seems it might be a problem with his calf again.
10min: Kieran Agard leads a dangerous Rotherham counter-attack as he sprints clear down City's left flank. Making his way into the area by the byline, Agard crosses low for Lee Frecklington in the middle. Frecklington's first effort is blocked before his headed second effort loops wide.
4min: GOAL!!!!!.....NO! City think they have the lead when James Hanson heads home from a Gary Jones corner but a foul had already been given against the striker for a push in the back on Claude Davis.
0min: With The Kop in full voice, the Bantams kick off the match. They will attack towards the Rotherham United supporters in the T.L Dallas Stand end in the first half.
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP
McLaughlin, Darby, Davies, McArdle, Meredith, Thompson, Ravenhill, Jones, Reid, Wells, Hanson
Subs: Duke, Atkinson, McHugh, Connell, Hines, Nelson, Doyle.
Nelson for Davies (24), McHugh for Meredith (50), Connell for Darby (81)
ROTHERHAM UNITED LINE UP
Shearer, Mullins, Davis, Morgan, Skarz, Frecklington, O'Connor, Arnason, Pringle, Agard, Revell
Subs: Warrington, Tonge, Ainsworth, Odejayi, Rose, Ridehalgh
Rose for O'Connor (44)
Arnason (30), Morgan (61)
Referee: Mark Haywood
Assistant Referee: Barry Cropp
Assistant Referee: Glen Hart
Fourth Official: Alf Greenwood