Saturday 21 December 2013
Sky Bet League 1
Peterborough United 2 (Ntlhe 18, Assombalonga 24)
Bradford City 1 (Gray 76)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at London Road
Attendance: 6,597 (816 visitors)
Pictures kindly provided by Joe Dent - Peterborough United
Two superb first half strikes from hosts Peterborough United condemned Phil Parkinson's Bantams to their first league defeat since the end of October.
A stunning drive from distance by Posh left back Kgosi Ntlhe gave Peterborough the lead after eighteen minutes before a great finish from Britt Assombalonga around the edge of the area doubled their advantage just six minutes later.
City, who had started the match in a 3-5-2 formation, switched back to their usual 4-4-2 set-up after the restart by bringing on Andy Gray and Kyel Reid at the break.
The pair would combine with fourteen minutes to go to fire City back into the game when Gray turned home Reid's low cross with a neat left-foot flick.
The Bantams tried to push for an equaliser in the closing stages that remained - Gary Jones and Gray both seeing shots blocked from inside the area - but Parkinson's men couldn't force home a crucial second goal.
Peterborough, in fact, twice came close to sealing victory in injury time when they caught City on the break as they pushed men forward.
Assombalonga and Lee Tomlin both squandered clear sights of goal in the final seconds of the match but Posh still saw out the game as winners.
On a day which saw City suffer only their sixth defeat in their last 30 league fixtures, Rory McArdle unfortunately picked up his fifth booking of the season to rule him out of Boxing Day's Yorkshire derby with Rotherham United.
FT: Peterborough United 2 Bradford City 1
90+5min: Peterborough have another opportunity to seal it when Swanson flicks the ball into the unmarked Tomlin's path but the attacker slides a half-volleyed effort wide from around eight yards out right in front of goal.
90+4min: Peterborough miss a great chance to seal it following a break forward led by Tomlin. The attacker eventually plays the ball invitingly across the box for Assombalonga but the striker's effort from a virtual is blocked by McLaughlin. The rebound falls back into the striker's path but he fires wide.
90+1min: Assombalonga fires narrowly wide of McLaughlin's far post with a low angled drive across goal from just inside the area.
90min: There will be five minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
88min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Alan Connell for Bates. Not for the first time this season, this change means City will finish the game with only three defenders at the back.
88min: A short corner from City is eventually worked out to the lurking Jones, who is positioned on the edge of Peterborough's area. The Bantams skipper's shot for goal is blocked by Brisley before Doyle fires over with the rebound while on the stretch.
81min: Wells latches onto a loose bouncing ball around 30 yards from goal but his left-footed first-time half-volley sails well over the bar.
78min: A neat move from City sees Yeates in with a shooting chance following a neat turn from the Irishman. His poke for goal inside the area is repelled by Olejnik before Bostwick makes a vital block to turn behind Gray's effort on the follow up.
77min: SUB - Peterborough bring on Jack Payne and Danny Swanson for Anderson and Jeffers respectively.
76min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Peterborough United 2 Bradford City 1 - The Bantams have a goal back when Gray arrives to flick home a low Reid cross by the near post.
75min: Yeates' cuts inside onto his left foot to shoot for goal but his angled drive from just outside the area sails well wide of the target.
74min: A teasing cross from Meredith is almost accidently poked home by Michael Bostwick but Olejnik gratefully dives on the ball.
72min: YELLOW CARD - McArdle is booked for a late tackle on Tomlin as the Peterborough attacker looked to bring the ball out of the hosts' half following a City corner. Sadly for City and McArdle, the booking is the defender's fifth of the season and it means he will miss the Boxing Day game at home to Rotherham United.
66min: SUB - Peterborough bring on Hogan Ephraim for Joe Newell.
65min: Tomlin shows nice footwork to twist and turn his way into the area from a wide position before seeing his angled drive pushed away by McLaughlin.
59min: Wells fires in a fierce drive from a tight angle that is pushed away with force by Olejnik.
57min: Reid shows commendable skill and work-rate to get past Mark Little over on City's left flank before picking out the unmarked Jones just inside Peterborough's area. Jones shoots for goal but his effort is blocked by the frame of Ntlhe.
56min: McLaughlin spreads himself to block out a shot from a tight angle by Assombalonga after Tomlin had played the striker into a little bit of space near the City 'keeper's near post.
50min: Anderson gives himself the time and space to drive into City's area after intercepting an attempted pass forward by Meredith. The Peterborough player looks to shoot across goal from around ten yards out but his strike is bravely blocked behind by the diving Bates.
46min: Peterborough restart the match.
HT SUBS - Before the start of the second half, City bring on Andy Gray and Kyel Reid for Thompson and Taylor respectively. This means City will go back to a 4-4-2 formation for the second period.
HT: Peterborough United 2 Bradford City 0
45min: There will be two minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
42min: Tomlin drives at a retreating City defence before fizzing in a low drive from just outside the box that goes narrowly wide of McLaughlin's goal.
40min: Assombalonga volleys well wide of the target after latching onto a cross into the box by Jermaine Anderson.
39min: Yeates' far post delivery from the wide free-kick that follows is headed across the six yard box by Taylor but no City player is able to capitalise on the situation and Peterborough can clear.
38min: YELLOW CARD - Shaun Brisley is booked for hauling back Thompson as the attacker looked to burst clear down City's right flank just outside the penalty area.
34min: Sliding in to reach the ball, Assombalonga isn't too far away from a teasing Jeffers centre across the six yard box.
31min: Tomlin fires a yard or so over the bar from distance.
27min: Fine play from Wells in a wide position inside Peterborough's penalty area gives the Bermudian the opportunity to pick out the lurking Jones with a cross. City's skipper side-foots for goal with a first time effort after latching onto the cross but his drive from around twelve yards out is straight at Olejnik.
26min: Peterborough nearly have a third when Assombalonga goes close. Tomlin causes the initial danger as he tries to trick and turn his way into the City area. The ball eventually breaks into Assombalonga's path but the striker pokes a shot narrowly past the post with McLaughlin diving out at his feet.
24min: GOAL - Peterborough United 2 Bradford City 0 - City's troubles for the afternoon are doubled when Britt Assombalonga fires the hosts into a two-goal lead with a fine left-footed drive from just outside the box that finds the bottom corner.
22min: Grant McCann's low effort direct from a free-kick outside of the area is comfortably held by McLaughlin.
18min: GOAL - Peterborough United 1 Bradford City 0 - Peterborough have the lead thanks to a stunning strike from distance by Kgosi Ntlhe. After City initially clear their lines from a Peterborough corner, Ntlhe lets fly with a fierce dipping drive from around 30 yards out that whistles in the top corner as the ball falls into his path.
15min: Gary Jones' hooked ball over the top has Bobby Olejnik in a spot of bother as he comes just outside his area to try and deal with the situation. With Wells lurking, Olejnik can only head the ball up in the air as it get caught up in the wind. Wells goes to challenge Olejnik for the ball just outside the box but the home 'keeper is saved from an awkward situation, however, when referee Mr Russell gives what appears to be a soft free-kick for a nudge on the 'keeper by the Bantams striker.
10min: Tomlin turns away from the attentions of Yeates before moving forward with the ball towards City's area. Tomlin strikes for goal about 20 yards out but his low effort trickles a good yard or so wide of Jon McLaughlin's far post.
3min: Wells crosses from the right but the ball is just behind the unmarked Thompson in the middle and he cannot latch onto the cross despite being in a promising position in the box.
2min: Shaun Jeffers finds space down City's right flank and drives forward towards City's penalty area. From a wide position, he centres the ball across the area but Lee Tomlin's effort for goal in the box is just about blocked out. Kgosi Ntlhe's follow-up effort is also blocked as City eventually clear their lines.
0min: The Bantams kick off the match. As predicted pre-match, City will start with Matt Taylor, Rory McArdle and Matthew Bates in central defence. Stephen Darby and James Meredith will act as wing backs, leaving Nathan Doyle, Gary Jones and Mark Yeates to play in midfield. Garry Thompson will partner Nahki Wells in attack. With City in the first half defending the end currently without a stand here at London Road, it appears they will be playing into a little bit of a head-wind in the opening period.
PETERBOROUGH UNITED LINE UP
Olejnik, Little, Ntlhe, Brisley, Bostwick, McCann, Anderson, Newell, Tomlin, Jeffers, Assombalonga
Subs: Day, Swanson, Payne, Mendez-Laing, Knight-Percival, Ephraim, Barnett
Peterborough United changes:
Ephraim for Newell (66), Payne for Anderson (78), Swanson for Jeffers (78)
Peterborough United cautions:
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP
McLaughlin, Darby, Meredith, Taylor, McArdle, Bates, Doyle, Jones, Yeates, Thompson, Wells
Subs: Ripley, Oliver, Reid, Kennedy, Gray, McHugh, Connell
Bradford City changes:
Gray for Thompson (46), Reid for Taylor (46), Connell for Bates (88)
Bradford City cautions: