Saturday 2 February 2013
npower League 2
Fleetwood Town 2 (Goodall 21, Parkin pen 75)
Bradford City 2 (Wells 45, Dickson 52)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at Highbury Stadium
(Pictures kindly provided by Craig Skelton)
City returned to league action after a three week break with an entertaining draw at the home of fellow promotion contenders Fleetwood Town.
The Bantams' point was a fully deserved one at Highbury Stadium, with only a contentious penalty decision fifteen minutes from the end denying Phil Parkinson's men the opportunity to collect all three points.
After an even opening to the contest, Alan Goodall's near post header from a corner gave Fleetwood the lead midway through the first half.
Nahki Wells responded for City on the stroke of half time, however, with a superb free-kick from all of 25 yards out that found the corner of the goal and left home 'keeper Scott Davies rooted to the spot.
Buoyed by Wells' timely intervention just before the interval, City started the second half strongly and took the lead of the game themselves when Ryan Dickson latched on Carl McHugh's through-ball before slotting past Davies for his first goal for Bradford.
At this stage in the contest City looked relatively comfortable and were seemingly a good shout for an away win when the hosts were awarded a debatable spot-kick.
Following a goalmouth scramble inside City's area, the ball appeared to be blasted against James Hansons' outstretched hand from close range - leading to referee Mr Robinson pointing to the spot.
On first viewing, the incident looked harsh, and City's sense of injustice was increased further when Matt Duke guessed right with substitute Jon Parkin's resulting penalty - only to see the effort squim under his body and just roll over the line.
Both sides had chances in the final quarter - including a teasing centre across the six yard box from Kyel Reid that was inches away from being a tap in for fellow sub Andy Gray in the middle - but Parkin's penalty proved to be ensure there would be a share of the spoils.
Along with a maiden City goal for Dickson, the match also saw a Parkinson hand a Bantams debut to central defender Michael Nelson following his move from Kilmarnock during the January transfer window.
FT: Fleetwood Town 2 Bradford City 2
90+4min: Reid fizzes over a superb low cross that flashes agonisingly across Fleetwood's six yard box without receiving a City touch - so close!
90+3min: Crowther fires over by Duke's near post with a rising half-volley from around ten yards out after latching onto a ball forward.
90min: There will be five minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
85min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Andy Gray for Wells.
85min: YELLOW CARD - McGuire is booked for taking out Reid around the halfway line as the attacker looked to power into Fleetwood's half.
80min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Kyel Reid for Thompson.
78min: Wells' low free-kick from around 25 yards out is comfortably gathered by Davies.
75min: GOAL - Fleetwood Town 2 Bradford City 2 - The home side receive another slick of luck when Duke guesses the right way with Parkin's penalty but the effort still just squirms under the 'keeper's body before slowly rolling over the line.
74min: PENALTY TO FLEETWOOD - The home side are awarded a penalty, perhaps fortunately, when Hanson is penalised for hand-ball when the ball is seemingly blasted at his arm from close range during a goalmouth scramble.
69min: Hanson races onto Nelson's long ball forward but his first time effort from outside the area is weak and wayward and doesn't trouble Davies.
64min: Jones wins possession and drives forward for goal before firing in a drive from outside the area that goes just wide of Davies' near post.
63min: SUB - Fleetwood make their final substitution of the afternoon when they bring on Jon Parkin for Allen.
60min: SUB - Unfortunately for Beeley it is quickly clear that the right back can't shake off his earlier injury and Fleetwood are forced to replace him with Conor McLaughlin.
59min: McHugh is the next player to require a spot of treatment from his own physio when he receives a bang to the head after an aerial clash, but he too is soon able to continue.
57min: Beeley is down having treatment in the aftermath of that previous City attack, but he is eventually able to carry on.
55min: City have a penalty shout turned down when Beeley appears to have possibly nudged Wells in the back before Thompson's deflected cross loops up onto the top of Davies' goal seconds later.
52min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!! Fleetwood Town 1 Bradford City 2 - City have the lead of the match through Dickson! McHugh's weighted ball down the line has the beating of both Brown and Shaun Beeley to leave Dickson with yards and yards of space to run into down City's left flank. Dickson has so much time in fact, he is able to bring the ball towards Davies' goal before coolly slotting the ball past the 'keeper.
47min: Duke has to scramble back and tip the ball around the post after Nelson's back-header following McGuire's punt forward had initially put the 'keeper in a bit of bother.
46min: The Bantams restart the match.
HT SUB - Fleetwood bring on Ryan Crowther for Evans before the beginning of the second half. Like McArdle, it seems Evans has been unable to shake off his first half injury.
HT: Fleetwood Town 1 Bradford City 1
45min: There will be three minutes added on at the end of the first period.
45min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Fleetwood Town 1 Bradford City 1 - City have an equaliser right on the stroke of half time! A superb Nahki Wells free-kick from all of 25 yards out whistles into the far corner of Davies' goal with the 'keeper rooted.
42min: SUB - Unfortunately for City, McArdle seemingly has been unable to shake off an ankle injury he picked up earlier in the half. The centre half is replaced by Ryan Dickson as a result, meaning Carl McHugh will move across into central defence.
41min: Driving forward, Evans fires an rising angled drive from just outside the area narrowly wide of Duke's far post.
39min: Allen latches onto a long ball forward from Jamie McGuire before running at City's goal. Moving inside from a wide position onto his right foot, Allen strikes for goal but his low effort is comfortably held by Duke by his near post.
38min: Matt curls an effort from outside the area a yard or so over Duke's bar.
37min: After Fleetwood could only half-clear a City corner, Gary Jones pounces on the loose ball and fires in a low drive that whistles narrowly wide of Davies' near post.
36min: Goodall's fizzing ball into the box finds an unmarked Jamie Allen but, luckily for City, the young striker sends his free header well over the bar.
33min: Michael Nelson and Stephen Darby combine to deny Jamille Matt a strike on Duke's goal after Paul McKenna's through ball had played the Fleetwood striker dangerously into good space behind City's defences.
21min: GOAL - Fleetwood Town 1 Bradford City 0 - City fall behind from the resulting corner though. Alan Goodall is first to react to the near post set-piece and powers a header past Duke.
21min: Junior Brown spins away from Nathan Doyle before firing in a low strike from just outside the area which Duke does well to tip around the post.
18min: Play is stopped for a minute or so when Evans goes down suffering with an apparent ankle injury. Having received some treatment on the problem though, the former Bantam is eventually able to carry on.
11min: Gareth Evans shoots for goal with a drive from outside the penalty box, but the sting is taken out of the shot by the frame of Rory McArdle to give Matt Duke a simple enough save in the end.
7min: A bit of sustained City pressure eventually ends with Garry Thompson sending a rising drive from just inside the area narrowly high and wide of Scott Davies' goal.
0min: Fleetwood kick off the match.
FLEETWOOD LINE UP
Davies, Beeley, Pond, Atkinson, Goodall, Evans, McKenna, McGuire, Brown, Allen, Matt
Subs: Lucas, McLaughlin, Barry, Parkin, Crowther, Gyorio, Ball
Crowther for Evans (46), McLaughlin for Beeley (60), Parkin for Allen (63)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP
Duke, Darby, McArdle, Nelson, McHugh, Thompson, Jones, Doyle, Atkinson, Hanson, Wells
Subs: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, Reid, Gray, Dickson, Connell, Hines
Dickson for McArdle (42), Reid for Thompson (80), Gray for Wells (85)
Referee: Tim Robinson
Assistant Referee: Thomas Rogers
Assistant Referee: Paul Graham
Fourth Official: Paul Kettlewell