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Match Reports

Fleetwood Town 2 Bradford City 2

2 February 2013

Fleetwood Town 2 Bradford City 2

Despite an entertaining game of football displayed at Fleetwood's Highbury Stadium where The Bantams reacted well from successive league defeats to show signs of the form they produced earlier on in the season. 

Alan Goodall's near post header have the hosts the lead but a superb freekick by Nahki Wells and a composed finish by Ryan Dickson put City on the front foot but Phil Parkinson's men were to be denied three points by a very dubious penalty decision.

Bradford started the game well and after retaining possession in and around Fleetwood's penalty area the ball was worked to Garry Thompson who lashed an angled shot a yard or so over the bar from around 15 yards out.

Matt Duke made his first save of the game when he thwarted Junior Brown's low strike after he had evaded the attentions of Nathan Doyle but from the resulting corner, slack marking allowed Alan Goodall to steal in at the near post and head home the first goal of the afternoon.

Alan Goodall played a major part in Fleetwood's next goal scoring opportunity; the ball was worked wide to him and his precise cross fell kindly to Jamie Allen but he wasted a glorious chance by heading well wide when he really should've at least tested Matt Duke.

Gary Jones came close to equalising for The Bantams shortly after; his own corner was cleared as far as Michael Nelson who looped the ball back into the area, the ball was half cleared once more and Jones volleyed narrowly wide of the target from 20 yards with Scott Davies scrambling across his goalmouth.

Town's recent big-money signing Jamille Matt was the next to try his luck; after roaming into space the big frontman curled a dipping, speculative effort that failed to properly test Matt Duke.

Former Bantam Gareth Evans was looking quite dangerous cutting inside from the left flank onto his favoured right foot and his fierce angled shot fizzed across the 6 yard area and a yard or so over the bar.

With half time approaching, City looked to be heading into the break a goal down but Nahki Wells produced a moment of sublime ability by dipping a freekick over the wall and into the top corner from 25 yards, leaving Scott Davies motionless to produce the equalising goal.

The Bantams looked to be gathering momentum and continued into the second half from where they left off at the end of the first. Very much on the front foot, the lead arrived from a defensive error by Fleetwood. Will Akinson's lofted ball forward was misread by both Shaun Beeley and Junior Brown and Ryan Dickson capitalised by racing through into the area and slotting neatly past Scott Davies to send the large away following into rapturous celebration.

City went in search of a killer third goal and Gary Jones almost got it; showing hunger and desire, the skipper dispossessed a red shirt in Fleetwood's half before surging into space and hammering a rising shot inches over the bar.

Michael Nelson's lofted ball forward was read and latched onto by James Hanson but he could only drag a scuffed shot wide of the mark, when he should've perhaps done a little better in his attempt to test Davies.

Against the run of play somewhat, Fleetwood equalised. The referee awarded a dubious penalty for a handball against James Hanson. A shot deflected off the body of Matt Duke and against the stray arm of Hanson from little more than 6 feet away but the ref penalised him and awarded the hosts a penalty. Substitute Jon Parkin's spot kick was unconvincing but still managed to squirm under the body of Duke and trickle over the goal line.

Both sides came close to clinching all 3 points in additional time. Ryan Crowther latched onto an angled ball to lash a volley a yard or so over the bar from inside the area.

City's winner almost came in the 3rd minute of additional time but Kyel Reid's superb low centre just had a little bit too much pace for Andy Gray who couldn't latch on to it as the ball rolled to safety.
The Bantams will have felt hard done by after coming from behind to lead during the game, but on the face of it a point at high fliers Fleetwood is no mean feat.

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