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Mixed feelings after Southend draw

29 March 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson felt there were plenty of positives to come from City's Good Friday draw with Southend United - in particular his side's second half fightback - but there was one negative that he couldn't ignore.

Trailing by two goals at the interval, Parkinson's men roared back into the contest thanks to second period efforts from Zavon Hines and James Hanson to secure City a share of the spoils from an entertaining Bank Holiday fixture.

With the game being played out on a battle-scarred Valley Parade playing surface and City facing up to talented opponents clearly buoyed by the recent arrival of new boss Phil Brown, the Bantams' impressive recovery after the restart certainly was commendable.

While ready to lavish praise on City for picking themselves off the canvas though, the Bantams boss couldn't hide his disappointment at seeing his side concede two soft goals within the space of less than a minute  to leave them with it all to do with only eleven minutes gone.

"We gave two really soft goals away," Parkinson said.

"For the first one, Jon (McLaughlin) has to come out with more conviction. For the second one, (Kyel) Reidy has let their right back get in behind him. All of a sudden, we found ourselves two goals down out of nothing really.

"When you allow an away team to get in a position like that, especially the way Southend were set up with two players who have played as centre halves before playing in front of their actual centre halves, it makes it difficult for yourself.

"Obviously the massive positive from the game, however, was the respond in the second half.

"You have to have character to play in situations like we found ourselves in at the beginning of the second half, and we responded in terrific fashion.

"We passed the ball well on a very difficult pitch, although all pitches are going to be like that at this stage of the season.

"There were many good things to come from today but obviously the main disappointment from the game is the two crucial sloppy goals we gave away. 

"They were too soft."

City's attempts to wrestle themselves back into the match after the break seemingly weren't helped by two controversial refereeing decisions. 

Kyel Reid was booked in the ninetieth minute for diving despite the shout going up for a late penalty after it appeared like the winger's heels had accidentally been clipped from behind.

The Bantams' biggest reason for complaint, however, came two minutes before their first goal of the afternoon through Hines when the winger had a goal ruled out for offside.

Hines' team-mate Garry Thompson was the player actually flagged as he looked to latch onto a Hanson header forward, although replays seem to show that Thompson looked no worse than level with last defender Ryan Cresswell as Hanson headed on.

Parkinson said: "As normal, you don't get a chance to view replays of incidents from games before coming up to do the press, but I feel we should have had another goal today and maybe even a penalty.

"From where I was stood, the offside goal I felt was the wrong call. I also felt we had a shout for a penalty with Reidy towards the end.

"They are big calls from the referee and I won't know for certain what the incidents look like until I see the match DVD afterwards, but it is a shame one of the calls didn't go for us because I felt we deserved all three points with our play in the second half.

"Overall though, on a difficult surface, we have played some excellent stuff and, helped by the bright play of our substitutes, deservedly got back into the match."

One of City's substitutes used in their second half fightback - Nahki Wells - was on hand to produce the cross for Hanson's equaliser and certainly looked back on form during his cameo appearance after a quiet recent few weeks by his standards.

Parkinson added: "I'm really pleased for Nahki to see him make the (equalising) goal.

"He's had a difficult time recently on the pitch but he's a young player and young player do sometimes have periods in a season where they suffer a bit of a dip.

"He's shown today, however, that he is getting back to showing exactly what he can do though.

"It was a real moment of quality from him (to set up Hanson's goal), and he has the ability to do just that."

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