Sky Bet League 1
Bradford City 1 (Jones 8)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Attendance: 4,965 (442 visitors)
Pictures kindly provided by Sports Imagesat MEMS Priestfield Stadium
The Bantams showed their battling qualities as they secured a deserved first win on the road in League 1 at Gillingham.
A corner delivery from Gary Jones early into the contest that seemed to take a flick off Garry Thompson at the near post before going in proved enough to give City all three points.
Despite the tight nature of the scoreline, however, they was no denying that City had been the better side throughout the contest and well worthy of their maiden away victory of the season.
On the front foot from the very off, Phil Parkinson's men started the match with real purpose as they stamped their authority on the game from very early on.
Following Jones' opener from a corner, Parkinson's men continued to dominate proceedings, with James Hanson missing a golden chance to double City's lead just past the half hour mark when he headed wide from close range.
Jon McLaughlin was forced into an impressive reaction save minutes earlier following Adam Barrett's half-volley inside the box, but City were still the ones on top as the game reached the half-time interval.
With the start of second period seeing City once again making most of the running, the Bantams had an early penalty shout turned down when Leon Legge challenged Kyel Reid inside the area.
Rory McArdle then glanced a header wide from inside the six yard box from the corner delivery that followed City's earlier spot-kick appeal.
City's inability to find a second goal their bright play probably warranted meant the game still remained tight as the second half progressed.
Gillingham nearly took advantage of still being in with a sniff in the game when one of a number of long throw-ins into the area from Charlie Lee during the afternoon fell into the path of Cody McDonald.
Positioned on the edge of the six yard box and with almost all of the goal to aim for, McDonald shot on the turn in an instant but his snatched effort flew over the bar.
The Gillingham forward then thought he had a simple tap-in on his hands when he latched onto a ball forward from Danny Hollands before rounding McLaughlin, but he was flagged for offside.
City responded to those brief scares by creating two promising opportunities for Nahki Wells within the space of a minute.
Wells' first opening saw the Bermudian fire over from the edge of the area after being played into space behind the Gills' backline. His second effort less than a minute later then rattled the woodwork when his rising drive from inside the area was diverted onto the bar via Stuart Nelson's fingertips.
As time ticked down towards the game's final conclusion, Gillingham inevitably threw more and more caution to the wind in an attempt to engineer an unlikely equaliser.
Still showing the same determination and will to win as they had done earlier in the afternoon though, City were not prepared to let their hard-earned winning position slip out of their grasp.
The Bantams coped with Gillingham's late aerial bombardment in a professional and purposeful manner, restricting their hosts to nothing more than a few corners, as they picked up their first clean sheet on the road of the season to go with the away-day win.
FT: Gillingham 0 Bradford City 1
90+2min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Alan Connell for Wells.
90min: There will be three minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
90min: Yeates' cross-come-shot is blocked into the path of Wells, who sees his shot from around ten yards out blocked by Nelson's legs by the 'keeper's near post.
84min: Kedwell escapes his marking inside the area to connect with a Amine Linganzi cross but his free flicked header forward rolls well wide of goal.
84min: Yeates' drive from outside the area is held by Nelson.
80min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Mark Yeates for Reid.
78min: Wells sees a rising angled drive from inside the area rattle the crossbar via the finger tips of Nelson.
77min: Wells is played into space behind Gillingham's back line but, with Barrett pressuring him from behind, the striker can only fire a drive a yard or so over the bar from the edge of the penalty area.
76min: Whelpdale's long throw-in into the area is flicked on by Kedwell but his header drops onto the roof of McLaughlin's net.
76min: SUB - Gillingham bring on Antonio German for Weston.
75min: Whelpdale manages to block an attempted kick forward from McLaughlin following a Stephen Darby back-pass but, luckily for City, the ball loops comfortably out for a goal-kick.
74min: Whelpdale's low driven effort from a free-kick around twenty-five yards out fizzes a good few yards wide of goal.
72min: City escape a brief heart-in-mouth moment when McDonald latches onto a ball forward from Hollands before rounding a stranded McLaughlin and running towards an empty net. Before McDonald can tap home, however, the striker is pulled back because of a tight offside call.
68min: YELLOW CARD - Hanson is booked for a late challenge on Legge just inside Gillingham's half.
68min: Wells races onto a headed flick on from Hanson but his shot from just inside the area is blocked by a diving tackle from Barrett.
66min: SUB - Gillingham bring on Chris Whelpdale for Lee.
58min: SUB - Gillingham bring on Danny Kedwell for Akinfenwa.
58min: Harriman makes a vital sliding tackle to nip the ball off Hanson's toes just as Wells looked to pick him out with a low cross right in the middle of Gillingham's penalty area.
53min: McDonald misses a great opportunity to put Gillingham level when the ball drops into his path inside the six yard box. Another long throw-in into the area by Lee is met by Akinfenwa, who tries an ambitious overhead kick. It doesn't come off but the ball does drop for McDonald, who can only fire over with a snap-shot on the turn.
50min: Two shouts for fouls go up - one from either camp - within seconds of each other - both of which are ignored. It is City who are first to feel aggrieved when Thompson seems to be brought down by Martin as the winger looked to race clear of Gillingham's back line and forward into the area. After those appeals are waved away though, Gillingham see their own shout for a free-kick turned down when Davies challenges Danny Hollands for the ball on the very edge of City's penalty area during a threatening home attack.
49min: Jones heads out a Weston wide free-kick as far as the edge of the area but the lurking Lee can only slice a shot well wide of the target.
47min: McArdle climbs highest to met Jones' delivery from the subsequent corner but his glancing header from inside the six yard box sails past Nelson's far post.
46min: City's players and supporters shout for a penalty when Reid appears to be bundled over by Legge inside the area. Referee Mr Lee Collins believes that the defender managed to get something on the ball, however, and awards a corner instead of a spot-kick.
46min: The Bantams restart the match.
HT: Gillingham 0 Bradford City 1
There will be two minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.45min:
McDonald latches onto Adebayo Akinfenwa's flick on but the striker's volley on the turn from inside the area sails comfortably over the bar.43min:
Wells is released into space by Jones as City counter-attack following McArdle's clearance but, after driving into the area, the Bermudian striker can only fire a low drive against the support pole behind Nelson's goal. 39min:
McArdle is eventually able to clear City's lines after a brief scramble in the Bantams' box following a corner from Weston.39min:
. Lee is booked for bringing down McArdle from behind as the pair contest for the ball few yards outside City's penalty area37min: YELLOW CARD -
Reid's low corner to the near post is flicked wide by the boot of McArdle.34min:
After beating James Meredith to a loose ball around the edge of City's penalty area, Weston fires for goal but his low effort is kept out by McLaughlin with a save to the 'keeper's left.33min:
Hanson misses a golden chance to double City's lead! Thompson's ball into the six yard box presents the striker with a free header right in the middle of goal. Hanson makes a good enough connection with the ball but his can only head wide of the target.31min:
Legge gets his head onto a teasing cross into the six yard box from Reid but the defender's attempted clearance only succeeds in dropping down into the area. Wells look to latch onto it to leave him with a great chance to get a clear strike on goal but the sheer force of Legge's header sees the ball bounce against the striker and away before he can react.31min:
Cody McDonald's rising cross-come-shot from a tight angle by the byline is saved at his near post by McLaughlin with relative ease.30min:
27min: YELLOW CARD - After committing a similar foul a minute or so earlier, Wells is booked for bringing down Joe Martin as the pair contest for a loose ball after City can cleared their box following another Lee long throw-in.
A long Lee throw-in into the area goes across the box but no Gillingham player can latch onto the ball to produce a chance on goal.25min:
McLaughlin makes a fine reaction save to push away a smart half-volley on the turn by Adam Barrett after City had struggled to clear their lines following a Lee free-kick from wide into the area.24min:
Charlie Lee cuts inside from Gillingham's left flank before driving towards the City penalty area. After getting past McArdle, Lee shots for goal but his low strike from around the edge of the box rolls a couple of yards wide of Jon McLaughlin's goal.22min:
Nathan Doyle curls an effort from just outside the penalty area a yard or so wide of Nelson's goal.21min:
A superb delivery from Jones from a wide free-kick narrowly misses the duo of Rory McArdle and Andrew Davies in the middle before sailing out for a goal-kick by Nelson's far post.19min:
City take the lead when a low teasing Gary Jones corner finds its way into the goal! Garry Thompson did make a run to the near post to have a flick at the ball but the goal seems to be credited to Jones.8min: GOAL!!!!!!! Gillingham 0 Bradford City 1 -
: Reid's teasing ball across the six yard box is narrowly missed by the diving frame of Hanson in the middle. The ball eventually finds Reid again when Thompson crosses back into the area but his shot is blocked behind by Michael Harriman.8min
Wells looks for a second to have a free run on goal as he latches onto a ball forward but Adam Barrett manages to recover his ground and muscle the Bermudian off the ball by the edge of the area before clearing his lines.7min:
James Hanson fires over the bar by some distance after letting rip from around twenty yards.7min:
Picking up a ball down the channel, Nahki Wells drives into the area before turning away from Leon Legge and firing in a low angled drive that is repelled by the legs of Gillingham 'keeper Stuart Nelson.6min:
: Gillingham kick off the match. 0min
GILLINGHAM LINE UP
Nelson, Harriman, Legge, Barrett, Martin, Lee, Linganzi, Hollands, Weston, McDonald, Akinfenwa
Subs: Howard, Davies, Whelpdale, Kedwell, Allen, Dack, German
Kedwell for Akinfenwa (58), Whelpdale for Lee (66), German for Weston (76)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP
McLaughlin, Darby, Davies, McArdle, Meredith, Thompson, Doyle, Jones, Reid, Wells, Hanson
Subs: Ripley, Ravenhill, Oliver, Gray, Yeates, Connell, De Vita
Bradford City changes:
Yeates for Reid (80), Connell for Wells (90+2)
Bradford City cautions:
Wells (27), Hanson (68)
Referee: Lee Collins
Assistant Referee: Mathew Buonassisi
Assistant Referee: John Busby
Fourth Official: Nigel Lugg