Saturday 16 August 2014
Sky Bet League 1
Bradford City 0
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at the Banks's Stadium
Attendance: 4,520 (927 visitors)
The Bantams earned their first away point of the season with a hard-fought goalless draw at Walsall.
The hosts dominated possession for long periods of the second half in the search of a winner but Phil Parkinson's men stood strong with some controlled play to secure a share of the spoils.
Although Walsall, as you might expect from a home side, enjoyed a greater share of the ball for several stages of the fixture, City probably created just as many scoring chances as the Saddlers throughout the contest.
Mark Yeates threatened on more than one occasion during the game, while recent loan signing Mason Bennett glanced a header wide on his City debut in the opening half.
The young attacker was also involved early after the restart, twice being denied clear shots on goal only by last-ditch tackles from Walsall defenders.
After replacing Bennett, fellow striker Aaron Mclean could have added to his midweek Morecambe winner but his low shot past home shot-stopper Richard O'Donnell just seven minutes from the end was kicked clear by Paul Downing in front of an open goal.
In return, Walsall had chances of their own in the match. Ashley Grimes fired over on the turn after Downing had headed down a Malvind Benning corner in the first period.
A minute later, Romaine Sawyers also went close when he fired narrowly over from just outside the box.
Walsall's best openings after the break came as late as second half injury time. Adam Chambers' drive from outside the box was well saved by a diving Jordan Pickford before Grimes smashed over after an Andy Taylor cross had fallen at his feet.
FT: Walsall 0 Bradford City 0
90+2min: Taylor's ball into the area eventually drops into the path of Grimes but the striker fires over from a decent position inside the area.
90+1min: Adam Chambers' shot from just outside the area is repelled by a fine save from Pickford at full stretch.
90min: There will be three minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
83min: Mclean has a sight of goal when he wriggles free into space behind Walsall's back-four just inside the hosts' area. The striker knocks the ball past the on-rushing O'Donnell but a recovering Paul Downing gets back to kick the effort clear around six yards out before it can roll over the line.
82min: Taylor fires for goal with a half-volley on the bounce but the effort from around 20 yards sails high and wide of Pickford's goal-frame.
76min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Mo Shariff for Yeates.
75min: SUB - Walsall bring on Anthony Forde for Benning.
75min: Yeates' cross into the area finds the head of Hanson but the header, although on target, lacks the power to pose a serious threat to O'Donnell's goal.
70min: SUB - Walsall bring on Dean Holden for James Chambers, who appears to have picked up an injury.
68min: Yeates runs into the Walsall penalty area with real purpose but, after cutting onto his left foot for a shot, his low drive lacks the power and placement to trouble O'Donnell, who gathers with relative ease.
66min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Matthew Dolan for Knott.
64min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Aaron Mclean for Bennett.
63min: Grimes takes aim from around 20 yards out but his low drive bounces a yard or so wide of Pickford's far post.
59min: Clifford goes for goal from around 25 yards out and sees his looping effort drop narrowly over Pickford's crossbar.
52min: After clearing a Walsall corner, City break at the hosts with pace. Yeates leads the break forward before eventually playing in Bennett just inside Walsall's penalty area. The attacker lines up a shot on goal but his effort is brilliantly blocked by a diving tackle from young defender Liam Kinsella.
48min: Bennett has two bites of the cherry in quick succession at the start of the second half. Bennett's first sighter of goal is stopped by a great sliding tackle from Andy Taylor after the striker looked for a second to be in shooting space inside the box following Knott's through-ball. Seconds later, Yeates' cross pops up into the path of Bennett, allowing the striker to line up an overhead kick. The forward's effort takes a knock off a Walsall defender, however, and O'Donnell can gather up the loose ball.
46min: The Bantams restart the match.
HT: Walsall 0 Bradford City 0
45min: There will be two minutes added on at the end of the first half.
43min: Yeates' direct free-kick slightly wide of goal and on the edge of the Walsall box bounces low into the grasp of O'Donnell.
39min: YELLOW CARD - Gary Liddle is booked for catching Grimes with a late tackle around the halfway line.
36min: Yeates' short corner routine with Knott sees the Irishman eventually cross into the area towards the head of Bennett, who glances a header narrowly wide of O'Donnell's far post.
33min: Clifford's intelligent ball over the top picks out the dangerous run of Tom Bradshaw in behind City's defensive line. Bradshaw strike the ball first time on the volley but the weak effort drops straight into the chest of Jordan Pickford.
28min: The ball breaks free into the path of Billy Clifford around 20 yards out but the midfielder's strike for goal sails well wide of its intended target.
28min: After picking up the ball from Stephen Darby, Knott drives forward towards Walsall's penalty area but his low strike for goal rolls harmlessly off target.
23min: Knott's clever clipped through ball picks out the run of Yeates to get him briefly in behind Walsall's back line. With the Irishman's touch taking him away from goal, however, Yeates can't quite take full advantage of the situation and he can eventually only skew a shot wide of O'Donnell's near post.
19min: Romaine Sawyer fires narrowly over the bar with an effort from just outside the penalty area the attacker was teed up by Grimes.
18min: Paul Downing heads Malvind Benning's corner down into the heart of City's penalty box but Ashley Grimes can only fire over from a decent shooting position with an instant strike on the turn.
12min: Billy Knott takes aim from all of 30 yards out before firing in strike that sails not too far wide of O'Donnell's goal.
5min: Mark Yeates plays a neat one-two via the chest of Mason Bennett but the attacker's drive from a relatively tight angle inside the area sails comfortably wide of Richard O'Donnell's near post.
0min: Walsall kick off the match.
3:02pm: The Banks's Stadium falls silent for a minute to honour the life of Walsall director Clive Welsh, who sadly passed away during the summer.
WALSALL LINE UP
O'Donnell, Kinsella, Downing, J Chambers, Taylor, A Chambers, Clifford, Grimes, Sawyer, Benning, Bradshaw
Subs: MacGillivray, Holden, Baxendale, Flanagan, Morris, Bakayoko, Forder
Holden for J Chambers (70), Forde for Benning (75)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP
Pickford, Darby, Davies, McArdle, Meredith, Liddle, Kennedy, Knott, Yeates, Bennett, Hanson
Subs: Williams, Dolan, Mclean, Shariff, Routis, McBurnie, Morais
Bradford City cautions:
Bradford City changes:
Mclean for Bennett (64), Dolan for Knott (66), Shariff for Yeates (76)
Referee: D Whitestone
Assistant Referee: A Pashley
Assistant Referee: S Knapp
Fourth Official: R Bartlett