The Bantams recorded excellent victory against Notts County this Sunday to round of a very fruitful festiveperiod and back up the three points gained at Fleetwood only a couple of days earlier.
City were the better of the two sides in the first half and got a deserved lead as Billy Knott hit a deflected shot past Roy Carroll after some neat play in the build up. County never truly threatened Jordan Pickford who held on for another clean sheet as City made it nine games unbeaten going into the new year.
Phil Parkinson made just one change to the side that won at Fleetwood on Boxing Day and it was Billy Knott who came back into the side to start ahead of Mark Yeates who had picked up an injury at Highbury to be ruled out of this fixture. Billy Clarke continued to be sidelines with an injury also that saw him miss out at Fleetwood.
Andy Halliday had a great chance to open the lead inside the first five minutes; after latching onto James Hanson’s flick on, he ghosted past Mustapha Dumbuya before rounding Roy
Carroll, after being forced wide somewhat though, his eventual shot couldn’t find the target.
It was Jon Stead who was next to profit from Hanson’s knock down but the Huddersfield Town loanee dragged a first time shot wide of the mark from just outside the area, the tempo of the game was high and there were opportunities opening up.
City looked hungry for the opening goal and Billy Knott came inches away from getting it inside the 10th minute; Gary Liddle, who had an outstanding performance, picked out Knott unmarked and onside in the area but his eventual shot from an angle went very close to finding the top corner with Carroll a spectator.
Andrew Davies had to come off injured early in the game and he was replaced by former County man Alan Sheehan who slotted in at centre half alongside Rory McArdle.
Another chance came City’s way and it was Jon Stead who was denied, this time by the post; Filipe Morais’ near post corner saw Stead get in front of his marker but his effort clipped the outside of the post and went behind for a goal kick.
County’s first real chance of the game came very close to giving them the lead and it came in the way of Jake Cassidy; Stephen McLaughlin found the Wolves loanee who saw a low shot come back off the post.
Shaun Derry’s men were presented with another good goal scoring opportunity and it was another which was close to seeing them get on the scoresheet; Garry Thompson flicked the ball into the path of the onrushing Ryan Hall who looped the ball over Pickford but thankfully the ball dropped over the bar.
Minutes before half time the Bantams took the lead; Billy Knott found James Meredith who made his way down the left hand side and then pulled the ball back to Knott in the area who produced a shot which seemed to take a deflection before going past Carroll and into the back of the net.
City continued in the same vein in the second half as they looked to further consolidate their advantage in the game; Halliday almost had a chance of a shot on goal but he was muscled out by a duo of County defenders after some slick link up play between Knott and Stead.
Billy Knott and Jon Stead were linking up excellently all game and they produced some tremendous skill once again to allow Hanson the chance to shoot but his side footed effort from 12 yards out was pushed round the post by Carroll.
Nottingham Forest loanee Stephen McLaughlin was one of the brighter players in County’s line-up throughout the game and he produced a dipping volley from 20 yards which went a yard or so wide of the mark.
McLaughlin again was on hand to cause panic in City’s area but after he’d got the better of
Stephen Darby in a challenge and got in behind the back line, his eventual shot was rushed, wild and went harmlessly wide and over failing to test Pickford.
County pushed for the equaliser but it didn’t come as their unbeaten away record was put to an end at the hands of Bradford City. Substitute Francois Zoko almost added a gloss to the scoreline with a second goal in injury time but after he’d produced a delicate angled finish past Carroll, his shot bobbled inches wide of finding the bottom corner.