Bradford City 3 Crewe Alexandra 3
City were held to a thrilling draw as 6 goals were scored in a game that suffered from the blustery weather conditions. Uche Ikpeazu lobbed McLaughlin to open the scoring early in the first half and he scored a second goal early in the second half to double his sides lead. James Hanson tapped home before Gary Jones fired City level. Mathias Pogba scored to put his side back into the lead before Jones scored another impressive goal late on to bring the sides level.
The opening few exchanges seemed to be a story of recent loan signing; Ikpeazu, on loan from Watford almost helped Chuks Aneke to score with a low cross but he couldn’t quite get there before City’s newest addition Matthew Dolan saw a goal-bound shot blocked after Crewe had only half cleared their lines.
Against the early run of play somewhat, the visitors took the lead through Ikpeazu. Carl McHugh failed to get enough connection on an attempted header back to McLaughlin to quash danger and Ikpeazu nipped in to lob the ball neatly over McLaughlin and into the back of the net.
The Bantams never really got going in the opening 45 minutes and if anything it was the visitors who looked like scoring again as they went close through Harry Davis who saw a low drive go narrowly wide of the mark.
Adam Reach and Kyle Bennett tried their luck from long range as City seemed limited to very little in the first half and Mathias Pogba, brother of Juventus star Paul, saw a rising drive go narrowly over the bar after shrugging off a challenge from Jones.
City started the second half brightly, clearly having more of an impact on the game than they did in the first half and James Hanson was denied from close range by Ben Garratt after latching on to Reach’s cross.
A minute later and The Bantams were denied once again, Hanson scuffed an effort into the path of Reach who saw an effort blocked before Dolan sliced an angled shot narrowly wide of the target to let Crewe well and truly off the hook.
Despite all City’s early groundwork in the second half, Crewe doubled their lead soon after. Aneke saw a low drive palmed away by Jon McLaughlin but Ikpeazu was on hand to tap the ball in from close range.
City did pull a goal back shortly after Crewe’s second through James Hanson. Aaron Mclean held off his marker in the area before pulling back a perfectly weighted pass for Hanson to tap home from 6 yards out.
In a hectic period of the game, City equalised through Gary Jones. Running onto Mclean’s pass, the skipper rifled in an unstoppable shot to send the home supporters into bedlam.
Hanson could and should have put City into the lead for the first time all afternoon; after stepping away from the attentions of Mark Ellis in the area, he lacked composure and ballooned the ball over the bar when Garratt really should’ve been at least tested.
Crewe then went up the other end and scored to restore their lead. Matthew Bates could only head the danger half clear before Aneke played the ball wide into the path of Pogba who emphatically lashed the ball across McLaughlin and into the top corner.
Barely 5 minutes later though, captain fantastic was at it again. Producing a stunning strike very similar to his first effort, City had got back on level terms with only 6 minutes plus stoppage time remaining.
Both teams could argue that they could’ve nicked all three points late on with Chuks Aneke twice going close for the visitors before James Hanson saw a header somehow kept out by young stopper Ben Garratt.