Saturday 15 March 2014
Sky Bet League 1
Bradford City 1 (Mclean 10)
Gillingham 1 (McDonald 56)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at the Coral Windows Stadium
Attendance: 13,089 (226 visitors)
Pictures kindly provided by Thomas Gadd
The Bantams were held to a draw by visitors Gillingham this Saturday, despite Aaron Mclean netting his first goal for the Bantams.
Mclean's tenth minute strike had given Phil Parkinson's men a deserved half time lead but, inspired by the half-time introductions of Charlie Lee and Adebayo Akinfenwa, Gillingham fought back in the second period for a share of the spoils.
Barely ten minutes after his appearance from the substitutes' bench, it was Akinfenwa who teed up strike partner Cody McDonald to fire under the body of Jon McLaughlin after being played through on goal.
Despite the relatively tight nature of the game, City will still feel they did enough to warrant all three points, especially after dominating the opening half, and they will certainly be frustrated to have conceded from one of a very limited number of genuine scoring chances created by the Gills.
With City attacking to the Kop in the first half for the third home game running, Mclean's opening goal for City came in front of the majority of the home crowd inside the Coral Windows Stadium.
The striker expertly finished past Gills 'keeper Stuart Nelson with aplomb with a left-footed strike from Adam Drury's cross.
The sense of relief and delight was clear for both Mclean and the City fans in the ground as the forward finally got the goal his recent performances had deserved.
Boosted by Mclean's goal, City bossed large periods of the first period without engineering a vital second goal.
The lively Adam Reach firing wide from just inside the area after a quick one-two with Mclean and James Hanson heading at Nelson from a Kyle Bennett cross were two of City's better chances but they went into the break only one goal to the good.
Gills boss Peter Taylor, formerly in the hot-seat at City, of course, brought on Lee and Akinfenwa just before the restart and the changes instantly helped to make the visitors more competitive.
Gillingham's leveller in the game came in the fifty-sixth minute when Andrew Davies failed to deal with a bouncing ball and Akinfenwa was allowed to stride forward and play McDonald in on goal.
McLaughlin was out of goal quickly to try and close down the angle but the Gills forward showed impressive composure slot the ball between the shot-stopper's legs.
City tried to force the issue and reclaim their lead as the half progressed - Gary Jones coming off the bench to help the Bantams' cause - but they never really threatened Nelson's goal as the game ended drawn.
FT: Bradford City 1 Gillingham 1
90+3min: Jones tries his luck from distance direct from a free-kick but the ball sails over the bar.
90min: There will be three minutes of time added on at the match.
86min: Bennett's deflected cross is helped on by a hook from the boot of Thompson but the ball is just out of the reach of Hanson over by the far post.
80min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Garry Thompson for Mclean now though following that whack. It looks like Thompson will partner Hanson in attack now.
79min: Mclean is able to carry on now as play continues.
78min: Mclean requires a spot of treatment after taking a whack to his head following an aerial challenge with Lee.
78min: Rory McArdle's long ball forward is flicked by Hanson into the path of the lurking Bennett but the winger's low strike from the edge of the area is scuffed wide of the near post.
73min: Davies and Hanson both jump for a Jones corner as the ball drops into the path of Reach. The winger fires the ball across the six yard box but no-one in claret and amber can connect.
73min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Gary Jones for Dolan.
64min: Akinfenwa's drive from outside the box is pushed around the post by the fingertips of McLaughlin.
64min: Mclean runs onto Hanson's neat header on but the striker's first time effort on the half-volley sails wide of Nelson's near post.
60min: Akinfenwa feeds the ball into McDonald's path just inside the area but the striker's shot on the bounce from just inside the area sails over.
60min: Mclean stretches to connect with Reach's fizzing cross into the box but the striker can only send the ball comfortably over the bar.
58min: Hanson latches onto a poor headed clearance from Leon Legge and lays the ball off to Mclean but the striker's first time drive from outside the area is well held by Nelson.
The visitors equalise early in the second half when Akinfenwa plays Cody McDonald into a pocket of space just behind City's defence and the striker smartly knocks the ball between the legs of the on-rushing McLaughlin.56min: GOAL - Bradford City 1 Gillingham 1 -
49min: Reach runs at Hewitt before firing over a cross from the left flank that sails over Nelson and onto the top of his crossbar.
46min: Gillingham kick off the second period.
HT SUBS - Gillingham bring on Charlie Lee and Adebayo Akinfenwa for Jake Hessenthaler and Pigott before the restart.
HT: Bradford City 1 Gillingham 0
45+1min: Mclean cushions the ball into the path of Reach but the winger's right-footed half-volley from distance loops wide of Nelson's net.
45min: There will be one minute of time added on at the end of the first half.
34min: Bennett's clipped cross into the area is laid off into the path of Doyle by Hanson but the midfielder's poke for goal from just outside the area sails comfortably wide of goal.
30min: Hewitt's long throw-in into the area is flicked on by the head of Adam Barrett but the ball across the six yard box is just out of the reach of the stretching Pigott.
25min: A Dolan corner eventually falls into the path of Nathan Doyle on the edge of Gillingham's area but his strike for goal is blocked inside the box by former Bantam Craig Fagan.
23min: Matthew Dolan charges down an attempted clearance up-field by Elliott Hewitt before trying his luck for goal as the ball bounces up into his path. Dolan gets a decent connection with his effort but the looping half-volley from all of 35 yards out sails comfortably wide of Nelson's goal.
20min: Bennett's cross into the area finds Hanson but the striker's powerful downward header is held by Nelson.
20min: Myles Weston runs forward with purpose before firing in a strike from outside the box that Jon McLaughlin manages to repel. The ball still bounces loose inside the Bantams area but McLaughlin is on hand to grab hold of it just before the lurking Joe Pigott.
16min: Mclean has the ball in the back of Nelson's net again but Reach had already been flagged for offside in the build up to the disallowed goal.
13min: Adam Reach plays a neat one-two with Mclean before driving into the box and firing wide of Nelson's far post with a low angled drive.
10min: GOAL!!!!!!!! Bradford City 1 Gillingham 0 - Aaron Mclean fires City into the lead with his first goal for the club! A great low cross into the box by Adam Drury is met by Mclean, who sweeps a left-footed first time strike past Stuart Nelson from around ten yards out.
5min: Kyle Bennett sprints to the byline before clipping over a cross that floats across the six yard box before bouncing onto the top of the bar over by the far post.
0min: The Bantams kick off the match. For the third game running, City will attack towards the Kop in the first half.
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Drury, Bennett, Dolan, Doyle, Reach, Mclean, Hanson
Subs: Bentley, Gray, Thompson, McHugh, Jones, Bates, Atkinson
Bradford City changes:
Jones for Dolan (73), Thompson for Mclean (80)
GILLINGHAM LINE UP:
Nelson, Hewitt, Barrett, Legge, Martin, Fagan, Linganzi, Hessenthaler, Weston, Pigott, McDonald
Subs: Baxter, Davies, Akinfenwa, Dack, Lee, Smith, Harriman
Lee for Hessenthaler (46), Akinfenwa for Pigott (46)
Referee: M Bull
Assistant Referee: P Gooch
Assistant Referee: S Lucas
Fourth Official: N Greenhalgh