The Bantams were defeated by Doncaster Rovers, as the South Yorkshire side came from behind to snatch three points with goals by Reece Wabara and Curtis Main proving enough to confirm a victory.
In a first half where Cedric Evina had to be stretchered off with a serious looking injury, City were the better of the two teams and went into half time a goal to the good thanks to Jon Stead’s superbly taken strike in first half stoppage time.
Match winner, Curtis Main went close in the first few minutes when he connected with James Coppinger’s cross with a stooping header but his effort, which was on target, was held comfortably by Jordan Pickford. In the same minute, James Hanson saw a volley on the turn clawed away by Sam Johnstone after he’d connected well with James Meredith’s cross.
Richie Wellens tested Pickford with a firm drive from 20 yards that he managed to push away; Kyle Bennett almost latched onto the loose ball though before Filipe Morais completed the clearance. Morais was heavily involved in the first half and he went close with a shot that was pushed away by Johnstone before seeing a follow up effort blocked by Paul Keegan.
Andrew Davies almost sliced Cedric Evina’s cross into his own goal under pressure from Nathan Tyson but the ball dropped narrowly wide and after Jon Stead had gone close with an angled drive that went narrowly wide of the target after he’d got the better of Reece Wabara, there was a lengthy injury stoppage after a coming together between Evina and Morais. Morais seemed to win the ball with a forceful challenge which resulted in Evina being stretchered off receiving oxygen.
Sam Johnstone, the visiting keeper, who had arrived on loan from Manchester United earlier in the week had to be alert to keep the ball out after Luke McCullough had glanced Mark Yeates cross towards his own goal. Johnstone though, was beaten in the fourth minute of the 7 minutes added on and it was an excellent finish; Yeates found Stead in the area and wanted the return pass, Stead though turned the other way and found the top corner with a left footed strike.
A couple of minutes later, City went close again. From Yeates’ corner, Johnstone did excellently to keep out efforts from Alan Sheehan and Billy Knott before Yeates himself then drilled a shot across goal that went narrowly wide.
Luke McCullough came close for the visitors early in the second half, but after he’d connected with Kyle Bennett’s cross he saw his header go marginally wide of the post. Doncaster did equalise though shortly after through Reece Wabara; Liam Wakefield who had come on to replace Evina, delivered a cross to the far post which was turned in by Wabara.
Fellow substitute Harry Forrester went close to firing his side ahead a couple of minutes later. After moving into a pocket of space he produced a low drive which went a couple of inches wide of the bottom corner.
Sponsors’ man of the match Mark Yeates had been lively all afternoon and he forced Johnstone into a smart save after thumping a swerving shot towards goal from an angle. Doncaster though, took the lead shortly after that. Curtis Main latched onto Wellen’s lofted ball forward before firing an emphatic shot past Pickford from 18 yards out.
The visitors did well to kill the game after taking the lead as City struggled to produce more goal scoring chances. Wakefield had to put the ball behind for a corner kick as Billy Clarke looked to latch onto Hanson’s knock down and from Yeates’ in swinging delivery, Alan Sheehan saw a powerful header go over the bar.
James Meredith had a chance of his own in the remaining few minutes of the ninety but after Knott had flicked Morais’ cross into his path, he stooped to head towards goal but the attempt lacked the power and Johnstone held alertly.