Scunthorpe United 1 Bradford City 1
The Bantams earned a second away point in just four days with a draw at Scunthorpe United on Tuesday evening. City weren’t creating a great deal of changes in the first half and fell behind to a smartly taken finish by Gary McSheffrey. Phil Parkinson’s men though were much better in the second half and deservedly levelled through the in-form Billy Clarke, who struck his 13th of the season with a volley that beat Luke Daniels.
City had the first half decent opening of the game and after some neat link up play between James Hanson and Billy Clarke, Jon Stead hit a shot towards goal from just outside the area which was held with relative comfort by United stopper Luke Daniels.
Another opportunity came, but it was not a clear one and it was one that Gary Liddle volleyed over the bar from 20 yards after Andrew Davies’ header was punched half clear by Daniels, following Tony McMahon’s dangerous in-swinging delivery.
Gary McSheffrey went close after cutting inside from the left onto his right foot, to fire a shot over the bar, but he got his goal shortly after to open the scoring. Hakeeb Adelakun, who scored the injury time equaliser in the reverse fixture, got down the right hand side and his accurate low cross was turned in first time from just inside the area by McSheffrey.
With the half time interval drawing ever closer, United hit the bar through Neal Bishop; the experienced midfielder made a diagonal run towards the back four and space opened up for him to continue, before he smashed a shot against the bar from just inside the area, with Ben Williams beaten.
Scunthorpe’s leading scorer Paddy Madden had his first sniff at goal shortly after; he cut inside from the left flank before seeing a low drive from just outside the area diverted behind for a corner by Stephen Darby.
The Bantams had the first chance of a half, that they would ultimately have the better of. Darby was presented with the time and space to deliver a cross into the area, and his far post delivery was met by the head of Stead, but his attempt which was certainly on target, was held well by Daniels.
Christopher Routis, who had been pushed forward into central midfield at half time, with Gary Liddle dropping in at centre half, had an attempt of his own. The Frenchman played a neat one-two pass with Clarke before rifling a shot a yard or so over the bar from just outside the area.
Just after the hour, City were level and it was leading scorer Billy Clarke who got on the scoresheet for the 13th time this season. Darby swung a cross into the area from the right hand side, and although his cross was slightly too high for Jon Stead, it dropped kindly to Clarke who planted a volley back across goal and into the far corner.
United instantly looked for a response and Madden latched onto a forward pass to tee himself up for a firmly struck shot, which was on target, but held onto well by Ben Williams.
Both teams in fairness, looked for the winning goal, and the hosts introduced Kevin van Veen and Dave Syers from the bench. Tony McMahon went close with a 25 yard free kick which dipped over the wall, but went inches wide of the target, and down the other end Madden had another chance, but after latching onto John Lundstram’s angled ball forward, he cut inside Darby before seeing a shot held onto by Williams.
Ultimately honours were to be even, but McMahon almost grabbed the winner for City in added time; Andy Halliday, who looked lively after coming on as a substitute, threaded a ball through to the Blackpool loanee, and despite being one on one with Daniels, he was under pressure from two Scunthorpe defenders and planted a shot narrowly over the bar.