Saturday 18 April 2015
Sky Bet League 1
Sheffield United 1 (Holt 57)
Bradford City 1 (Clarke 84)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at Bramall Lane
Attendance: 21,879 (2,457 visitors)
The Bantams managed to restore some pride after Tuesday's heavy loss to Bristol City by coming from behind to earn a creditable draw at Play Off certainties Sheffield United.
United took the lead just before the hour mark through Jason Holt but City fought back and equalised when Billy Clarke fired home his twelfth of the season with six minutes of normal time remaining.
The only low point of the afternoon for Phil Parkinson's men came just before injury time when Rory McArdle was sent off for a second bookable offence.
With the fit-again Andrew Davies back in their side, City nearly had the early breakthrough when Clarke's drive from inside the box beat Blades 'keeper Mark Howard but was kicked clear of goal by Chris Basham.
At a sun-drenched Bramall Lane, the Bantams also saw a penalty appeal turned down ten minutes before the break after Terry Kennedy's arm appeared to hit the ball just inside the area as Billy Knott looked to move past him.
United opened the scoring twelve minutes into the second period when Holt fired home a loose ball inside the box after McArdle had blocked Michael Doyle's close range effort following Jamie Murphy's cross.
Parkinson's side came back into the contest, however, and substitute Mark Yeates saw his goal-bound curler headed away by John Brayford from deep inside his own area.
City levelled with time running out when Clarke crashed home a strike on the half-volley from just inside the area after Davies had kept alive a free-kick from deep by McArdle.
After being cautioned for blocking off Holt earlier in the second period though, McArdle was given his marching orders in the final minute of normal time for a second bookable offence - this time for knocking over Steven Davies as the striker tried to burst forward towards City's penalty area.
McArdle's red card means the defender will now miss the matches against Scunthorpe United and Barnsley but City hung on with relative ease during the five minutes of over-time that followed to collect a deserved point from their trip to Bramall Lane.
FT: Sheffield United 1 Bradford City 1
90min: There will be five minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
90min: SUB - Gary MacKenzie comes on for the unfortunate Yeates following McArdle's dismissal.
90min: RED CARD - McArdle is given his marching orders for a second bookable offence after blocking off Steven Davies as the United attacker looked to burst forward towards City's penalty box.
84min: GOAL!!!!! - Sheffield United 1 Bradford City 1 - The Bantams are level through Clarke! McArdle's free-kick from deep into the area is kept alive by the head of Andrew Davies and the ball eventually drops to Clarke, who finds the bottom corner with a low half-volley from just inside the area.
83min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Jon Stead for Knott.
81min: SUB - United bring on Che Adams for Baxter.
80min: Christopher Routis plays the ball back to Yeates and the winger sees his curling effort from just inside the area headed away by Brayford from right in front of United's own goal.
75min: Steven Davies turns away from Andrew Davies after receiving the ball from Baxter but the striker's low drive from outside the area sails comfortably wide of Williams' goal.
72min: Yeates connects sweetly with the ball as Meredith's long throw-in into the area is headed out but the winger's volley from the edge of the area is straight at Howard.
69min: Yeates' cross from a short corner delivery looks set for the head of Hanson. As the striker comes steaming in at the far post though, he is denied a close range effort on goal as Basham vitally heads behind for a corner.
65min: YELLOW CARD - McMahon is booked for catching Freeman late just inside City's half.
61min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Mark Yeates for Halliday.
57min: GOAL - Sheffield United 1 Bradford City 0 - United take the lead when Holt fires home from inside the area. Murphy's low driven cross into the area finds Doyle but a combination of McArdle and Williams blocks his route to goal. The loose ball falls to Holt, however, and the midfielder crashes home.
55min: Steven Davies' header from a Baxter cross hits the post but the striker had already been flagged for offside.
55min: Baxter's driven cross-come-shot into the box is diverted behind for a corner by the out-stretched boot of Meredith.
53min: YELLOW CARD - McArdle is booked for blocked off Holt as he looked to burst down the Blades' left flank.
52min: Knott's hanging cross into the area is headed goalwards by Halliday but the effort is straight at Howard.
51min: Coutts' low cross into the six yard box is held by Williams just ahead of the out-stretched boot of the lurking Steven Davies.
48min: Clarke's low drive from some distance rolls harmlessly wide of Howard's near post.
46min: The Bantams begin the second period.
HT SUB: United bring on Craig Alcock for Kennedy just before the restart.
HT: Sheffield United 0 Bradford City 0
45min: There will be two minutes of time added on at the end at the first half.
42min: YELLOW CARD - Michael Doyle is booked for catching Knott with a late tackle just inside City's own half of the pitch.
38min: Steven Davies' effort direct from a free-kick just outside the area hits City's wall before flying behind for a corner.
35min: Knott tries to knock the ball past Kennedy just inside the area but it appears to strike the United defender's arm. No penalty is given, however, and Hanson blasts the loose ball well over the bar shortly afterwards.
35min: Steven Davies turns McArdle on the edge of the box after receiving the ball to feet from Brayford's pass but the striker's low drive is straight at Williams.
34min: Baxter's curling drive from just outside the box sails comfortably wide of Williams' far post.
32min: Great footwork from Kieran Freeman on United's left back eventually plays Jason Holt into a pocket of space. Holt fires the ball across the six yard box but his cross goes untouched and City can clear their lines.
17min: Knott's drive from distance is pushed around the post by the fingertips of Howard.
16min: A Brayford cross is headed out by Rory McArdle as far as Paul Coutts, who is lurking just outside the box. The midfielder looks to strike for goal but his side-footed effort is blocked behind for a corner by the boot of McArdle.
16min: Clarke turns into shooting space deep inside the area but his low right-footed drive is booted away by Chris Basham just in front of United's own goal-line.
12min: A delightful pass from Billy Clarke looks to play Hanson in with a scoring chance barely six yards from goal. The presence of Brayford denies Hanson a clear strike on the ball, however, and the striker's effort on the stretch is held by Howard.
9min: John Brayford's low cross into the area gets a touch off Andrew Davies before rolling into the path of Jamie Murphy. The winger takes aim from just inside the box but his rising drive goes high and wide of Ben Williams' goal.
2min: James Hanson's pass releases Billy Knott into space down City's right flank. Knott turns inside of Terry Kennedy before curling a left-footed drive from a tight angle a yard or so wide of goal.
1min: Tony McMahon's ball forward eventually drops at the feet of Andy Halliday just outside the box and the Scottish winger curls a low drive narrowly past Mark Howard's far post.
0min: Sheffield United will kick off the match. The Bantams will defend the end that houses their supporters in the first period.
SHEFFIELD UNITED LINE UP:
Howard, Freeman, Basham, Kennedy, Brayford, Coutts, Doyle, Baxter, Holt, Murphy, Davies
Subs: Willis, Alcock, Scougall, McNulty, Done, Davies, Adams
Sheffield United cautions:
Sheffield United changes:
Alcock for Kennedy (46), Adams for Baxter (81)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
Williams, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Meredith, Routis, McMahon, Knott, Halliday, Hanson, Clarke
Subs: Urwin, Dolan, Liddle, Zoko, Yeates, MacKenzie, Stead
Bradford City cautions:
McArdle (53), (90) McMahon (65)
Bradford City dismissals:
Bradford City changes:
Yeates for Halliday (61), Stead for Knott (83), MacKenzie for Yeates (90)
Referee: G Scott
Assistant Referee: J Clark
Assistant Referee: R Joyce
Fourth Official: D Storrie