The Bantams secured their place in the hat for the third round draw of the Emirates FA Cup with two goals in each half securing a routine victory. Kyel Reid opened the scoring midway through the first half and James Hanson doubled the advantage before the break. Chesham matched City for spells in the second half but ultimately goals in additional time by substitutes Gary Liddle and Devante Cole put a gloss on the scoreline.
It didn’t take long for the chances to flow at both ends and after Billy Knott saw a shot from distance go wide of the target, United’s Sam Youngs saw a well struck volley from the edge of the area blocked importantly by Rory McArdle after James Hanson had only headed half clear Matt Taylor’s long throw-in.
Billy Clarke had a goal chalked off a couple of minutes later; Rory McArdle’s cross was headed back across goal by Hanson and Clarke finished from close range, but Hanson had been penalised for a foul on Nick Beasant in the build up.
City took the lead after 22 minutes; and it was Reid, scoring his first goal in a Bradford City shirt since his return to the club and it was a goal that he took well. The ball emerged into his path just outside the penalty area after Hanson had flicked on McArdle’s long pass, and he rifled a low shot with his weaker right foot and into the bottom corner past Shane Gore.
There were strong penalty appeals minutes later for City when Stephen Darby went down under a challenge from Beasant after receiving the ball from Billy Clarke the box. On first glance, it seemed Darby had been felled but the referee Scott Duncan allowed play to continue.
City were looking for more goals against their non-league opponents, and Gore had to make a superb save to make sure that Hanson’s goal bound header didn’t find the back of the net after he’d connected with Tony McMahon’s corner.
Just before the break, Hanson doubled City’s lead; Lee Evans produced a superb raking pass over the top and it fell kindly into the path of the big front-man. Hanson made no mistake in firing an angled shot across goal and past Gore inside the box.
Evans was at it again, producing a superb long pass forward but this time Hanson couldn’t find the killer touch, lashing a shot wide of the target. Superb passing range by the Welshman once again.
A couple of chances within the space of sixty seconds that could have produced the third goal of the game; Billy Clarke headed wide from Reid’s centre before Knott scooped a shot over the bar from 12 yards after finding himself with plenty of time and space in the penalty area.
Reece Burke, back in the team since agreeing to renew his loan deal from West Ham United, came forward from defence before seeing an audacious 30 yard shot take a deflection before being held onto awkwardly by Gore on his goal line. At the other end, Youngs saw a vicious 20 yard drive go inches over the bar after Ben Williams had only punched Dave Pearce’s corner half clear.
Pearce looked lively for the visitors since coming off the bench and he latched onto a pass from fellow sub Barry Hayles before carving an opening for himself; he cut inside from the left hand side to get into the area before firing a shot wide of the target.
Ryan Blake was the hero in the last round, scoring the winner at Bristol Rovers, and he almost found a goal for Chesham; a bouncing ball was mis-judged by McArdle to allow him a shooting chance; his angled shot kept out by the legs of Williams.
Four minutes of additional time were signalled and it proved to be enough time for two more Bradford goals. First Gary Liddle connected with McMahon’s corner to loop a shot over Gore and into the far corner, before Devante Cole produced a deft flick to find the back of the net after latching onto McMahon’s low cross into the six yard box.
A victory for the Bantams which importantly sees Phil Parkinson’s men get back to winning ways and confirm a place in the glamorous FA Cup third round draw.