Bradford City 1 Colchester United 1
The Bantams came from behind to rescue a point against Tony Humes’ League One strugglers Colchester United. Recent signing from Sheffield United, Chris Porter, scored a fantastic goal in the fifth minute to give the visitors the perfect start. It was a tough game for both sides on a sticky surface and United seemed to adapt better early on. City were the better team in the second half and got a deserved equaliser, Filipe Morais volleying home a Jon Stead cross to restore parity.
Within the first exchanges, United had the lead. An experienced frontman in Chris Porter, brought down a long ball forward and made a beeline towards the penalty area; progressing from the left hand side he got a run on Andrew Davies and curled a superb shot towards goal which picked out the top corner leaving the home crowd shell shocked.
It was a slow start from The Bantams and Gavin Massey should’ve double his side’s lead just a few minutes later; latching onto Stephen Darby’s loose pass, he got into the area but he tried to pick out the top corner but saw his effort go marginally over.
There was another opportunity for Colchester as the visitors looked for another early goal and it was the bright youngster Sammie Szmodics who had the next attempt. An awkward bounce got the better of Davies and Szmodics got in behind but after being forced wide, he saw his shot kept out well by Jordan Pickford before Rory McArdle mopped up with a clearance.
David Fox’s free kick was headed back across goal by Millwall loanee Matthew Briggs before Tom Eastman saw a header held by Pickford, and up the other end from Pickford’s long distribution up the field, Jon Stead tried an audacious half volley from 25 yards but his effort went wide of the target to leave the Colchester goal unharmed.
Filipe Morais was looking as usual, a lively outlet for City as they looked to get themselves back into the contest and the Portuguese winger saw a free kick in a dangerous area just outside the 18 yard box, take a slight deflection off the wall before being gathered by Sam Walker.
City were looking much more of a threat towards the close of the first half and Billy Knott was denied brilliantly by the legs of Walker. Stephen Darby’s excellent cross was glanced by James Hanson into the path of Knott who saw an angled drive saved by the United goalkeeper.
The start to the second half was significantly better than the start to the first in terms of the way City had gone about their business and the first effort of note came through the unlikely source of Stephen Darby. James Meredith’s long throw dropped to the feet of Hanson and his centre was cleared as far as the skipper who hit a first time shot from the edge of the area which rose comfortably over the bar and into the Kop stand behind the goal.
Bradford born left sided player Ben Gordon had a chance of his own against the run of play and it took a smart stop from Pickford to keep the effort out after Szmodics had found him on the overlap.
The Bantams were really pressing for an equaliser and Morais almost got it in bizarre circumstances; he got a run on Briggs before firing a shot towards goal that was pushed onto the outside of the post in unorthodox fashion by big Sam Walker in the U’s’ goal.
Morais went close with an angled drive that went narrowly wide of the target but he got the goal his performance deserved with an excellent finish. Jon Stead worked tremendously well to keep the ball on the left hand side and played a pin-point cross to the far post which was blasted home on the volley by Morais for his 5th goal of the season.
City looked the most likely to nick the three points late on and Jon Stead who had put in another good performance, curled a left footed shot a yard or so wide of the far post from 20 yards out, a decent effort.
In the end both sides had to settle for a point apiece, a result that was probably a fair one, the visitors deserved their share for a start to the game which saw them very much on the front foot; City deserved their share for a second half performance which saw them have the upper hand in the game.