Bradford City 1 Blackpool 0
The Bantams produced another solid defensive display to grind out three points and extend the unbeaten run in the league to six matches. The visitors, prior to Saturday’s loss at Bury, were on a decent run themselves despite their lowly league position and James Hanson’s thumping header on the stroke of half time proved enough, ultimately to register the victory which moved City up to ninth in the League One table and within touching distance of the play-off positions.
James Hanson was the match winner on the evening and he had his first chance inside the first couple of minutes; Kyel Reid got the better of Hayden White on the left flank before delivering a superb cross to the near post, Hanson got his head on the ball but it was diverted behind for a corner kick.
Blackpool may have had a very poor start to this league campaign but it has been noted that they have been resurgent in the last month or so and they looked a threat at time through strike duo Jack Redshaw and Marc Cullen.
The first chance for the visitors though fell to central defender Clark Robertson; Redshaw’s corner was only cleared as far as the Scotsman but his half volley from 10 yards was blocked vitally by a City player amongst the melee in the penalty area.
Devante Cole had the next chance of the half and it was the best one yet in truth; after controlling Reid’s low cross, he twisted and turned on the ball before seeing his goal bound strike from 12 yards tipped over superbly by Blackpool’s stand in skipper Colin Doyle.
Blackpool ultimately didn’t score on the evening, but they had managed six goals in the last three matches and did look a threat as mentioned earlier, on occasions. Redshaw pulled the ball back to Jarrett Rivers and his low drive into the area was helped on by Cullen but narrowly wide of the target.
On the stroke of half time City took the lead and once again it was from a set-piece, a Tony McMahon set piece to be precise and it was his sixth assist of the season. After he had done well to win the corner, his delivery was on the money and powered home by the head of Hanson.
Blackpool started the second half with purpose but the first Bradford chance of the half was a decent one; James Meredith’s cross was half cleared by Jim McAlister and Lee Evans controlled the ball on his chest before arcing a half volley a yard or so over the bar from the edge of the area.
Norris had a chance at the other end, seeing his angled drive diverted behind for a corner crucially by Rory McArdle before Evans had another chance of his own shortly after. The Welshman controlled Reid’s accurate low centre before seeing his eventual shot blocked by a Blackpool defender in the penalty area.
Veteran midfielder David Norris - once with near neighbours Leeds United - showed positive signs for Neil McDonald’s men in the second half and he saw a speculative shot from 20 yards go narrowly wide of the target after playing a neat one-two with Redshaw.
The visitors had a little bit of a spell in the second half but never really looked too threatening and did seem to run out if ideas in the latter stages, resorting mainly to shots from distance; none of which caused Ben Williams too much trouble.