The Bantams were held to a respectable point against League One leaders Coventry City on Tuesday evening and it’s a point that lifts City up to sixth in the league and into the play-off places for the first time this season. It’s also another clean sheet for Phil Parkinson’s men, that’s now an incredible seven games without conceding a goal, although the league’s leading marksman Adam Armstrong came millimetres away in the first half, when he struck a post.
It was a fairly cagey to start to a game which was contested by two sides; one had been in a rich vein of free scoring form and the other have kept the gates shut, hardly conceding a goal of late. Billy Clarke came close to opening the scoring though after ten minutes when he connected with Kyel Reid’s cross, however his first time shot went narrowly wide of the target.
Coventry had looked bright on the attack, with Marc-Antoine Fortune going close and then Armstrong, the young prospect on loan from Premier League Newcastle United hitting the post; after latching onto Jacob Murphy’s pass he hit an angled shot towards goal which came back off the far post. A bit of a let off for the home side.
Ruben Lameiras almost got onto the loose ball after Armstrong was denied but he had a chance of his own creation later in the half; he picked up a loose ball and broke forward before seeing a low drive towards goal from distance held onto well by Ben Williams.
Rory McArdle had a great chance to open the scoring ten minutes before half time. Billy Knott showed great work rate and desire to get into space on the left hand side before delivering a superb cross which was somehow turned wide at the near post by McArdle, City’s best opportunity of the half in all honesty.
Coventry had a couple more attempts at getting the breakthrough before the half was out but Ben Turner headed wide at the far post after latching onto Chris Stokes’ cross into the area. Gael Bigirimana is another player that Tony Mowbray’s side have on loan from the top flight and he had a wild attempt at goal from 40 yards but his attempt went comfortably over the bar.
Murphy is a player who has been in better form than most of late, with five goals in his last two games and he went close to opening the scoring early in the second half; but his stinging drive from the edge of the area was turned around the post by Williams.
Williams had to make sure attempt from range by Armstrong and Jim O’Brien didn’t end up in the back of the net before Coventry’s young stopper Reice Charles-Cook made a superb save to keep out Tony McMahon’s volley after Reid had picked him out brilliantly with a cross from the left hand side.
Ryan Kent was introduced as a second half substitute with roughly twenty minutes to go, and the pacy youngster on loan from Liverpool almost immediately forced Williams into a save after producing a couple of step-overs to evade Lee Evans before letting rip from 20 yards out.
It was the visitors who went closest to winning the game late on with time running out. Evans’ loose pass was pounced on by Kent and he produced some lightning speed to burst towards goal before playing in Murphy; his attempt was saved brilliantly by Williams before City could clear the ball.
Romain Vincelot and Ben Turner headed wide of the target late on after both latching onto deliveries into the area by Kent and City defended solidly to earn their share of the spoils and a point which elevates Phil Parkinson’s men into the play-off positions ahead of a trip to another of the league’s pace setters, Walsall, at the weekend.