Bradford City 1 (Evans 64)
Walsall 2 (Bradshaw 11, Lalkovic 73)
Sky Bet League 1
Saturday 28 November 2015
at the Banks's Stadium
Attendance: 4,668 (913 visitors)
A valiant effort from the Bantams in the second period at Walsall unfortunately couldn't prevent Phil Parkinson's men from falling to defeat for the first time since the end of September.
City conceded their first goal in over seven games after Walsall's Tom Bradshaw gave the hosts the lead in the eleventh minute when Milan Lalkovic's deflected shot fell kindly into his path and he fired past Ben Williams from close range.
City fought back after the restart and capped off an impressive start to the second period when Lee Evans volleyed in from just outside the box a few minutes past the hour mark.
At that stage, Parkinson's men looked favourites to go on and win the game but Walsall went back in front nearly ten minutes later when Lalkovic latched onto Romaine Sawyers' pass before slotting past Williams.
The Bantams ended the game with four strikers on the pitch as they chased a deserved share of the spoils.
One of those forwards - Devante Cole - nearly won City a penalty in the second minute of injury time as the Bantams claimed handball in the box.
Cole's late drive appeared to strike the arm of James O'Connor, who was positioned a yard or so inside the area. The Bantams bench screamed for a spot-kick but nothing was given - much to the frustration of the City contingent in the Banks's Stadium.
FT: Walsall 2 Bradford City 1
90+4min: Marshall's cross into the box is just over the head of Hanson but Billy Clarke keeps the attack alive by clipping the ball back into the middle. Bowery and Cole look to pounce from close range but Downing just gets his head on the ball to clear behind from close range for a corner.
90+2min: The City bench scream for a penalty as Cole's drive from the edge of area is blocked by O'Connor inside the box. The shot seems like it could have stuck O'Connor's arm but nothing is given.
90min: There will be five minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
89min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Jordan Bowery for McMahon.
87min: YELLOW CARD - O'Connor is booked for time-wasting as he delays taking a Walsall free-kick just inside their own half.
85min: SUB - Walsall bring on Jordan Cook for Lalkovic.
84min: YELLOW CARD - Demetriou is booked for delaying the taking of a City corner.
83min: Sawyers tries his luck from distance and his effort goes not too far over Williams' crossbar.
82min: McMahon volleys narrowly over the bar from around seven yards out following Marshall's ball towards the far post.
79min: SUBS - The Bantams bring on Mark Marshall and Devante Cole for Reid and Nathan Clarke respectively.
78min: Williams' kick forward is flicked on by Hanson into the path of Knott, who sees his curling drive from just outside the box held by Etheridge.
77min: SUB - Walsall bring on Anthony Forde for Kieran Morris.
73min: GOAL - Walsall 2 Bradford City 1 - Lalkovic fires Walsall back into the lead. After City lose possession around the halfway line, Sawyers advances with the ball before picking out the run of Lalkovic through the middle. The attacker takes on the pass before firing past Williams into the far bottom corner from inside the area.
Nathan Clarke is cautioned now for catching Bradshaw with a late lunge down by the corner flag on the near touchline.71min: YELLOW CARD -
Reid is booked for catching Demetriou late a few yards outside City's penalty area as the pair compete for a pass across the pitch.68min: YELLOW CARD -
64min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!! Walsall 1 Bradford City 1 - Evans rifles in a stunning strike on the volley to draw City level! Billy Clarke flicks the ball on via a header following McMahon's looping ball forward and Evans lets rip with a great volley from just outside the area that sails into the far bottom corner!
Lalkovic cuts inside from a wide position before curling a right-footed drive from the edge of the area a yard or so wide of Williams' far post.63min:
Seconds after Hanson sees a shot blocked just inside the box following Evans' neat flick into his path, Knott fires a low drive just wide of the post from around 20 yards out.60min:
Darby's cross into the box is met by a downward header from Hanson which is pushed around the post by Etheridge.59min:
Hanson forces a good reaction save from Etheridge following McMahon's resulting delivery into the box. Hanson's header wouldn't have counted even if it had beaten Etheridge, however, as the striker is flagged offside.52min:
Downing is booked for bringing down Reid when the winger was in full flight down City's left flank having just knocked the ball past Demetriou again.51min: YELLOW CARD -
Reid twists and turns away from Jason Demetriou before sending over a teasing cross into Walsall's six yard box. The delivery is just over the head of Hanson in the middle and a stretching McMahon over by the far post can only send a header looping over the bar.49min:
The Bantams restart the match.46min:
HT: Walsall 1 Bradford City 0
There will be one minute of time added on at the end of the match.45min:
After City initially clear a Lalkovic free-kick delivery out of their box, O'Connor crosses the ball back into the area but fellow centre half Paul Downing heads over from about eight yards out.41min:
McMahon's cross into the box tries to finds Hanson but Etheridge beats him to the flighted ball. Etheridge's punch out isn't convincing but a lurking Billy Clarke is unable to take advantage of the 'keeper being off his line as he is penalised for handball just inside the area.37min:
Kyel Reid's cross into the box is headed out by James O'Connor but Evans beats Adam Chambers to the loose ball just outside the box. Evans curls a low drive towards the bottom corner but Etheridge pushes the effort away.35min:
A loose pass from Lee Evans gives Lalkovic the time and space to pick up the ball and run towards City's penalty area. Lalkovic tries to get a shot away around the edge of the box but Stephen Darby goes well to hold him up and the ball eventually bounces up off the Walsall attacker and out for a goal-kick.25min:
Evans curls an effort narrowly wide of Williams' far post from roughly 20 yards out.23min:
McMahon fires over with a direct free-kick from around 25 yards out.21min:
Nathan Clarke lines up for a long throw-in into the box but instead plays it short to Tony McMahon. The move doesn't work, however, as Walsall counter-attack shortly afterwards through Henry and then Romaine Sawyers. The latter slips the ball into the path of the surging George Evans just inside the box but his touch lets him down and Williams can gather up before the midfielder can get a shot in.17min:
11min: GOAL - Walsall 1 Bradford City 0 - The Bantams finally concede their first goal in eight games when Tom Bradshaw pounces from close range. Milan Lalkovic shoots from outside the box and his partially blocked effort pops up nicely into the path of Bradshaw, who fires past Ben Williams from deep inside the box. The City defence appeal that Bradshaw was stood in an offside position when the ball dropped to him but the goal stands.
A surging run from just inside City's own half by Rico Henry is eventually halted by a well-timed tackle inside the area by Rory McArdle.8min:
Billy Clarke's searching cross into the box finds James Hanson unmarked but the striker's diving header is straight at Neil Etheridge.4min:
0min: Walsall kick off the match.
WALSALL LINE UP:
Etheridge, Demetriou, Downing, O'Connor, Henry, Chambers, Morris, Evans, Sawyers, Lalkovic, Bradshaw
Subs: MacGillivray, Taylor, Baxendale, Forde, Preston, Flanagan, Cook
Forde for Morris (77), Cook for Lalkovic (85)
Downing (51), Demetriou (84), O'Connor (87)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
Williams, Darby, McArdle, N Clarke, Meredith, McMahon, Knott, Evans, Reid, B Clarke, Hanson
Subs: Cracknell, Marshall, Liddle, Leigh, Bowery, James, Cole
Bradford City substitutions:
Marshall for Reid (79), Cole for N Clarke (79), Bowery for McMahon (89)
Bradford City cautions:
Reid (68), N Clarke (71)
Referee: M Brown
Assistant Referee: J Johnson
Assistant Referee: D Strain
Assistant Referee: D Strain
Fourth Official: B Durie