Rochdale 2 (Bunney 12, 51)
Bradford City 2 (McArdle 40, Davies 62)
Sky Bet League 1
Saturday 20 February 2016
at the Coral Windows Stadium
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Attendance: 17,936 (458 visitors)
The Bantams twice fought back from a goal down to earn a hard-fought point at home to Rochdale.
Fresh from becoming a father for the first time earlier in the week, Rory McArdle fired home from close range in the first half to cancel out Joe Bunney's header opener for Rochdale.
Bunney's fine strike from just outside the box early into the second period restored the visitors' lead but half time substitute Steven Davies headed home Tony McMahon's corner delivery eleven minutes later to draw the Bantams level once again.
For Davies, who was only on the pitch due to a bang to the head in the first period for James Hanson, the goal was his third in five matches for the Bantams.
After also setting up McArdle for his first half goal, McMahon's assist for Davies' equaliser was incredibly the midfielder fifteen for the season so far.
Following Davies' goal, City tried to push for a winner but it was actually Rochdale who came closest to the game's fifth goal in the latter stages.
Bunney was denied his hat-trick when his looping drive from outside the box was impressively repelled by Ben Williams. The attacker also saw his cross turned just wide of the far post by Dale debutant Grant Holt minutes later.
FT: Bradford City 2 Rochdale 2
90+3min: SUB - Rochdale bring on Rhys Bennett for Bunney.
90min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
89min: Davies and Burke keep the attack alive with headers from a McMahon corner before the former hooks the ball onto the roof of Lillis' net with a shot over his shoulder.
87min: Bunney's low testing delivery into the box is deflected forward by Holt and the ball just rolls narrowly wide of Williams' far post.
86min: Rose's teasing free-kick delivery from wide into the six yard box somehow misses the diving trio of Eastham, Canavan and Holt in the middle before going out for a goal-kick.
82min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Mark Marshall for Knott. McMahon will move into central midfield as a result of Marshall's introduction.
82min: Looking for his hat-trick, Bunney tries his luck with a looping effort from outside the box but Ben Williams does well to push the effort away with a diving save to his right. Syers tries to latch onto the rebound but Williams is able to knock the ball against him for a City goal-kick.
81min: As Jamie Allen and Meredith compete in the air for possession just outside Rochdale's penalty area, Evans goes for goal as the ball bounces his way but the midfielder's first time effort on the half-volley is sliced comfortably wide.
79min: SUB - Rochdale bring on David Syers for Henderson. Syers - a former Bantam - gets nice reception from the home fans as he enters the field.
73min: SUB - Rochdale bring on Grant Holt for Mendez-Laing.
69min: YELLOW CARD - McMahon is booked for hanging onto Lillis, preventing the goalkeeper from throwing out quickly in the process, after he had held onto Evans' teasing free-kick delivery from wide into the box.
65min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Billy Clarke for Thomas.
64min: A one-two with Henderson sees Mendez-Laing in with a clear shooting chance but a recovering Meredith does just enough to prevent the attacker from getting a strike in and City can eventually clear their lines through Burke.
62min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 2 Rochdale 2 - Davies has City level again! McMahon's hanging corner delivery is met by a thumping header from Davies which whistles past a helpless Lillis before crashing into the net!
55min: Henderson leads a promising Rochdale break which McArdle is eventually able to cut-out. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing rescues the situation, however, over by the far side of the penalty box and Stephen Darby eventually has to put behind for a corner. Rose's resulting corner delivery is headed over by Canavan.
54min: Evans plays the ball in-field to Knott but the midfielder's first-time strike from just outside the box is held by Lillis.
51min: GOAL - Bradford City 1 Rochdale 2 -The visitors retake the lead as Bunney rifles a low drive into the bottom corner from just outside the box.
50min: As Bunney and Burke wrestle for possession following a long ball into City's penalty area, Henderson arrives on the scene looking to get a shot away. Henderson goes for the strike but he seems to kick the ground at the same time his effort bobbles harmlessly wide.
46min: The Bantams restart the match.
HT SUB - The Bantams bring on Steven Davies for Hanson - presumably due to an injury - just before the start of the second half.
HT: Bradford City 1 Rochdale 1
45min: There will be two minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
40min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 1 Rochdale 1 - The Bantams are level through McArdle! A short free-kick routine from City sees Billy Knott play McMahon into plenty of space down the right flank. Using the time and space wisely, McMahon fires the ball across the box and McArdle is there is tap home from close range. After scoring his goal, McArdle - a new father on Monday - celebrates with the famous 'baby rocking' routine!
33min: After McMahon's initial corner delivery is cleared, the midfielder whips the ball back into the box with another cross. The ball eventually drops into the path of Burke over by the far post but the defender's close range shot is blocked by Lillis. Even if Burke's strike had beaten Lillis though, it wouldn't have stood as the defender was flagged offside.
32min: McMahon's free-kick from deep into the box is met by McArdle but his looping header is easily plucked out of the sky by Lillis.
28min: Ian Henderson's poked ball across the box is just over the header of the lurking Bunney in the middle before James Meredith can head away.
27min: Rose's delivery towards the far post from a wide free-kick is a testing one but it is just out of the reach of Eastham who was unmarked only a few yards from goal.
17min: McMahon's effort on goal straight from the resulting free-kick is heading on target but Lillis does extremely well to cling onto the strike first time.
17min: YELLOW CARD - Ashley Eastham is booked for dragging back Wes Thomas as the striker looked to burst into space and drive towards Rochdale's penalty area.
15min: Lee Evans' delivery into the box from a wide free-kick finds James Hanson but the striker's header loops up in the air and Lillis can easily gather.
14min: Reece Burke's downward header from a McMahon corner delivery is easily held by Lillis.
12min: GOAL - Bradford City 0 Rochdale 1 - The visitors take the lead when Joe Rafferty's cross into the box is headed home by an unmarked Joe Bunney into the far bottom corner.
8min: Tony McMahon's clipped free-kick over the wall from just outside that box is pushed away by Josh Lillis.
3min: From Matthew Rose's resulting corner, Niall Canavan seems to get underneath the delivery and can only head over from a promising position just a few yards out.
2min: Matthew Lund tries his luck with an effort from distance on the half-volley and Ben Williams elects to play it safe and push it behind for a corner.
0min: Rochdale kick off the match. The Bantams will attack towards the T.L Dallas Stand end in the first period.
3:02pm: The Coral Windows Stadium falls silence for a minute in memory of Yvonne Lawn, the wife of joint-chairman Mark.
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
Williams, Darby, McArdle, Burke, Meredith, McMahon, Evans, Knott, Reid, Thomas, Hanson
Subs: Cracknell, N Clarke, Marshall, B Clarke, Cullen, Leigh, Davies
Bradford City substitutions:
Davies for Hanson (46), B Clarke for Thomas (65), Marshall for Knott (82)
Bradford City cautions:
ROCHDALE LINE UP:
Lillis, Rafferty, Canavan, Eastham, McNulty, Rose, Lund, Allen, Mendez-Laing, Bunney, Henderson
Subs: Collis, Bennett, Alessandra, Noble-Lazarus, Holt, Camps, Syers
Holt for Mendez-Laing (73), Syers for Henderson (79), Bennett for Bunney (90+3)
Referee: S Duncan
Assistant Referee: C Akers
Assistant Referee: P Hodskinson
Fourth Official: B Cropp