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9 December 2017

Bantams boss Stuart McCall hailed the character of his side after City battled through an action-packed and topsy-turvy game with Rochdale to claim an exciting 4-3 victory.

In a fixture that ebbed and flowed throughout, City twice found themselves two goals up in an absorbing first period.

Four goals were scored in total in the final seven minutes before the break to leave the Bantams 3-2 up at the break, with Rouven Sattelmaier having earlier saved an Ian Henderson penalty fourteen minutes in.

Former Bantams Steven Davies levelled things up for Dale with fifteen minutes left, but Tyrell Robinson netted soon after to restore City's lead and help McCall's men claim a memorable success over their Lancashire neighbours.

McCall said: "Credit to both sides, it was a hugely entertaining game.

"There was seven goals but there could have been more.

"We were delighted to go 1-0 up, and then Rouven (Sattelmaier) makes a terrific save from the penalty.

"Another set-piece gets us two goals, but they hit back straight away.

"We go down the other end, though, and hit back thanks to a great cross from Gilly (Alex Gilliead) and a great run and finish from Dom (Poleon).

"We were disappointed to concede right on the stroke of half time from a big kick forward, but the key at half time was to stay positive.

"We were despondant to concede that late goal but we had to remember that we were still a goal up.

"It was a bit cat-and-mouse in the second period, The next goal looked like it would be key.

"They get it, but Tyrell has then showed great composure and desire with his run and finish.

"Looking back at the game overall and the chances created, I think we just about edged it.

"It is all credit to the players to battle on and get the winner after seeing a 3-1 lead pegged back to 3-3.

"We wanted to be really aggressive in the game and take the attack to them.

"That is why we played Dom up there with Charlie instead of Tayls (Paul Taylor), who likes to drop deep and play in pockets.

"With Reevesy (Jake Reeves) out, we've put Lawsy (Nicky Law) in the middle with Romain and full backs - Tyrell and Macca (Tony McMahon) - pushed right on when they could.

"Throughout the game, there were chances and entertainment. Rochdale have some good players in their side and they do like to attack.

"A lot went on during the match but we shouldn't forget we also had two one-on-one chances saved by their 'keeper.

"We knew today (Saturday) would be all about finding a way to win.

"After the victory in the FA Cup last weekend, it was nice to get back to winning ways at home in the league as well.

"That was certainly a big, big three points for us."

Match-winner Robinson was replaced three minutes before the end of normal time by Jacob Hanson.

Hanson had originally looked set to be introduced for Paul Taylor instead shortly before, but Robinson was eventually brought off as a precaution.

McCall explained: "His (Tyrell) hamstring tightened up.

"As soon as a hamstring tightens up, you know it is about to go, so we had to bring him off.

"He's had a bit of a cold this week so it was a slight gamble to start him but he's on the top of his game and we wanted him to feature.

"He hasn't seemingly done anything serious to the muscle, it just tightened up, so hopefully we got him off in time."

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