Doncaster Rovers 2 (Marquis 75, 90+2)
Bradford City 0
Monday 19th March 2018 | Sky Bet League One | Keepmoat Stadium
The Bantams fell to defeat in a Yorkshire derby at the hands of Doncaster Rovers with John Marquis' late double earning maximum points for his team. City probably edged the first half and had a number of decent opportunities but ultimately they were made to pay for not getting themselves on the scoresheet in the first half as Darren Ferguson's side went onto take advantage of that and take two chances of their own in the latter stages of the game.
City started the game brightly in particular with Shay McCartan running the channels well and causing one or two problems, and in the opening few minutes he did well to keep the ball alive and deliver a cross into the box. His cross turned out to be a dangerous one and Marko Marosi had to grasp the ball at the second attempt to prevent Tony McMahon from helping himself to a tap-in.
It was Simon Grayson's side in the ascendancy and Timothee Dieng had a great chance to open the scoring shortly afterwards. Alex Gilliead worked the ball wide to McMahon and his cross towards Nicky Law popped up to the French midfielder and he saw a header denied on the line by Joe Wright.
The pressure continued to be applied by the Bantams and McCartan saw an audacious left-footed volley loop upwards before dropping a yard or so wide and behind for a corner. Romain Vincelot came a whisker away from connecting with McMahon's near post delivery to let the hosts off the hook and then they had a spell themselves.
Joe Wright and John Marquis had attempts fail to hit the target when they were in pretty promising positions and despite a spell of pressure by the home team, Simon Grayson's side looked comfortable for much of the first half.
James Coppinger saw a low drive held onto by Colin Doyle with time running out in the first half, but there was still time for the Bantams to have another excellent chance of taking the lead. McMahon's cross was knocked down by McCartan and Gilliead took hold of the ball before seeing a shot creep just wide of the target with Nicky Law narrowly missing the ball at full stretch as he tried to turn the ball in.
The performance in the second half by the Bantams wasn't quite at the level it was in the first half, but they still could and maybe should have taken the lead early on. Tyrell Robinson swung a cross into the box from the left-hand side and McMahon rose well to head the ball but probably connected too well with it and the ball went comfortably over the bar.
Joel Grodowski came on for his Bantams debut just before the hour mark and his first touch almost resulted in the opening goal. City broke forward promptly and McCartan's cross from the left-hand side fell to the young German forward and his deft chip over Marko Marosi dropped just wide of the mark to let the hosts off the hook for some slack marking.
Doncaster looked more of a threat than they did in the first half and they broke the deadlock with fifteen minutes remaining. Niall Mason was afforded too much time on the right-hand side to swing a cross into the box and with his delivery an accurate one, Marquis profited by powering a header past a helpless Colin Doyle.
Doyle had to be alert to prevent the hosts from scoring a second goal shortly after denying Jordan Houghton and Alfie Beestin but in added time Marquis added his and Doncaster's second to put the result beyond any doubt. Beestin picked out his teammate on the overlap and he maintained space ahead of the recovering Nathaniel Knight-Percival before lashing a shot past Doyle from a tight angle, confirming three points for his team. A difficult evening in South Yorkshire for the Bantams.