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HOPKIN PRAISES BANTAMS' RESPONSE

10 November 2018

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David Hopkin praised his side’s desire in their 1-1 draw at Aldershot, following an Emirates FA Cup tie played in torrential conditions.

Heavy rain battered the EBB Stadium for more than one hour before kick-off and throughout the first-round tie.

Despite conditions worsening in the second half, referee Paul Marsden allowed play to continue.

Aldershot bagged an early goal, courtesy of a deflection, though the Bantams battled back to seal a replay.

City boss Hopkin said: “Conditions were very bad. Even when we turned up for the warm-up, there were already puddles on the pitch.

“It is a fantastic pitch at Aldershot but the amount of rain that fell made it horrendous to play on.

“Somebody could have suffered a serious injury - and it probably gave Aldershot an advantage in the first half.

“We switched off for one set play and found ourselves 1-0 down, in very difficult conditions.

“I said at half-time it was going to be all about desire. We started the game well and could have been one or two goals up.

“The players knew they had to go out and show they are playing for the fans who have travelled down. They were fantastic for us.

“I said it would be a set-play that would get us back into the game. It was a great delivery from Jack Payne into the box and a fantastic header from Nathaniel (Knight-Percival).

“We had one or two chances to go and finish it towards the end, which I thought we should have done.”

Jim O’Brien and Danny Devine returned from injury, appearing from the bench during the closing half hour.

“To have Jim and Danny back is great and it provides opportunities for them to fight for their places,” added Hopkin.

“The squad is getting strong and we are adding more and more competition for places, in a crucial period.

“We need to maintain a positive mindset and I was really impressed with how the players reacted in the second half to put us back in the game.”

The Emirates FA Cup first-round replay between City and Aldershot will take place on Tuesday November 20, at the Northern Commercials Stadium (7.45pm).

Ticketing information will be released on Monday, though admission will be priced at £10 (adults), £5 (juniors) and £1 (juniors).


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