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Match Reports

CITY UNFORTUNATE TO SUFFER DONCASTER DEFEAT

6 April 2019

Gary Bowyer's Bantams were desperately unlucky to come away with nothing to show for their efforts in their Yorkshire derby with Doncaster Rovers, going down 1-0 to their promotion-chasing visitors at the Northern Commercials Stadium.

Mallik Wilks' winner for Doncaster against the run of play sixteen minutes from the end of normal time proved enough to secure victory for Doncaster on a day when Bowyer's men deserved at least a share of the spoils.

Ahead of Wilks' game-deciding goal, City had dominated proceedings after the break, truly taking the match to a side with very realistic ambitions of clinching an end-of-season play-off spot.

In a fairly-even opening period, the Bantams arguably came the closest to breaking the deadlock when Eoin Doyle's looping ninth-minute header hit the inside of Doncaster's far post.

One positive of the day for City was the return from injury of Sean Scannell, who made his first appearance for the Bantams since October as a second half substitute.

Bowyer made three changes to his starting XI for Doncaster's visit to Valley Parade.

Defensive duo Adam Chicksen and Nathaniel Knight-Percival returned, while Billy Clarke was also recalled.

Doncaster went into this contest having scored seven goals in their last two matches and currently in possession of the final play-off place in the table, but it was Bowyer's side who started stronger.

A neat corner routine involving Clarke and Lewis O'Brien saw a shot from inside the box by Jacob Butterfield deflect narrowly past Doncaster's far post.

City then went even closer soon after when Clarke's cross from the left found Doyle in space in the box.

Doyle's powerful header had Marosi beaten - but the effort crashed against the post and a grateful Doncaster 'keeper was able to gather up the rebound.

After City's fast start, though, Doncaster slowly began to settle into the encounter.

Ali Crawford fired narrowly wide of a diving Richard O'Donnell's far post with a low drive from just outside the box midway into the opening period.

Kieran Sadlier then glanced a header just past the same post shortly before the half hour point following Wilks' cross into the box.

Despite Doncaster's greater presence in the match, however, City were battling and working hard to keep with their visitors and remain in the match.

Doyle flicked wide of Marosi's near post from a low David Ball cross, as City looked to respond at the other end of the pitch.

The final opening of the period actually fell City's way as well when Ball flicked on a Paul Caddis cross from the right in first half injury time.

O'Brien tried to get a cross or a shot away from a tight angle by the far post, but Doncaster scrambled behind for a corner.

After a competitive and keenly-contested opening half then, City will have been looking to kick off after the break.

Whatever Bowyer said at the half time interval, it certainly seemed to have the desired effect.

From the very off after the restart City took the game to Doncaster; dominating play and the chances for goal.

Following a driving run into the box a minute or so into the second half, Chicksen saw a cross-come-shot claimed at the near post by Marosi.

Ball went for goal himself five minutes after the break and his low drive from outside the area flew a whisker past Marosi's near post.

Marosi was involved again soon after when Jermaine Anderson looked to prod the ball forward following a neat move between Doyle and O'Brien.

Anderson and Andy Butler went to connect with the former's cross into the heart of the box, and Marosi had to back-pedal and cling on as the looping ball threatened to drop over the line.

Anderson tried to turn provider shortly after the hour mark, but his cross from the right was headed over in the middle by O'Brien.

Although it could be said that City weren't creating a hatful of chances at this stage, Bowyer's team certainly looked the more likely winners as the contest entered its final quarter.

Just as the Bantams tried to push on for that winning goal, however, they were hit on the break.

As a City venture forward broke down, Doncaster pushed quickly onto the counter-attack.

The ball found it way to Wilks and the Leeds United loanee drove forward towards the Bantams box.

Wilks took aim with a strike from the edge of the box and the powerful effort found the back of the net after squirming under the body of O'Donnell.

Bowyer responded to seeing his side going a goal down by bringing on Scannell and Jack Payne off the bench.

In the closing stages of normal time, Knight-Percival came within inches of connecting with a dangerous Payne corner delivery into the six yard box.

Shortly afterwards, Butterfield then fired just wide of the post with a low drive from a few yards outside the box.

Partly due to a lengthly stoppage following a clash of heads between O'Donnell and Doncaster striker John Marquis shortly after Wilks' goal, seven minutes of injury time were added at the end of the match.

City did have one final sight of goal in the fifth minute of that extended period when Scannell got free in space on the right hand side of Doncaster's penalty area.

Scannell's low cross into the box picked out Chicksen, but both he and Paudie O'Connor afterwards couldn't trouble Marosi with a shot and the ball waas eventually deflected behind.

 

Match line ups, stats and updates from the Doncaster fixture can be found via our Match Centre - HERE.


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