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Match Reports

CITY MADE TO SETTLE FOR WALSALL DRAW

20 October 2020

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Stuart McCall’s Bantams came from behind to secure a point against unbeaten Walsall at the Utilita Energy Stadium.

The visitors opened the scoring in the first half thanks to a fantastic solo effort from George Nurse, before a spirited City side fought back to level in the closing stages. 

The hosts came close to breaking the deadlock in the 10th minute, but Lee Novak’s close-range shot was tipped over the crossbar by Liam Roberts.

It was the visitors, however, who struck first - thanks to a spectacular 23rd-minute effort from Nurse. 

The defender carried the ball from the halfway line and found the inside of the right-hand post from 25 yards out, past a full-stretch Richard O’Donnell.

The Saddlers piled on the pressure and, just moments later, O’Donnell was forced into a low reaction save to deny the visitors from doubling their lead.

Dylan Mottley-Henry almost levelled up just before the half-hour mark, with his curling effort sailing just over the Saddlers’ crossbar.

The Bantams then almost equalised just after 60 minutes. Lee Novak cut the ball back to Clayton Donaldson who forced the Walsall goalkeeper into a stunning low save.

From the following corner, the opposition stopper was called into action once more - matching Anthony O’Connor’s headed effort from close range.

McCall’s men continued to press hard for an equaliser, and had a golden opportunity when Liam Roberts toppled Connor Wood in the penalty area, and referee Andy Haines pointed to the spot. 

Newly-substituted Billy Clarke equalised for the Bantams with 14 minutes remaining after coolly stroking down the middle from 12 yards out. 

The Bantams piled on late pressure in search of a winner, and looked the only side who would clinch all three points, though were made to settle for one after a fiercely-contested affair. 

CITY: Richard O’Donnell ©; Bryce Hosannah (Tyler French 46’); Ben Richards-Everton, Anthony O’Connor, Connor Wood; Callum Cooke, Elliot Watt, Harry Pritchard (Billy Clarke 67’), Dylan Mottley-Henry; Clayton Donaldson (Kurtis Guthrie 79’), Lee Novak. Subs (not used): Sam Hornby (GK), Jackson Longridge, Paudie O’Connor, Austin Samuels.

GOALS: Clarke (76' pen). 

WALSALL: Liam Roberts; Hayden White, Dan Scarr, James Clarke ©, George Nurse; Rory Holden, Danny Guthrie (Alfie Bates 76’), Luke Kinsella, Wes McDonald (Emmanuel Osadebe 89’); Caolan Lavery (Jake Scrimshaw 82’), Elijah Adebayo. Subs (not used): Jack Rose (GK), Cameron Norman, Zak Jules, Stuart Sinclair.

GOALS: Nurse (23'). 

REFEREE: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear). 


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