Bradford City v Gillingham – 9th February 2013

Bradford City 0 v 1 Gillingham (NPower League 2)

The nerves and frustrations are starting to show at Valley Parade.  The League Cup finalists lost at home, in a narrow defeat at the hands of high flying Gillingham.

This was always going to be a difficult game against Martin Allen’s Gillingham, but it was a game that Bradford could have won.  Michael Nelson had an excellent home debut after signing from Kilmarnock and Andrew Davies returned to the bench, as an unused sub, after a long term injury.

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Once again Bradford started well and were the better side, despite having limited chances they dominated the first half at the Coral Windows Stadium.  Two clear cut chances were created, the first of which fell to James Hanson, who narrowly headed over from a Kyel Reid cross.  In the second chance, Gillingham’s keeper Stuart Nelson produced a fantastic double save to prevent Gary Jones and Nakhi Wells from scoring.

Despite the visitors not offering much on the attacking front for large parts of the match, it was Gillingham who took the lead on 64 minutes, as Cody McDonald raced onto a looping through ball from Deon Burton before rounding Matt Duke and tapping home into an empty goal.

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Bradford frantically went in search of an equaliser, but the only chance in the second half fell to James Hanson, who sent a free header whistling past the post from another Kyel Reid centre twelve minutes from the time.

For the second home game running, Bradford seamed to run out of ideas, there was no plan B, once the supply from the two wingers (Reid & Hines) stopped, there was little left for Bradford apart from the long ball to James Hanson.

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After the Capital One Cup Final, Bradford will have 45 points to play for in the remaining 15 league games.  I believe they will need to win at least 12 of those games to mount a serious promotion challenge.

Match Details

Bradford City – Duke, Darby, Good, Nelson, Naylor, Doyle, G Jones, Reid, Hines, Hanson, Wells, (Subs) McLaughlin, Davies, Gray, Thompson, Atkinson, Connell, Dickson

Gillingham – Nelson, Fish, Martin, Legge, Whelpdale, Robinson, Frampton, Allen, Burton, Barrett, McDonald. (Subs) Forecast, Lee, Davies, Birchall, Weston, Gregory, Muggleton

Goals – (Gillingham) McDonald (64)

Attendance – 10,887

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