Bradford City Reserves 1 v 1 Gateshead Reserves (Central League)
A youthful City reserves earned a 1-1 draw with Gateshead at the Coral Windows Stadium on Wednesday afternoon in the club’s latest Central League fixture. The kick off was delayed for an hour, from the scheduled 2.00pm kick off, due to the late arrival of Gateshead’s team coach.
Jon McLaughlin and Steve Williams, who continues on his road to recovery from a ruptured achilles injury suffered last summer, were the only professionals on show in an inexperienced Bradford line up.
On a very cold afternoon at Valley Parade, both sides were full of endeavour and industrious play, but clear-cut chances were hard to come by.
In the first half Bradford goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin was called upon to keep out a tame low effort from Gateshead’s Yoan Pivaty. Whilst Bradford’s Nathan Curtis saw his cross hit the side-netting of the Gateshead goal.
Curtis then had a better opening later in the half, when he received the ball inside the Gateshead area, but the forward’s strike for goal was blocked by Gateshead left back Michael Roberts.
With time running out in the first half, Gateshead keeper Jordan Nixon had to sprint to the edge of his penalty area in order to beat Louie Swain to a pass from Tom Bott, after the Bradford forward had beaten the offside trap.
Gateshead enjoyed their own sight of goal just before half time, when Christophe Esnard teed up the waiting Ryan McGorrigan, but his strike from the edge of the area was sliced high and wide of McLaughlin’s goal.
Bradford had the first real opening of the second half, when Nathan Curtis put Louie Swain clear of the Gateshead defence, with his favoured left foot Swain sent an angled drive from inside the area narrowly past Nixon’s far post.
Gateshead then took a 56 minute lead with a fine direct free-kick from Chris Bush. The powerful defender showed great skill to curl his 25 yard free-kick over the City wall and past the dive of McLaughlin to find the corner of the Bradford goal.
Bush tried his luck again a few minutes later, when Gateshead were awarded another free-kick slightly further out, but his effort was comfortably dealt with by McLaughlin in the Bradford goal.
At the other end, City should really have equalised when a combination of good work from both Swain and Curtis resulted in the latter enjoying a clear run on goal.
Swain created the opening, when he charged down an attempted clearance from Gateshead keeper Jordan Nixon, the ball ran free just outside a sparsely-populated penalty area.
Curtis collected the ball and looked to round Nixon, but with the keeper standing tall and space running out for the striker, he could only lay the ball across goal where Gateshead substitute Rob Ramshaw was on hand to clear.
Bradford did draw level a minute later, when Bradford substitute Oliver McBurnie powered home a header from inside the area from a Connor Erangey cross, to secure a point.
Both sides went close in the final ten minutes, with Nathan Curtis finding space just outside the Gateshead penalty area, before rolling a low effort narrowly wide. Whilst Gateshead’s Christophe Esnard, twice saw his efforts from inside the area crucially blocked by City defenders.
Bradford had the last effort on goal, when deep into injury time, Oliver McBurnie had the ball in the Gateshead net, but the effort was ruled out for a foul on Gateshead keeper Jordan Nixon by Steve Williams following a Calum Hepworth free-kick.
Bradford City Res – McLaughlin, Hiza, Erangey, Stockdill, Williams, Arundel, Bott, Hepworth, Swain, Bower, Curtis, (Subs) McBurnie, Morrison, Boote
Gateshead Res – Nixon, McGlen, Roberts, Deverdics, Lilley, Bush, Luke, Carr, Esnard, McGorrigan, Pivaty, (Subs) Patton, Sharpe, Ravenhill, Ramshaw
Goals – (Bradford City Res) McBurnie (65), (Gateshead Res) Bush (57).
Attendance – 66