Bradford City 2 v 2 Southend United (NPower League 2)
Bradford City produced a second half come back to take a point against fellow play-off hopefuls Southend United at Valley Parade. It was the Southend players who started the game stronger, as either a tribute to outgoing boss Paul Sturrock, or as they tried to impress the new Southend manager Phil Brown.
Brown saw his new side race into a two-goal lead at Valley Parade, the first came after ten minutes, scored by Gavin Tomlin who tapped the ball home after Bilel Mohsni’s shot had hit the Bradford post. The second goal quickly followed on twelve minutes and was scored by Britt Assombalonga.
Phil Brown (New Southend United Manager)
Bradford’s only chance in the first half came from a Kyel Reid freekick which struck the Southend crossbar, the ball came back to James Hanson on the edge of the six yard box, but his header was cleared off the line by Southend’s Ben Reeves.
Phil Parkinson was not happy with his team’s first half display and following a strong half time team talk; Bradford came out and dominated second half. Just five minutes after the re-start Zavon Hines had the ball in the Southend goal, only for it to be disallowed for offside.
Zavon Hines Disallowed Goal
Hines was not to be denied and he halved the deficit in the fifty-third minute with a shot from the edge box, which beat Southend goalkeeper Paul Smith.
Bradford continued to push forward in search of an equaliser, with both Gary Jones and Kyel Reid going close. It was Reid that came closest when he cut inside from the left wing and unleashed a curling shoot from the corner of the penalty area, which went wide of the right hand post.
Kyel Reid’s Shoot’s Just Wide
Phil Parkinson then made three changes bring on Will Atkinson and Alan Connell in the seventy-third minute for Ricky Ravenhill and Zavon Hines, before introducing Nahki Wells on the eighty-first minute for Stephen Darby.
Nahki Wells had been on the pitch for just two minutes, when he created the equaliser by running onto a long ball out of defence, out pacing the defender and crossing for James Hanson to head home Bradford’s second goal.
James Hanson Scores
Bradford City now travel to Torquay United on Easter Monday, knowing that a win will put them very much back in the hunt for a play-off spot.
Bradford City – McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Meredith, Hines, Jones, Ravenhill, Reid, Hanson, Thompson. Subs Duke, Atkinson, McHugh, Connell, Wells, Nelson, Doyle
Southend United – Smith, Clohessy, Straker, Cresswell, Hurst, Prosser, Tomlin, Assombalonga, Reeves, Mohsni, Mkandawire. Subs Bentley, Spillane, Eastwood, Corr, Lund, Leonard, Laird
Goals (Bradford) Hines (53), Hanson (83) (Southend) Tomlin (10), Assombalonga (12)
Attendance – 10,598