Bradford City 2 v 3 Stevenage (Skybet League One)
Following two successive home wins against Port Vale and MK Dons hopes were high of a third victory in a row as bottom of the table Stevenage arrived at the Coral Windows Stadium.
The first major incident came after only three minutes when Jon McLaughlin raced out of his area and tripped Stevenage striker Francois Zoko who beat him to the ball. Despite the Stevenage fans calling for a red card, referee Christopher Sarginson only produced the yellow card.
On nine minutes, Adam Reach sent a looping half-volley from just inside the area bouncing just wide of goal. This effort provide to help him set his sights on the goal, as two minutes later James Hanson headed the ball into Reach’s path and he sent a fierce volley past Chris Day into the goal to make it 1-0 to Bradford.
Stevenage equalised following a quick break, Luke Freeman’s shot from the edge of the area is blocked by Stephen Darby, but the ball feel to team-mate Francois Zoko who turned away from Gary Jones before slotting the ball passed Jon McLaughlin’s into the net to make it 1-1.
James Hanson latched onto a Gary Thompson ball into the box after twenty-six minutes, but his half-volley on the turn from just inside the area sailed well over the crossbar.
On thirty minutes and i believe the turning point of the game happened when Andrew Davies had to receive treatment for an injury, unfortunately he failed to recover from the injury and six minutes later he was replaced by Matthew Bates.
City retake the lead on forty-two minutes, when Adam Reach’s low shot from outside the area is well saved by Chris Day down to his left. However James Hanson was on hand to fire the loose ball home to give Bradford a 2-1 half-time lead.
Bradford City started the second half with a number of efforts at the Stevenage goal, however they could not make any of the efforts count.
Stevenage started to take control of the game on the hour when Luke Freeman beat Carl McHugh down the right wing before crossing the ball to Bira Dembele who’s header hit the Bradford crossbar.
On sixty-four minutes, Luke Freeman collected the ball and run through the centre of the Bradford defence before unleashing a shot passed Jon McLaughlin at his near post from thirty yards to bring Stevenage level at 2-2.
Carl McHugh was given a yellow card on eighty-three minutes when he was said to have fouled Stevenage’s Luke Freeman on the edge of the area. The resulting free kick which was taken short, Freeman sent an unstoppable shot pass Jon McLaughlin into the top right-hand corner of the Bradford goal.
Speaking after the match Phil Parkinson said, “We are all disappointed with the result today because we’ve put ourselves in a great position having won the two previous home games.
I think we have wasted a good opportunity, we had some chances to score early in the second half and if we do so, it kills the game off. As we always say, games are decided on very small margins and we have to hold our hands up today and say we weren’t brilliant.”
Bradford City – McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, McHugh, Thompson, Jones, Doyle, Reach, Mclean, Hanson (Subs) Jameson, Dolan, Gray, Yeates, Bates, Atkinson, Bennett
Stevenage – Day, Obeng, Dembele, Ashton, Hartley, Akins, Doughty, Smith, Freeman, Charles, Zoko (Subs) Arnold, Wedgbury, Jones, Mousinho, Burrow, Parrett, Deacon
Goals – (Bradford) Reach (11), Hanson (71) (Stevenage) Zoko (23), Freeman (65,87)
Attendance – 13,033