Bradford City 1 v 1 Gillingham (Skybet League One)
Former Bradford City and England manager Peter Taylor brought his Gillingham team to the Coral Windows Stadium this weekend, with his side level on points and one place behind the Bantams in Skybet League One.
Bradford started the game the stronger of the two sides and had the first effort on goal after only five minutes, Kyle Bennett sprinted to the byline before clipping over a cross that floated across the six yard box before bouncing onto the top of the crossbar.
Aaron Mclean fired City into the lead on ten minutes with his first goal for the club, a great low cross into the box by Adam Drury was met by Aaron McLean who swept a left-footed first time shot past Stuart Nelson into the Gillingham goal.
On thirteen minutes Adam Reach played a neat one-two with Aaron McLean before driving into the box and firing a low angled drive just wide of the Gillingham far post.
Aaron McLean then nearly doubled City’s lead on sixteen minutes, when he had the ball in the back of Stuart Nelson’s net again. However Adam Reach had already been flagged for offside in the build up to the goal which was disallowed.
Gillingham’s first attempt at goal come after twenty minutes, when Myles Weston shot from just outside the City penalty area, Jon McLaughlin couldn’t hold the shot which went loose inside the Bantams area, however McLaughlin was on hand to collect the ball before the on rushing Gillingham striker Joe Pigott.
Bardford City had three further chances to extend their lead before half-time, the first fell to James Hanson who’s powerful header was well saved by Nelson following a Kyel Bennett run and cross.
The second attempt fell to Nathan Doyle following a neat lay off by James Hanson but Doyle’s shot from outside of the penalty area sailed over the Gillingham crossbar.
Just before half-time, Adam Reach had the third chance following a cushioned ball from Aaron Mclean into the path of Reach, but the winger’s right-footed half-volley from distance looped wide of the Gillingham goal to give Bradford a 1-0 half-time lead.
Gillingham hit back at the start of the second half on fifty-six minutes when Akinfenwa played in Cody McDonald behind the City defence and the striker smartly knocked the ball between the legs of the on-rushing Jon McLaughlin, to make the score 1-1.
On the hour, Akinfenwa feed the ball into the path of Cody McDonald just inside the area, but the striker’s shot from just inside the area sailed over the Bradford crossbar.
Akinfenwa then went close on sixty-four minutes with a drive from outside the box which was pushed around the post by the fingertips of McLaughlin.
On seventy-eight minutes a foul on Aaron McLean left the centre forward with an injury to his jaw and he had to be replaced by Gary Thompson.
Bradford City had two further efforts at goal before full-time, the first fell to Kyel Bennett who scuffed his shot wide of the Gillingham post. The second effort was a header from James Hanson following a near post flick on by Rory McArdle, however Nelson in the gillingham goal held onto Hanson’s header and the game finished 1-1.
Speaking after the match manager Phil Parkinson said, “The game panned out as I thought it might, we moved the ball about well especially in the first half. Some of the play was excellent today and it certainly warranted more than the one goal.
Aaron McLean took his goal well, it’s been a long time coming, but the supporters have been great with him. He’s getting fitter, stronger and more used to playing week in and week out, which can only benefit Arron and the club.”
Bradford City – McLaughlin, Darby, Drury, McArdle, Davies, Reach, Dolan, Doyle, Bennett, Hanson, McLean (Subs) Bentley, Thompson, Gray, Jones, McHugh, Atkinson, Bates
Gillingham – Nelson, Hewitt, Martin, Hessenthaler, Barrett, Legge, Fagan, Linganzi, Pigott, McDonald, Weston (Subs) Davies, Akinfenwa, Dack, Lee, Smith, Harriman, Baxter
Goals – (Bradford) McLean (10) (Gillingham) McDonald (56)
Attendance – 13,089