Bradford City 0 v 1 Peterborough United (Skybet League One)
Bradford City welcomed Peterborough United to the Coral Windows Stadium for what was a hugely eventful game, which saw a serious injury, penalty claim, heavy rain and sunny spells, in fact the only consistent thing all afternoon was referee Graham Salisbury who was shocking.
Bradford’s first real effort of the game fell to Filipe Morais on six minutes, following an Alan Sheehan well delivered free-kick from the byline, Morais sent a volley narrowly wide for Ben Alnwick’s goal from just inside the box.
Peterborough were now playing on the counter-attack and on eleven minutes Joe Newell broke free down the City left and sent in a low cross to Jermaine Anderson, who in turn lay the ball into the path of Conor Washington, but the striker’s rising effort from just outside the area sailed harmlessly over Pickford’s crossbar.
The heavens opened after fifteen minutes as Kyle Vassell played Conor Washington into space just outside City’s penalty area with only Stephen Darby preventing him from running at Jordan Pickford’s goal. Washington did get a shot away but Pickford repelled his effort and Kane Ferdinand’s follow up shot was well blocked by the City’s defence.
On forty-two minutes, Conor Washington spun away into shooting space just outside the box, but his low drive deflects behind for a Peterborough corner. From the resulting corner, Pickford came to claim Newell’s delivery, but he failed to get a clean connection on the ball and Ricardo Santos was able to head against City’s far post from close range.
Two minutes later man of the match Jason Kennedy struck a shot from the edge of the penalty area, which was well saved by Ben Alnwick in the Peterborough goal.
In the third minute of injury time Billy Knott hit a low shot from the edge of the area, which forced Ben Alnwick into a full length dive and save.
Mason Bennett then had a shot from inside the area which struck the hand of the defender before going out for a corner, the City players and the home crowd in the Kop all appealed for a penalty, but the referee Graham Salisbury waved away the appeals.
The second half started in the worst possible way as City lost central defender Andrew Davies with a suspected broken arm on fifty-five minutes, following a clash with keeper Jordan Pickford.
Just two minutes after the restart Peterborough took the lead when Michael Smith went passed Stephen Darby into the City area before he squared the ball to Kyle Vassell, who had time to pick his spot and fire a shot passed Jordan Pickford into the top corner of the Bradford goal from 10 yards to give United a 1-0 lead.
Peterborough then had two excellent chances within the space of five minutes, the first chance fell to Michael Smith who hit a twenty-five yard shot which went just over Jordan Pickford’s crossbar.
The second chance fell to Joe Newell following an uncharacteristic error by Billy Knott which gave possession to Newell, who burst forward and force an excellent save out of Jordan Pickford with a shot that looked destined for the top corner.
On eighty minutes James Hanson picked up the ball wide on the right hand side before cutting infield the the edge of the Peterborough area and hitting a vicious, swerving left-footed drive that Ben Alnwick just managed to tip of the crossbar.
In the final minute of the half, substitute Aaron Mclean saw a header comfortably collected by former City trialist goalkeeper Ben Alnwick following a Stephen Darby cross, held but Mclean’s attempt lacked real power.
On ninety minutes the referee Graham Salisbury (who was very poor all game) added a further nine minutes of injury time. However City huffed and puffed but ultimately couldn’t break down the visitors’ defence.
The final effort of the game came following a James Meredith long throw, which found its way to Mark Yeates but he could only put his effort over Ben Alnwick’s crossbar, with Darren Ferguson desperate for Fergie time to end.
Speaking after the game manager Phil Parkinson said: “I felt in the first half it was a good game of football and that we had played well, it was just our final ball that was letting us down. Second half was a bit more scrappy, however, something that obviously wasn’t helped by the stoppages.
I felt we lost our way a bit for a period in the second half as well, certainly in terms of the way we wanted to play, we got it back towards the end of the game and when we passed it through midfield using the likes of Billy Knott I felt we looked like we could create something.
We said to the lads at half time that the game had that feeling about it, two decent teams going toe-to-toe, we knew we had to try and stay in the game and stay strong with regards the shape of the team. We wanted that one moment in the game to come to us, unfortunately it came for them and that allowed them to kill the game off.
You never want to lose in football but we’ve still had a good start to the season, we wanted to go into Wednesday night against Leeds United still unbeaten but we are happy with our points return so far. We will pick ourselves up after this defeat and look forward to what will be a cracking night here at the Coral Windows Stadium on Wednesday.”
Bradford City – Pickford, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Sheehan, Kennedy, Liddle, Morais, Hanson, Bennett, Knott (Subs) Williams, Meredith, Mclean, Dolan, Yeates, Routis, McBurnie
Peterborough United – Alnwick, Brisley, Payne, Vassell, Washington, J.Anderson, Newell, Ferdinand, Mendez-Laing, Burgess, Santos (Subs) Day, Smith, McCann, Barnett, Luto, H.Anderson, Edwards
Goals – (Peterborough United) Vassell (57)
Attendance – 13,546