Bradford City 2 v 0 Crewe Alexandra (Sky Bet League One)
Crewe Alexandra arrived at the Coral Windows Stadium with the worst record in the football league having lost eight of their opening ten league matches.
Bradford had the opening effort at goal on five minutes, when Mark Yeates went past Matt Tootle on the left wing before sending a teasing cross from the byline into the area, which was meet by Jason Kennedy but his header went high over Ben Garratt’s crossbar.
Two minutes later, Mark Yeates swung in another excellent cross which hit George Ray and Alan Tate and had the home fans shouting for a penalty for handball which referee Darren Deadman waved away.
Seconds later, another Yeates cross is met by the head of Andrew Davies but the effort sails up into the air and Ben Garratt is able to pluck it out of the sky just above his own crossbar.
On fifteen minutes, Marcus Haber flicked on a Ben Garratt goal-kick, which feel to the lurking Matt Tootle who moved towards the City penalty area before firing in a rising drive from twenty-five yards out, which whistled just wide of Jordan Pickford’s goal.
Aaron McLean should have given City the lead on twenty minutes after taking down an Alan Sheehan corner in the six yard box, but his shot from three yards was diverted over the crossbar by Anthony Grant who was well placed on the goal line.
On twenty-one minutes Mark Yeates hit a low curling drive from the edge of the Crewe penalty area following an excellent one-two with Billy Clarke, his shot was well saved by Garratt who turned the ball away for a corner.
The Bantams then missed two golden opportunities to take the lead on the half hour mark, as Mark Yeates delivered another excellent corner which was headed back into the six yard box by Alan Sheehan for the waiting Billy Clarke, his back heel was cleared off the line by Crewe’s Greg Leigh only for Rory McArdle to blast a shot over the bar from five yards out.
The final effort of the half fell to Jason Kennedy following a clever forward pass from Yeates that broke through the Crewe defence, however Garratt in the Crewe goal was quickly off his line to smother the ball before Kennedy could shoot leaving the half-time score 0-0.
At the start of the second half, Marcus Haber played an excellent through ball to former Bradford City loan player Chris Atkinson who got in behind Alan Sheehan, but Atkinson shot at goal from an tight angle which was saved by Jordan Pickford.
On sixty-eight minutes, Fabian Brandy lead a dangerous Crewe counter-attack before eventually feeding the ball to George Cooper, but the young winger’s angled drive from just inside the box was pushed away by Jordan Pickford.
Aaron McLean broke the deadlock on seventy-two minutes, after Mark Yeates delivered a teasing in-swinging cross which was met by a sliding McLean in the box, to fire the ball into the net to make it 1-0.
City added a second goal two minutes later on seventy-four minutes, when Filipe Morais made an excellent run to the by-line before cutting the ball back across the Crewe penalty area, were Gary Liddle stroked the ball into the top of the net to make it 2-0.
Speaking after the match Phil Parkinson said, “We dominated the first half with twelve corners and a number of efforts cleared off the line. We just said to the lads at half-time keep it going, there were one or two things we changed slightly for the second-half but in the main it was just keep going.
We were looking to eventually wear them down and for someone to take a chance and thankfully some great play on the left by Mark Yeates and a good finish by Aaron McLean settled everyone down.
The game could have been a tricky one for us given our recent home form and with Crewe being bottom of the league there is perhaps a greater expectation from us, but I felt the lads handled it really well.
The lads were determined to get a result today and it was important that we gave our fans something to smile about because our last few results here at the Coral Windows Stadium haven’t been great.
We just felt we had to change the dynamics of the team slightly and excite the crowd more. I thought Christopher Routis, James Meredith and Billy Knott’s attitude was superb after being told they weren’t in the side for this game.
That is important to see as Routis and Meredith in particular have been playing really well recently and can count themselves a bit unlucky to be left out of the team.”
Bradford City – Pickford, Darby, Sheehan, McArdle, Davies, Morais, Liddle, Kennedy, Clarke, McLean, Yeates (Subs) Williams, Dolan, McBurnie, Knott, Routis, Bennett
Crewe Alexandra – Garratt, Ray, Tate, Dugdale, Tootle, Atkinson, Nolan, Grant, Leigh, Haber, Cooper (Subs) Shearer, Guthrie, Turton, Oliver, Waters, Ness, Brandy
Goals – (Bradford City) McLean (72), Liddle (74)
Attendance – 12,386