Bradford City 3 v 1 Leyton Orient (Sky Bet League One)
Bradford City welcomed Leyton Orient to the Coral Windows Stadium looking for their first win on home soil in 7 weeks since beating Crewe Alexandra on the 4th October 2014.
City started the stronger of the two teams and had the first effort of the game after five minutes, when Andrew Halliday’s cross was flicked on by John Stead only to be cleared by Elliot Omozusi. However the ball fell to Mark Yeates and his looping half-volley went just over Adam Legzdins crossbar.
Leyton Orient’s Andrea Dossena low centre picked out fellow Italian Gianvito Plasmati but the giant striker’s left-footed effort from just outside the area was well saved by Jordan Pickford.
On twenty-two minutes, Billy Clarke’s glancing header went just wide of Legzdins far post following and excellent Mark Yeates free-kick delivery into the box.
Rory McArdle then went close on thirty-one minutes when he met a Mark Yeates corner, but his glancing header from six yards flew just wide of the Leyton Orient far post.
On thirty-seven minutes a Mark Yeates infield Ball finds Billy Clarke just inside the Orient penalty area, but the strikers shot is deflected past the far post by the frame of Scott Cuthbert.
Two minutes later Andrew Halliday’s pull-back from inside the box eventually falls at the feet of Mark Yeates, but the Irishman’s left-footed drive from the edge of the area flashes inches over Legzdins crossbar.
City take the lead on forty-two minutes, when Andrew Halliday’s clever flick on finds John Stead free in space inside the Orient box, instead of shooting Stead draws the keeper before squaring the ball to Billy Knott to tap into an empty goal from close range, to make the half-time score 1-0.
At the start of the second half, John Stead’s well-timed pass allowed Andrew Halliday to beat Orient’s offside trap and run clear of goal, but the winger was narrowly beaten to the ball by Legzdins just inside his own box.
On sixty-nine minutes a Billy Knott pass found John Stead in shooting space just outside the box, but his left-footed drive went straight at Legzdins in the Orient goal.
Two minutes later, following an excellent cross from Mark Yeates it was Andrew Halliday who sent a header towards goal, however Legzdins got his hand to the effort and managed to push it against the inside of his own near post.
Leyton Orient drew level on seventy-five minutes when a slip by Rory McArdle allowed David Mooney the chance to run clear on goal and fire past Pickford to make the score 1-1.
Just one minute later, Leyton Orient were reduced to ten men when Chris Dagnall was shown a straight red card for a fierce lunge on Billy Knott on the half-way line.
City then regained the lead, when James Meredith ran down the left wing before driving the ball across the area, narrowly missing the lunging John Stead,however the ball landed at the feet of the waiting Billy Clarke who slammed the ball home from around eight yards.
Two minutes later on eighty-one minutes, John Stead closed down an attempted clearance by Adam Legzdins and the striker then slid the ball past the keeper into an empty goal to make the score 3-1 to City.
Leyton Orient had the final effort of the game when Dean Cox found Jodi McAnuff into plenty of space inside the box on a swift attack forward but the winger, who is being closed down by a recovering Darby and Andrew Davies, fires wide of Pickford’s near post with a rising drive.
Speaking after the game assistant manager Steve Parkin said, “There was a great work ethic about us today against a team tipped by many to do well this year, I felt we played really well and created a lot of scoring opportunities.
We were a bit unfortunate with their goal, both centre halves slipped and it was a superb finish from their striker. I always felt we would create more chances today even before Chris Dagnall was sent off.
It is credit to the lads that we came back, they could have had the feeling of here we go again when Orient equalised, but it was a very forceful response from the players.
Certainly in the last twenty minutes of the first half, we were creating chance after chance really and we could have deservedly gone in at half time more than one goal up.
At the end of the day, a striker likes to work hard and work for the team but they also like to see their name in the paper on a Sunday morning having scored on the Saturday.
It is always great for the team when both your strikers score, and that is obviously what has happened for us today. I’m pleased for Billy Clarke and Jon Stead to get their goals because their performances really merited them getting some reward.
I’m delighted for Billy Knott as well. The gaffer has had faith in him by putting him back in the side in the middle of the pitch with Gary Liddle and he has rewarded us with a goal.
Billy is a player we know can get goals from midfield. If we keep chipping away at him and keep working with him on the training pitch, I’m sure that will happen.”
Bradford City – Pickford, Darby, Meredith, McArdle, Davies, Liddle, Knott, Halliday, Yeates, Stead, Clarke (Subs) Williams, Sheehan, Kennedy, Hanson, Mottley-Henry, Zoko, Routis
Leyton Orient – Legzdins, Omozusi, Cuthbert, Cox, Clarke, Wright, Pritchard, Dagnall, Price, Plasmati, Dossena (Subs) Grainger, Sawyer, Baudry, Mooney, McAnuff, Batt, Lee
Goals – (Bradford) Knott (42), Clarke (79), Stead (81) (Leyton Orient) Mooney (74)
Attendance – 12,489