Around the grounds with the Exes 11/11/2017
Saturday was Armistice Day, and now 108 years ago since the outbreak of WW1, or the Great War to give it it's original name, some people are asking if there is a need for a "remembrance" for a nation of people that wasn't alive to "remember" it. Whatever your view, some see it as an opportunity for unity and sometimes reminds you, there are bigger things than football.
Talking of remembering and unity, let's take a look at this past weekend at past Bantams throughout the leagues, and see who would like to remember or forget.
Jordan Pickford who not that long ago found himself on loan at Bradford City had a weekend he will surely fail to forget. Friday evening Pickford was selected to represent England at Wembley keeping a clean sheet against current world Champions, Germany in an international friendly. The final score 0-0. City still remains the club he has made his most league appearances for.
Mark Bower surprises me every week. He saved Bradford Park Avenue from dead cert relegation last season, now with an away win at North Ferriby, 10 man Avenue won 0-1 and have crept into the final play offs of 7th place in the National League North. Whatever Bower is doing, I hope he stays at Horsfall Stadium.
Mark Stewart may not have scored in last weekend's game, but he helped Dumbarton win 2-0 at home to Raith Rovers in the Scottish League Challenge Cup quarter final. Dumbarton have progressed to the semi finals.
Wes Thomas brought the score level a minute before half time as Oxford United then conceded within a minute to go 1-2 down seconds before the whistle at home to Northampton Town. This remained the result with Thomas now scoring 6 for the season with Simon Eastwood appearing in goal for United, Oxford lie in 10th in League 1, just 7 points behind City.
Dave Syers added a last minute equaliser as Darlington contributed to an eventful game away to Kidderminster Harriers where the home team went 2-0 up which was shortly followed by an own goal bringing the Quakers back into it in the 1st half. The lead went to 3-1 and then at 3-2 Harriers had a man sent off on 81 minutes with Syers then only needing a further 8 minutes to bring scores level. Darlo are now 13th in the National League North.
Peter Taylor, is still assistant to the New Zealand international team which earned a 0-0 draw at home to Peru in the World Cup Qualification Intercontinental Play offs. The 2nd leg is Thursday this week; the loser will not compete in the World Cup next year. Taylor has recently been made interim manager at Gillingham with his side drawing 1-1 in League 1 at home to Bury. Greg Leigh was at left back for Bury. Gillingham find themselves 2 points off bottom placed Bury in 22nd and Bury.
Matt Dolan scored his first goal since April of last season to put Newport County ahead in the first half. Michael Flynn looked like he was going to gain another 3 points until Port Vale earned an equaliser with 10 minutes to go, 1-1. Newport sit in 9th in League 2, just 1 point off the play offs.
Scott Loach earned Hartlepool United their 2nd consecutive clean sheet in the Conference the latest away to Boreham Wood. Blair Turgott played the full 90 minutes for the home team with the score 0-0. Boreham Wood find themselves in 10th and the Pools 12th, both 2 points off the play offs.
In other news, Nahki Wells is still working to full fitness for the first team at Burnley in the Premiership, only a week ago scoring a hat trick in the U23 team against Colchester United. Wells is still to feature this season.
Ricky Ravenhill missed Buxton's 4-3 home win against Farsley Town through suspension.
James Hanson is being linked away from Bramall Lane with a possible loan move come the January window with Bradford City manager Stuart McCall distancing himself from his former signing. Hanson hasn't featured due to injuries, but is getting the full support and backing from Sheffield United manager, ex Bantam Chris Wilder. United are in scintillating form and would be wise to stick with the large targetman as the Premiership beckons, but the form of their strikers this season is making competition very difficult for Hanson to break into the first team squad. A move away is still only rumoured, but the news is, he still has his manager's backing when he comes back match fit.