A tale of two Bradford Cities
Christmas may have yielded squat for McCall and anyone associated to the amber and claret, but the response on the final weekend of 2017 and the very first day of 2018 is just what the Dr has ordered. The past couple of weeks has definitely been a tale of 2 Cities.
First off, let's look at Oxford United
At home on the final Saturday of the calendar year offered a bit of excitement, goals galore and a sending off. Coming off the back of 2 recent losses, the Bantams needed a result, and a result we got. It only took 2 minutes for Charlie Wyke to score his 12th goal of the current campaign and his 22nd goal of 2017, 3 of which were in the colours of Carlisle United last January. 19691 ventured into Valley Parade, literally a day after heavy snow threatened fixtures and turned most parts of Britain into a scene you would associate with Alaska. It all seemed to be going to plan until the dreaded 2nd half whistle blew. Just 5 minutes after the interval, the Us drew level through youngster Canice Carroll, his first career goal came by a header from 6 yards out. 1-1. I was cursing McCall at this stage knowing we are at our poorest just after the half time interval. But as soon as I was moaning about our recent luck and application, it only took a further 4 minutes for Shay McCartan to claim his 2nd City goal of the season. In a game where we managed 30 shots on target, that is the minimum we deserved and surely now we should cake walk this game. 3-1 5 minutes later with Thimotee Dieng netting for the first time this season, but surely now that is the 3 points. Someone forgot to tell Jonathan Obika after he made it game on with a quarter of an hour to go making it 3-2. Surely we can't throw away a 2 goal lead again at home? With moment left, City talisman, Wyke saw red after a foul on Carroll. McCall admitted it's one of those fouls, even though Wyke won the ball, the City manager expected referee Eddie Ilderton to hand out Charlie's first career red. Post match, Stuart McCall said City wouldn't appeal.......
Then we travelled to the seaside town of Fleetwood
With the prospect of a depleted City travelling to Fleetwood, top scorer Charlie Wyke was looking at an automatic 3 match ban for a straight red, a red, McCall and City weren't going to appeal. But hours before kick off, news came out that City's appeal had been successful and the red card was rescinded. Happy days. I would have been happy with a draw at Highbury Stadium, especially as the Fleet won 0-3 at Valley Parade a few months ago, and with ex City frontman, Devante Cole starting for the Lancastrian club, a player who has scored the same number of goals this season to Charlie Wyke, this wasn't going to be an easy fixture. Seeing the score still 0-0 going towards half way through the 1st half, I was still hoping a point may be our reward. Well, Jack Sowerby bridged into the net ex City striker Jordy Hiwula-Mayifuila's assist to put the Fleet 1-0 up. If we can deny them from scoring again, I was still confident of a point at least. Half time and a bit of a rest bite. This time it was City to have a say on the scoreboard early in the 2nd half with Alex Gillead with his 2nd City goal, his first in the league for the Bantams. 1-1. Now I'm happy, I'm certain we will walk away with something from the game. Moments later, Shay McCartan with his 2nd goal in as many days put City 1-2 to the good gifting the Bantams only our 2nd win at Highbury Stadium, this time in front of 3089 supporters. 6 points from 6 over the new year period, a total contrast to Xmas. Definitely a happy new year.
2017/18 City Scorers
12 - Charlie Wyke
6 - Dominic Poleon
5 - Alex Jones, Romain Vincelot, Paul Taylor
3 - Patrick Omari, Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Matt Kilgallon, Shay McCartan
2 - Tyrell Robinson, Alex Gillead
1 - Jacob Hanson, Tony McMahon, Adam Thompson, Thimothee Dieng
1 - Own goals, Aristote Nsiala (Shrewsbury Town)
Yeovil Town (A) Sat 6th Jan
Northampton Town (H) Sat 13th Jan
Bristol Rovers (A) Sat 20th Jan
Rotherham United (A) Tues 23rd Jan
AFC Wimbledon (H) Sat 27th Jan