Date:Saturday September 12 2009
@AidanFlood for the second Vital Bradford match report to complement thebradfordian's efforts. He responded to my plea as I w" />
Thankyou to @AidanFlood for the second Vital Bradford match report to complement thebradfordian's efforts. He responded to my plea as I was spending the day with friends getting married. What a day it was :)
The Bantams and the Brewers came into this game with a similiar mindset. Bradford, following that miserable start to the season (I don't think I need to remind you what happened at Notts County) had a four game streak under their belts. And Burton? Well, the new boys to the Football League were in a fairly buoyant mood having nestled themselves in the top half of the table, last weeks draw with the Galacticos of Notts was no doubt a boost.
If we needed anything more to add to this pleasant aura around Valley Parade today, the bright blue skies and sunshine certainly did their bit, roll on 3 o'clock. From the moment the game kicked off, it seemed as if this mood had been picked up on by both sides. No bruising tackles, no argy bargy, and the referee also came across as rather lenient, allowing the game to flow. The stands were generally quiet, it felt like an end of season game at times with the lack of noise. To say the game wasn't physical doesn't mean there wasn't any intensity, both sides were constantly pressing and forcing errors and at times it was end to end stuff, counter attack followed counter attack.
For both sides, opportunities only really seemed to come with these mistakes, James Hanson taking advantage of a communication problem between Burton's centre backs and their keeper to head the ball into the path of Gareth Evans, who merely had to stroke the ball into the empty net. This he did with ease and most of Valley Parade was applauding long before the net rippled.
Possession was fairly equal throughout the game barring a 20 minute period at the start of the second half in which Bradford dominated, with cross after cross going in and corners being awarded on a regular basis. Unfortunately for city, from each of these ten corners awarded (compared to Burton's three) crosses didn't meet heads and loose balls very rarely found anyone in claret and amber.
This came to haunt the Bantams later on, Paul Boertien in his 200th league appearance fired a shot from the left side that rocketed across Simon Eastwood who was in truth helpless on this occasion.
The defence itself looked quite solid today, for all the counter attacks they had to deal with they did a good job, barring a couple of minor blips which Eastwood had to deal with. In Midfield, Brandon and Neilson were regularly threatening from the wings, linking up well with the full backs and Michael Flynn was a menace in centre, having to be tightly marked in case he lined up another screamer which seems to have become his trademark in recent weeks. Up front, Gareth Evans pressed at every opportunity and chased every ball, managing to gain possession of some he simply had no right to. Hanson also looked dangerous on the ball, though he couldn't quite find himself a clear cut opportunity.
Luke O'Brien was also another hopeful sign, he had the better of the Burton winger all day and also made a mockery of their right back, linking up with Chris Brandon on regular occasions and delivering some tricky balls into the box.
Lee Bullock put a fair few sloppy balls about and Simon Ramsden was needlessly booked for slamming the ball into the ground but I can't really think of too many major negatives. Both sides had their opportunities and I think that a draw was a fair result in the end.
In their post match interviews Stuart McCall was rueing not getting a second goal which he believes would have killed the game and Burton Manager Paul Peschisolido spoke of his belief that not many sides will come to Valley Parade and gain points with this energetic Bradford side in place.
Simon Eastwood himself put in a much improved performance compared to earlier on in the season, commands went out to his defenders, crosses were caught and some of the last ditch saves he was forced to make wouldn't look out of place on MOTD tonight.
On the flipside, Burton certainly don't come across as a side that were playing conference football 4 months ago, that top half position they currently have is merited and while I believe promotion is one step too far for them, don't be surprised if they put up a fight for the play-offs. As for the Bantams? I doubt there'll be too many downhearted individuals following this result. We're by no means perfect but as far as League Two teams in September go, we're going about ourselves in a decent manner and I doubt many will be dissatisfied with 10 points out of the last 12.
City will have themselves a similiar challenge next week with a visit to high flying Barnet and a similiar performance there wouldn't be a terrible thing, we just need to get those balls bouncing in our favour. Oh and more refs like that please every week, barring a couple of mindless decisions that FA directives force upon him, he put in a great performance and kept the game flowing, sorting out the minor spats with minimal fuss.
Date:Saturday September 12 2009
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