Bradford have lost seven games so far this season and have only scored eight goals so we have to fancy our chances this afternoon. There are of course different ways of looking at the Peterborough game but you could say that with only ten men we held the league leaders who’d won their previous five away matches. We certainly showed our resilience again and that second goal was a thing of beauty. I don’t know the latest injury news at this hour but Catts will be back to add some stability. The cancellation of next week’s game will at least give time for our injured players to recover. We’ll have another big turn-out today, though I won’t be among them and it’ll have to be SAFSEE for me again. Match prediction: 3-1 to us.
I got the team news just after 2.00 and James was starting in place of Oviedo with Honeyman and McGeouch on the bench. When he came on the other night, Kimpioka sounded like he wasn’t afraid to have a go so I felt happy about the possibility of him coming on again. I got the match online and heard we had 3,000 fans there. Scannell had a tentative lob from outside the box in the opening minutes but McLaughlin had it well covered. We were playing with the twin spearhead of Maja and Sinclair with McGeady and Maguire on the flanks. The Bradford fans were in good voice and their side had the edge in the opening stages with the pacey Miller sounding a threat. Catts was booked just eleven minutes in and that pleased the home fans too. Interestingly McGowan committed a similar foul shortly afterwards but received no card. A diving header from Baldwin went narrowly wide and that was our best effort so far. We took the lead in the twenty-first minute when a move involving McGeady and Sinclair set up a Catts shot that got a touch from Maja before it hit the net. Our fans’ singing was now well to the fore. Elsewhere both Portsmouth and Peterborough were losing at home 1-0 so the first quarter of the afternoon’s games had gone very well for us. We won our first two corners in quick succession but nothing came of them. Bradford came back in the closing stages of the half winning a couple of corners and finding some ominous gaps in our defence but at the break it remained 1-0 to us. Peterborough and Barnsley were both losing 2-0 so it was a case of so far, so good.
While it remained 1-0 I knew I’d be on tenterhooks so we really had to push for that second asap. It was no surprise then when after seven minutes O’Connor volleyed in from six yards to put them level. Two minutes later, though, we were ahead again when Baldwin shot home from a free-kick to get his first goal for us. It was a great reaction but we’d need to cut out defences lapses if we wanted to get all three points. Maja nearly had a third but it was fingertipped away by O’Donnell for a corner. Not long after that O’Donnell saved well again from a Power shot. Bradford were having a good go too and it was a hammer and tongs affair. A Flanagan header came back off the underside of the bar and another goal was looking likely before long. There was high drama in the sixty-sixth minute when Power was red-carded for an apparent off the ball incident and Bradford were awarded a penalty. McLaughlin saved it and Flanagan reacted quickly to put the follow-up out for a corner. Playing the last half hour or so with ten men is becoming something of a habit and one we need to nip in the bud. We won’t be seeing Power now for four games. We promptly replaced Maja with McGeouch and not long after that Honeyman came on for McGeady. Meanwhile Bradford had been putting the pressure on and a Payne shot had whistled past the post. It was going to be a long last twenty minutes. There were a couple scuffles going on in the coaching area so all in all it was certainly a heated affair. Sinclair was down injured for a while just outside their box and it gave everyone a chance to cool down a bit. With about eight minutes on the clock Ozturk came on for Sinclair to hopefully add some much-needed beef at the back. I had to get up and pace around a bit as usual. There was a bit of handbags between Maguire and Gibson that resulted in a free-kick to Bradford but no cards were issued. As Bradford won a corner seven minutes of stoppage-time were announced and that was all I needed. Bradford kept up the pressure by piling in the long throws but on a rare break by us Scannell was red-carded for pushing Honeyman and we were down to ten each. We had the better of it after that and that whistle finally went, to much rejoycing from our fans.
This was a great result and with Peterborough and Portsmouth both losing the situation at the top is not looking at all bad as we go into our break. Just imagine what we could do with eleven men on for the whole match.