Date: 1st May 2010 at 9:02pm
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Bradford City left Northampton’s play off hopes hanging by a thread by securing all three points against Ian Sampson’s side.

Today marked the 25th anniversary of the Valley Parade fire disaster, both sets of players wore commemorative t-shirts in their respective colours in rememberance of those who were unfortunate to lose their lives.

Both sets of supporters were in full voice, however the 908 travelling fans were muted by the loud presence of the drum in the home end.

The Cobblers started the brighter and a fine save form Bradford keeper Jon McLaughlin kept Ryan Gilligan’s powerful drive away.

The uneven pitch didn’t help Northampton’s cause, a few players, notebly Paul Rodgers failing to keep the ball under control. This prevented them from retaining possesion, which has been a major improvement under Ian Sampson this season.

On ’12 minutes the ball kindly dropped for Bradford striker Gareth Evans, whos sweetly struck, half volley flew into Jason Stelle’s top corner, the power gave him no chance of getting a finger tip to the ball.

A couple of chances fell to Northampton striker Billy McKay, in a half where the Cobblers were most dominant, McKay having a header cleared off the line by the Bradford keeper, another side footed shot just sweeping past the post.

Bradford defender Matthew Clarke did extremely well to keep normally, lively and physical presence, Adebayo Akinfenwa, under control, however the travelling fans became a bit frustrated as the ref failed to blow on a few occasions the tugging on his shirt.

On one occasion a free kick conceded by Matthew Clarke on Akinfenwa was given, though had he not blown, Akinfenwa looked certain to score. Liam Davis took the resulting free kick, skying it high and wide into the stand, to the home fans delight.

On ’37 minutes, Northampton were reduced to 10 men, last man Dean Beckwith the culprit, holding back Bantams striker Leon Osbourne when through on goal.

Half Time: Bradford 1-0 Northampton

The second half was much more open as both teams were out to find that next, important goal, a second for the home side, all but ending Northamptons play off ambitions, an equaliser, possibly keeping them alive.

Two attempts on goal by Leon Osbourne were both, well saved Northampton stopper, Jason Steele. A fantastic signing brought in by the contacts of assistant Malcolm Crosby.

Although reduced to 10 men, the Cobblers looked the more dangerous to score. A number of corners, poorly taken by Gilligan, failed to create any real pressure on the Bradford defence.

Sampson went all out to find the equaliser, on 73 minutes, a triple substitution was made. Akinfenwa, McKay and Gilbert, making way for Guinan, Herbert and Thornton.

As the Cobblers continued to push forward, the back three were more prone to the counter attack, and on 80 minutes, Cobblers fans headed to the exits, as Gareth Evans, adjusted his body superbly well, to give the Bantams a two goal advantage, and all three points.

Osbourne, again was kept at bay in the last few minutes, Jason Steele again saving well to keep the score respectable.

Full Time: Bradford 2-0 Northampton

After the final whistle, fortunately well away from the ground. (already in the car!) A group of Bradford supporters broke the pitch barrier, and made their way to the visitors section, looking to cause trouble and aggrevation from the visiting fans.

Personally I was baffled as to why they would want to do this. (according to a Northampton fan on the radio, the average age was 15 years) football’s modern hooligans, becoming ever younger. On todays occasion, that small minority are a huge embarrassment to football and their club.

A well deserved victory for the Bantams today, a victory, the never forgotten 56, would be very proud of.


2 Replies to “Report: Bantams dent Cobblers Play off hopes”

  • I thought you guys responded very well to going down to 10 men. Although I thought you were lucky not to be down to 9 men with the challenge on Gareth Evans as half time approached. Mind you, Graham Salisbury had a weird afternoon with the Clarke/Akinfenwa tussle as we thought much the same as you, but from your beast of a striker’s tugging on Clarkey.

    Question the wisdom of the substitutions – Akinfenwa was causing all sorts of trouble and holding up the ball. Guinan and Herbert were easy for us to deal with and we began to run riot. For plenty of the match though it didn’t seem like we had the eleven and you had the ten.

    I’m sorry about the behaviour of our fans at the end. No respect for the occasion, the memory of the departed or our guests.

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