10-man Town held to a draw
Town: Dean Henderson, Ben Godfrey, Mat Sadler ©, Omar Beckles, Shaun Whalley, James Bolton, Bryn Morris (Carlton Morris 63), Jon Nolan, Toto Nsiala, Alex Rodman, Stefan Payne (Lenell John-Lewis 81)
Subs: Craig MacGillivray, Max Lowe, Carlton Morris, Nathan Thomas, Lenell John-Lewis, Luke Hendrie, Sam Jones
Bradford City: Colin Doyle, Matt Kilgallon, Timothee Dieng, Charlie Wyke, Stephen Warnock (Adam Chicksen 73), Callum Guy, Alex Gilliead, Kai Bruenker (Omari Patrick 76), Nathanial Knight-Percival, Tony McMahon ©, Tyrell Robinson
Subs: Lukas Raeder, Adam Chicksen, Dominic Poleon, Shay McCartan, Danny Devine, Matty Lund, Omari Patrick
Referee: David Webb
Assistants: Graeme Fyvie and Neil Sharp
Fourth Official: Michael Salisbury
Shrewsbury Town were forced to take a draw as they were reduced to 10-men against Bradford. The hosts had enjoyed the better of the first-half and Town had Dean Henderson to thank for two fantastic saves. After the break Town started brightly, but their lives were made more difficult when Omar Beckles was sent-off for a second yellow card on 60 minutes. Town kept pushing despite being down to 10-men, but in the end they had to settle for a point.
Paul Hurst makes two changes to the side that was beaten 1-0 by Lincoln City at Wembley on Sunday. Top scorer Stefan Payne returns to lead the line in place of Carlton Morris, whilst Alex Rodman is fully over his back injury and comes in for Nathan Thomas on the left-wing. Bradford make five changes and bring in former Town skipper Nat Knight-Percival.
It was the Bantams that started the game brighter and 10 minutes in they forced Dean Henderson into two wonderful saves. The first came after Stephen Warnock’s cross was headed back across goal by Charlie Wyke and it was met by Alex Gillead who struck a rasping shot from 12 yards, which Henderson did brilliantly well to tip over. From the resulting free-kick Bradford created another good chance as the Town failed to fully clear their lines and Warnock tried his luck from 20 yards, but Henderson did brilliantly to get across to his right and palm it away.
The Bantams were then presented with another good chance as Omar Beckles was judged to have brought down Kai Bruenker on the edge of the box. Beckles was shown a yellow card for the challenge and Tony McMahon stood up to take the free-kick, but his shot went inches with of the post with Henderson at full stretch.
At the other end, Town had a couple of shots blocked. The first came from Shaun Whalley after a free-flowing passing move and the second fell to Bryn Morris, but he couldn’t get the desired connection with his volley after finding space on the edge of the area.
There was a slight worry for Town 20 minutes in when Beckles illegally brought an end to a Bradford counter-attack. The home fans were calling for Beckles to be shown a second-yellow, but referee Webb gave him a final warning. The resulting free-kick was whipped into the box and found Timothee Dieng at the back-post, but he hesitated and James Bolton got back to make an important block.
Both goalkeepers then exchanged saves. The first was from Dean Henderson as Kai Bruenker played in Tyrell Robinson on the left and the pacey winger shot across the goal, but Henderson did well to hold on. At the other end, Town created their best opportunity of the half when Shaun Whalley played a superb 40 yard pass to find Jon Nolan unmarked in the area, but Nolan’s first-time shot was straight at Doyle who held on.
Toto Nsiala then found himself in the referee’s notebook after putting in a strong tacked on Tyrell Robinson. It looked harsh on the big Congolese defender who appeared to have got contact on the ball, but Mr Webb felt it was slightly too aggressive.
It was actually Town who ended the half on top as they put some pressure on in first-half stoppage time, but they couldn’t create anything clear cut with Shaun Whalley having an effort from the edge of the area blocked.
The second-half took a while to get going and it wasn’t until 10 minutes into the half that either side created any opportunities. That chance fell the way of Town as Alex Rodman picked the ball up in his own-half and drove at the Bradford defence. He then unleased a powerful shot from 30 yards which went inches over the bar.
A couple of minutes later Town produced another good chance as James Bolton and Shaun Whalley connected down the right. Whalley whipped the ball into the box and it was met by Jon Nolan but his first-time shot was brilliantly saved by Colin Doyle, low to his right.
15 minutes into the half Town went down to 10-men as Omar Beckles was shown a second yellow card. The Town defender overran the ball as he was looking to get forward and ran into Nat Knight-Percival. It appeared to be an accidental collision but Beckles was on a final warning and the referee decided there was enough contact to send him off.
With Town now down to 10-men they decided to make a substitution by bringing on Carlton Morris in place of Bryn Morris as Paul Hurst opted for a 3-4-2 formation.
Town actually adjusted well to going down to 10-men and it took over 10 minutes for the home side to create any chances of note. Their best opportunity fell the way of Charlie Wyke as Tony McMahon crossed from the by-line, but Wyke’s looping header went inches over the crossbar.
At the other end, Town continued to push forward and a free-kick from Shaun Whalley almost created an opening. Toto Nsiala managed to head the ball back across the face of goal, but Carlton Morris was beaten to the ball by a Bradford defender and they managed to clear. Morris then went for the spectacular, but his attempted dipping volley lacked the required dip.
With just under 10 minutes remaining Paul Hurst turned to his bench for the second time on the evening and this time it was a straight swap with Lenell John-Lewis replacing Stefan Payne upfront.
As the game ticked towards added time Shaun Whalley won Town a corner. His delivery was punched away by Doyle, but only as far as James Bolton who tried to lash the ball goalwards, but it his effort from inside the box went well wide.
With seconds remaining Town almost put themselves in huge trouble when Dean Henderson tried to come a punch a Bradford free-kick but he judged it all wrong and the ball fell to an opposition man, but Town got bodies in the way and hacked it clear.