Town 1 Bradford City 1Town: Jayson Leutwiler, Matt Tootle, Mat Sadler, Ryan Woods, Jermaine Grandison, Connor Goldson (c), Abu Ogogo, Tyrone Barnett, James Collins (Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro 75), Liam Lawrence (Liam McAlinden 79) , Martin Woods
Subs: Mark Halstead (GK), Mark Ellis, Jordan Clark, Shaun Whalley, Junior Brown,
Blackburn Rovers: Ben Williams, Stephen Darby (c), James Meredith, Alan Sheehan, Gary Liddle, James Hanson, Billy Clarke (Billy Knott 70), Josh Morris (Paul Anderson 69), Christopher Routis, Rory McArdle, Steven Davies ( Mark Marshall 69)
Subs: Joe Cracknell (gk), Nathan Clarke, Tony McMahon, Luke James
Referee: Gary Sutton
Assistants: Shaun Hudson & Barry Gordon
Fourth Official: Peter Gooch
Attendance: 18,039 (381 Salopian's)
Micky Mellon sticks with the starting eleven which saw off Championship side Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday night. On the bench there is the one change with Mark Halstead returning in place of Callum Burton.
Bradford were up for it from the first whistle and took the game to the visitors. First a free-kick from Morris saw him dip in a decent effort from 25 yards out that dropped just over the Town bar. Then moments later there was a scary moment in the Town box where there were feet and bodies thrown in the way from the visitors to snuff out the danger.
It was two different styles of football on display in the opening exchanges, Town were getting the ball down and playing it around nicely while Bradford were going more direct and trying to get the ball forward quickly to cause Town problems.
Town were growing into the game as it went on and were doing well to stop Bradford from playing and giving the home crowd little to get excited at. With over 20,000 in the Coral Windows Stadium the home crowd were very vocal when given anything to shout about.
Bradford had a decent chance on 20 minutes when McArdle sent the ball into the box, Woods blocks the first shot that is deflected to Routis who fires in a low drive that Town turn behind for a corner.
Town were creating a few chances of their own, just after the half hour mark good build up from Town saw Barnett latch onto a long ball into the corner, he collected and then waited for support, he played it back to Sadler who turned it inside, good ball retention saw the ball out with Tootle, he curled in a cross to the back post that Barnett connected with his head but it lacked the power to beat Williams.
Bradford had a great chance with 5 minutes of the half to go, Hanson headed Routis' free kick down, Sheehan shot hits the post before Clarke's follow up is saved by Leutwiler, but the ref saw it as a miss and gives the corner.
It was Bradford who got their noses in front just before the break, it came from a slip from skipper Liam Lawrence who gave away possession to left Davies come inside and then drive a lot cross to the back post where Billy Clarke was in space to smash the ball into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.
Town got off to a great start when the ball came back to Goldson, he hit it down field towards to Collins who flicked it on to find Barnett, he was in behind the Bradford defence and held off his marker, he then flicked the ball goal wards and it beat Williams and rolled over the line to level the scores.
Minutes later Bradford had a great opening to get back in front, the ball was flicked over the Town defence to give Bradford space in the box, Grandison slid in to block but Darby managed to drive a low shot in but Goldson was there to clear off the line and Town cleared down field.
The game was end to end at times which was exciting for the supporters but must have had both managers feeling frustrated. A lot of the time play was breaking down with mistakes and misplaced passes which meant that neither side were making their stamp on the game.
Connor Goldson picked up a yellow card after a misplaced pass from Ryan Woods put Bradford on the attack, Clarke got goal side of Goldson and the Town defence put a couple of tugs on the strikers shirt, Bradford got the shot in which was wide and Goldson was retrospectively shown the yellow by ref Sutton.
Micky Mellon made a couple of changes in quick succession with first Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro coming on to replace James Collins, and then minutes later Liam McAlinden came on to replace Liam Lawrence.
Town were finishing the game strongly and were looking comfortable when in possession starting to cut out the mistakes. It had been end to end stuff at times but neither keeper had really been tested despite all the quick attacking and pressure around the boxes by both sides.
The added time was again end to end stuff with first Bradford getting a corner into the Town box that caused problems, there were feet flying in and in the end Town managed to get bodies in to clear the danger. Town then had a break with the ball played to McAlinden who took play down field and in on goal, he had Barnett on the far side but elected to drive in a low shot that Williams was down to collect.
There as a shout for penalty right at the death when another Bradford attack saw the ball in the Town box, Sadler was there to try and shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but Hanson was battling to get the ball back, he did but the ref saw a foul and blew his whistle much to the disgust of the home fans.