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Town 1 Bradford City 1

16 April 2016

Late Akpa Akpro header gives Town a share of the points

Town: Jayson Leutwiler, Mat Sadler, Zak Whitbread, Ian Black (James Wallace 46), Sullay Kaikai, Jack Grimmer, Abu Ogogo (c), Jack Hendry (Shaun Whalley 46: , Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Larnell Cole (Andy Mangan 38), Dom Smith

Subs: Callum Burton, Richie Wellens, James Wesolowski, Jordan Clark

Bradford City: Ben Williams, Stephen Darby (c), James Meredith, Lee Evans, Nathan Clarke, Billy Clarke (Steven Davies 63), Josh Cullen, Reece Burke, Kyel Reid (Filipe Morais 82) Jamie Proctor (James Hanson 78), Tony McMahon

Subs: Joe Cracknell, Billy Knott, Josh Morris, Rory McArdle

Referee – Andy Haines
Assistant Referee 1 – M Donohue
Assistant Referee 2 – P Gooch
Fourth Official – J Clark

Micky Mellon makes four changes to the side that started against Millwall with Mat Sadler, Zak Whitbread and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro coming into the starting line-up.  Mickey Demetriou picked up a knee injury at Millwall which will keep him out for the rest of the season, Richie Wellens drops to the bench and Kyle Vassell is rested.  Jayson Leutwiler returns in goal for the suspended Mark Halstead.

Bradford had the better of the possession in the opening 5 minutes as they looked to get off to a good start.  They had a good looking delivery from a free-kick that dropped in front of Leutwiler but the Town keeper was alert and down smartly to turn the ball behind for a corner.

Bradford did have the ball in the just before the 10 minute mark when Town failed to deal with a Reid cross, the ball finally fell to Clarke and he bundled it home but fortunatly for Town the assistant was already flagging for an offside.

The visitors were having all the possession and the ball was stuck in the Town half as Bradford pilled on the pressure.  Town were doing the hard work needed and getting the blocks and tackles in that were needed.  Bradford had a string of corners in quick succession and there were some nervous shouts from the Town fans when Bradford shots were coming in but there were some important blocks from the Town defenders.

With 10 minutes of the first half remining Micky Mellon wasn't happy with what was happening on the pitch and made an early change.  It was Andy Mangan on to replace Larnell Cole with Mangan going upfront to hopefully give Town the chance to keep the ball up front a little more.

Town finished the half with a little bit more of an attacking display but in the end it wasn't a half that will last long in the memory of the Town faithful.

Half-time: 0-0

The second half started with a double change for Tow with James Wallace and Shaun Whalley coming on to replace Ian Black and Jack Hendry.

The changes had a positive affect on the Town side who had more attacking play in the first couple of minutes of the second half than that had in the whole of the first.  It also had a positive affect on the Town crowd who had something to cheer about and had found their voices.

Town were beginning to create chances and put pressure onto the Bradford goal and cause problems at the right end of the ground.  Salder floated an inviting free-kick into the Bradford box and Mangan got there to loop a header towards goal that dropped just over the bar.

Bradford then sprung back into life and had couple of good chances on the Town goal, the first after Proctor put Clarke in in goal he shot low but Leutwiler was there to block and then Ogogo to clear up.   Then moments later Leutwiler was again there to deny Bradford after Proctor this time put McMahon in but his nearport shot was well saved by Leutwiler.

Just after the 66 minute mark Town created their best chance of the half and it came from some neat passing, the ball was moved quickly with Ogogo making a nusiance of himself, the ball was then put into Whalley who was in space out side the Bradford box and he hit a  sweet shot in that flew just wide of the target.

Bradford were continuing to be dangerous as an attacking force and when the ball found Proctor in the Town box he looped another good header towards the top corner but Leutwiler was again equal to it and pulled off a superb save to tip the ball behind for a Bradford corner.

Minutes later Bradford's pressure paid off and it was again Proctor who caused the problems, the ball found him in space in the box and his time he looped his header back across goal and this time Leutwiler was beaten and the visitors were ahead, 1-0.

Town got on level terms with just over 5 minutes of the half remaining, Wallace was fouled by Hanson and Town were awarded a free-kick around 35 yards from the Bradford goal.  Sadler floated a good delivery into the box and Ben Williams was quickly out of his goal to attempt the punch, but he went into a cluster of players and missed the ball, and there was Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro to loop a header into the empty net to make it 1-1.

Both sides continued to push and probe to create but it was a cagey final few minutes of the game with both sides seemingly happy to be able to finish with a point rather than none.

Full-time: 1-1

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