Bradford put mid-week disappointment behind them with victory over Doncaster – Match Report

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Bradford City 2 (Wyke 18, Knight-Percival 42)
Doncaster Rovers 0

Saturday saw a hard-fought encounter between two teams aiming to set the record straight after suffering mid-week league defeats. While not at their clinical best, Bradford took all three points thanks to two first half goals from Charlie Wyke and Nathaniel Knight-Percival.

Doncaster started the game relatively well, but were unable to penetrate the Bradford defence after some slick passing moves. In fact, it was Bradford with the chance to take an early lead when Alex Gilliead played a tantalising cross into the box into the path of Wyke only for a last-ditch tackle from Doncaster Midfielder, Kongolo, to prevent Bradford from scoring the opener.

Following Bradford’s early chance, it was Doncaster’s turn to nearly take the lead when May’s ball across the Bradford penalty area deflected off midfielder Vincelot and hit the woodwork. May then had another excellent chance to put his team ahead after 15 minutes, but his pacey run into the Bradford box ended abruptly as he went down under the pressure of Knight-Percival and was unable to get any real shot on goal.

After withstanding the pressure from Doncaster, Bradford took the lead in the 18th minute. A delightful cross on the left by Adam Chicksen was met powerfully by the head of Wyke who found the bottom corner to claim his fourth goal of the season.

Bradford thought they had a second just 2 minutes later. A corner by McMahon was met by the head of Kilgallon in the box. While Kilgallon’s effort was initially saved, the Doncaster keeper was unable to keep hold of the ball which resulted in a real scramble in the box with Wyke eventually getting the ball across the line. However, the goal was ruled out by the referee for a foul on the Doncaster keeper.

There was another good opportunity for Bradford to grab a second goal just after 40 minutes when Poleon made a pacey run down the left and played a tantalising ball across the Doncaster box to find Wyke, but the danger was cleared well by Mason.

Braford were not to be denied, however, and added a second goal just before half time when McMahon’s corner found the head of Knight-Percival who managed to find the bottom corner to claim his second goal of the season and yet another assist for McMahon.

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Doncaster appeared to come out for the second half with a point to prove and put pressure on Bradford right from the kick off. It nearly paid off too, when May had another good opportunity to grab a goal, but his effort in the box was well-saved by Bradford keeper, Colin Doyle.

With Doncaster pushing forward, Bradford almost took full advantage with a counter-attack led by Paul Taylor who played Poleon through on goal but the striker was unable to covert past the onrushing Marosi who managed to keep Doncaster in the game with a good strong save.

Following the early exchanges in the second half, both teams never really got going again, with the final whistle confirming a hard-fought 3 points for Bradford which moves them back up to 3rd in league one. A disappointing aspect for Bradford is the second half performance where the players lost possession on several occasions, but claiming another 3 points and a clean sheet is primarily what matters for the team, manager and fans.

As for Doncaster, a fourth defeat in 5 games, and only being out of the relegation zone on goal difference, is likely to be a slight cause for concern. However, with the season still very much in its early stages, there will be plenty of opportunities to improve their points tally and move up the table, especially with the strong and exciting attacking threat they pose.

Teams
Bradford: Doyle, McMahon, Knight-Percival, Kilgallon, Chicksen, Reeves, Vincelot, Gilliead (Hendrie 90), Taylor (Law), Poleon (Patrick 60), Wyke. Subs: Raeder, Thompson, Law, Field, Hendrie, Jones, Patrick

Doncaster: Marosi, Mason, Wright, Butler, Toffolo (Coppinger 68), Houghton (Mandeville 80), Whiteman, Kongolo, Rowe, Marquis, May. Subs: Jones, Williams, Coppinger, Garratt, Mandeville, Ben Khemis, Alcock