Bradford City v Port Vale
At The Coral Windows Stadium
Saturday 27th September 2014
Attendance: 12,703 including 300 visiting supporters
Vale picked up a well-deserved point at the Coral Windows Stadium holding Bradford City to a 1-1 draw having bossed much of the game.
Vale went ahead from the penalty spot in the 12th minute of the game after a shot from Louis Dodds was handled inside the box and Chris Lines sent Bradford ‘keeper Jordan Pickford the wrong way.
The Bantams levelled in first half stoppage time with their first effort on target of the game, when Mark Yeates planted a free kick into the top corner of the net to earn his side a share of the points.
As expected,the interim manager decided to go with the same starting eleven who turned Vale’s fortunes around against Barnsley after losing their previous six games.
The only change came on the bench. Chris Birchall, scorer of Vale’s two goals in the midweek reserves fixture against Walsall forced his way back into the reckoning, replacing Steve Jennings amongst the substitutes.
Vale looked lively during the opening exchanges and went close on a couple of occasions, only to see shots blocked inside the Bradford box.
A misjudgement by Carl Dickinson could have seen the visitors get their noses in front had Billy Clarke managed to hit the target, but he fired wide of the far post.
Then in the 12th minute it was Vale who went in front. After a decent run by Jordan Slew the ball ran to Louis Dodds, whose shot struck a Bradford City hand.
GOAL:The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and it was up to CHRIS LINES to take full advantage, which he did, firing low to the ‘keeper’s left, with Pickford diving the wrong way.
Vale had a scare at the other end when Liddle seemed to turn into Carl Dickinson – the referee interpreting it as a foul right on the edge of the box.
It seemed everybody was expecting former Vale loanee Billy Knott to have a shot, but instead he squared the ball to Jason Kennedy and thankfully from a Vale point of view, he somehow completely fluffed his shot.
Vale continued to have slightly the better of things, restricting the home side when play threatened inside the Vale half and looking dangerous in attack.
Tom Pope was taking a lot of stick both on and off the pitch as he was subjected to various unsavoury ways to keep him quiet, and those tactics eventually earned Chris Routis a yellow card in the 38th minute.
A 30 yard free kick taken by Routis, which flew well wide of the Chris Neal’s goal, saw a rare threat from the visitors, but up to that point Neal still hadn’t had a save to make.
Vale were dealt a blow in the third minute of first half stoppage time when the home side were awarded a free kick after Richard Duffy brought down Clarke on the edge of the ‘D’.
GOAL: MARK YEATESplanted the free kick in the top right hand corner of the net, beyond the stretched hands of Chris Neal – ironically it was Bradford’s first shot on target.
It was a cruel blow to Rob Page’s side, who had been the better of the two sides up to that point and had well deserved their lead.
The goal looked to have revitalised the home side, who came out for the second period champing at the bit and there was no doubt as to who was on top now.
They continued to threaten and went close to going in front when an 18 yard shot from Clarke rolled just past Neal’s left hand upright.
Bradford’s Gary Little hit a great 20 yard shot which looked all the way to be heading for the top corner, but Neal was its equal, the Vale ‘keeper throwing himself to his right to push the ball away.
Vale had to do something to negate the home side’s attacking display and on the hour they made their first change, replacing Louis Dodds with the more defensively-minded Chris Birchall.
Moments later, up at the other end of the pitch Birchall almost put Vale back in front, his close range header hitting the outside of the post.
Vale made a second change in the 65th minute when Ben Williamson came off the bench to take the place of Jordan Slew up front.
By now Vale had managed to calm things down and begin to make a few threats of their own – the game was still anybody’s for the taking.
As the full time whistle approached, it was Vale who were having the better of things, certainly in terms of possession inside their opponents’ half. Perhaps in the end, overall a draw was a fair result.
Lines, pen 12
Yates, 45 (+3)
BRADFORD CITY: Jordan Pickford, Stephen Darby, James Meredith, Aaron McLean, Gary Liddle, Billy Clarke, Billy Knott, Mark Yeates, Jason Kennedy, Christopher Routis, Rory McArdle. SUBS: Ben Williams, Matthew Dolan, Alan Sheehan, Oliver McBurnie, Filipe Morais, Niall Heaton, Mason Bennett
PORT VALE: Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Carl Dickinson, Ryan McGivern, Richard Duffy, Louis Dodds, Chris Lines, Tom Pope, Michael O’Connor, Mark Marshall, Jordan Slew. SUBS: Sam Johnson, Chris Robertson, Chris Birchall, Ben Williamson, Colin Daniel, Michael Brown, Byron Moore