After two wins in two different cup competitions, we return to league action on Saturday when we face Derek Adams’ Bradford City. Let’s look back at some previous fixtures at Vale Park against the Bantams.
Past five encounters with Bradford | DLWDW
Our last home game against Bradford
Sky Bet League Two, Vale Park, Saturday 24th April 2021, Port Vale 2-1 Bradford City
Goals from Theo Robinson and captain Tom Conlon secured a 2-1 comeback victory for Port Vale over Bradford City.
Clayton Donaldson had given the visitors the lead, before Robinson’s equaliser and Conlon’s penalty turned the game on its head.
Scott Brown had to be on his toes in the early stages to prevent Charles Vernam from giving the visitors a third minute lead, when he pushed away the Bantams forward’s strike before Leon Legge stooped Clayton Donaldson’s cross over the bar.
It was Tom Conlon who had Vale’s first effort on target of the day after 13 minutes, when David Worrall’s ball into the box found the Vale skipper, but his looped header went in straight into the arms of Sam Hornby.
But just sixty seconds later the visitors took the lead, when a swift Bradford counter-attack resulted in Andy Cook squaring the ball to Donaldson, who fired the ball into the roof of the net from six-yards, leaving the Valiants to find a response.
And find a response we did, when Theo Robinson grabbed the equaliser two minutes later after Luke Joyce played the ball through to the striker, who was on hand to strike the ball into the bottom corner from eight yards to level the match up.
As the game reached the half-hour mark, Donaldson thought he was in for his second goal of the game with Brown off his line, but his tame effort was gathered by our number one.
But immediately at the other end of the pitch, Nathan Smith was brought down inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot.
And the skipper made no mistake, hitting his penalty straight down the middle, with Hornby already committed to diving to his left, with the Valiants now in front with just over ten minutes of the half remaining.
Conlon was immediately on the lookout for his second goal of the game with Vale’s next attack, when the ball sat up favourably for the half-volley, but his scuffed effort forced a save out of Hornby before the Bradford goalkeeper gathered the attempt at the second time of asking, ensuring that the Valiants advantage remained at one goal at the break.
It was Bradford who had the first real effort of the second-half, when Scott Brown got down well to Andy Cook’s low-driven effort from inside the box, before the ball was cleared from danger.
Substitute David Amoo thought he had an appeal for a penalty in the 77th minute, when his effort was blocked by what could have been the arm of a Bantams defender, but the referee signalled for a corner, from which Shaun Brisley had the opportunity on the half-volley, but his effort flew over Hornby’s crossbar.
Robinson had the opportunity to finish the contest off with eight minutes of normal time remaining, when Amoo broke away from the Bradford defence, before laying it off to Robinson on the edge of the box, whose first-time effort was gathered by Hornby.
But two goals in the first-half was enough to see the Valiants to three points.
Port Vale: Brown, Worrall (Montano 71’), Smith, Legge, Brisley, Gibbons, Joyce, Whitehead (Burgess 62’), Conlon, Robinson (Pope 91'), Swan (Amoo 62’).
Unused subs: Scott, Olagunju, Montano, Hurst.
Bradford City: Hornby, Sutton, Wood, O’Connor, Cooke, Crankshaw (Evans 39’), Watt, Vernam (Foulds 64’), Cook, Donaldson (Novak 71’).
Unused subs: O’Donnell, Cousin-Dawson, Scales, Stevens.
Sky Bet League One, Vale Park, Saturday 17th August 2013, Port Vale 2-1 Bradford City
Vale recorded a victory with a deserved three points against a good Bradford City side, who played their part in an all-action ninety minutes at Vale Park.
Lee Hughes put the Valiants ahead just before half time, only for Nahki Wells to level matters four minutes after the break, but the match was decided by skipper Doug Loft's well struck 66th minute 25-yard drive.
In a lively start to the game there was action at both ends, but it was the visitors who went closest to getting an early breakthrough when they won a free kick by the corner flag on four minutes.
The ball was whipped into the box and was headed away by skipper Doug Loft, but only as far as Nathan Doyle, who hammered in a shot from 20 yards which took the slightest of deflections to take it over the bar.
It was soon developing into a great game for the neutral, with play switching from one end to the other in an action-packed start to the game.
Whatever the game was lacking in terms of finesse, it certainly made up for passion and commitment, with both sides playing their part.
When there is so much passion and commitment in a game it can often boil over into something completely different, and it threatened to do so when Bradford’s McArdle and Lee Hughes tangled near to the touchline, and things threatened to spiral out of control.
Thankfully the match officials managed to calm things down after few minutes and the match resumed, with striker Tom Pope in the thick of things.
For the third time in the game, he managed to get his head onto a cross, but again he missed the target, this time sending his header over the crossbar.
Vale, as they had for much of the first half, continued to press forward and they almost got the breakthrough they deserved in the 37th minute.
Lee Hughes hit a fierce low drive which tested Bradford ‘keeper Jon McLaughlin, who got down sharply to his left to make the save and he flowed that up by pushing the follow up effort from Kaid Mohamed out for a corner.
Vale finally got their noses in front in the 42nd minute following a poor back pass from James Meredith. Lee Hughes took full advantage, side-stepping McLaughlin to squeeze the ball in from a tight angle.
Nahki Wells fired wide early on in the second half as the visitors looked to get themselves straight back in the game, then Mark Yates wasted an opportunity, slicing wide of the target.
The visitors then had appeals for a penalty turned down when defender Andrew Davies went down inside the Vale box.
The warning signs had been there since the second half kicked off, with Bradford looking very threatening and sure enough the visitors levelled in the 49th minute when Nahki Wells prodded home from close range.
Vale seemed to have gone off the boil and need to find something from somewhere, and they did just that in the 66th minute when Hughes played the ball back into the patch of skipper Doug Loft, whose 25-yard thunderbolt took a deflection on its way into the net.
It was just what the home side needed to put some belief back into the whole team and the supporters alike, following a strong spell from a very good Bradford outfit.
All of a sudden it was Vale who were asking all of the questions, almost as though a collective belief and confidence pill had been swallowed. It was now the Valiants who were dictating things.
Yet the visitors still posed a real threat and Vale were called upon to defend stoutly in order to keep their noses in front, which they did as Bradford went flat out for an equaliser.
Vale mad a change with 90 minutes on the clock, with Louis Dodds coming on to replace Lee Hughes, with five minutes of stoppage time indicated.
Three minutes into time added on, Anthony Griffith came off the bench to stiffen things up in the middle of the park, replacing Jennsison Myrie-Williams.
Port Vale | Chris Neal, Adam Yates, Chris Robertson, Carl Dickinson, Daniel Jones, Jennison Myrie-Williams, Chris Lines, Doug Loft, Kaid Mohamed, Lee Hughes, Tom Pope.
Subs | Gavin Tomlin, Chris Shuker, Ben Williamson, Anthony Griffith, Richard Duffy, Louis Dodds, Chris Birchall
Bradford City | Jon McLaughlin, Stephen Darby, James Meredith, Andrew Davies, James Hanson, Garry Thompson, Mark Yeates, Gary Jones, Nahki Wells, Rory McArdle, Nathan Doyle.
Subs | Connor Ripley, Kyle Reid, Alan Connell, Raffael De Vita, Matt Taylor, Carl McHugh, Ricky Ravenhill