MATCH REPORT | Bradford City 4 Walsall 0×
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MATCH REPORT | Bradford City 4 Walsall 0
 
MATCH REPORT | Bradford City 4 Walsall 0
MATCH REPORT | Bradford City 4 Walsall 0
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MATCH REPORT | Bradford City 4 Walsall 0

5:55 pm Saturday, 23 April 2016
On Saturday afternoon, Walsall Football Club travelled North to the Coral Windows Stadium as they took on Bradford City in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. Our match report is below.
On Saturday afternoon, Walsall Football Club travelled North to the Coral Windows Stadium as they took on Bradford City in the latest Sky Bet League 1 fixture of the season. Our match report is below.

After a brief delay, to allow the Bradford kit man to tape together a hole in the goal net, we got underway. The hosts started brightly, enjoying a good early spell of possession, but Walsall looked ready to attack when the ball came to them and four minutes in Adam Chambers saw a weak shot from distance blocked.

Bradford were quick to launch an attack of their own, as Reid took the ball forward before sending a low cross in from the left. Downing was alert but miscued his clearance and Etheridge came to claim the loose ball.

Bradford kept up the pressure as a cross from Cullen was dropped by Etheridge, who was being pressured by Hanson. Downing did well to get to the ball to make a vital clearance. Moments later, a Morais cross came in from the right and found Evans free in the box. Evans' downwards header was stopped by the legs of Etheridge from point-blank range.

City dominated possession and continued to work the Saddlers defence as they patiently looked to create another opening. Nineteen minutes in, they almost succeeded as a half clearance from Taylor allowed McMahon to claim the loose ball, his low strike at the near post was beaten away by Etheridge.

Jordy Hiwula almost opened the scoring twenty minutes in, as Mantom and Sawyers combined to set Jordy away but Hiwula's powerful left-footed shot connected emphatically with the underside of the crossbar.

Bradford regained possession and sought to create more chances of their own. Twenty five minutes in they won a corner, McMahon's cross was weakly headed goal-wards by Hanson, but didn't trouble Etheridge.

Moments later, Neil Etheridge was called into action as Reid cut inside from the left and got a shot away, the ball deflected and the Walsall 'keeper was easily able to gather.

Shortly before the half hour mark, Reece Burke became the first man to receive a caution, for a pull back on Jordy Hiwula, who looked to have been getting away from him. Walsall opted to play the ball short, from the resulting free-kick, with Sawyers passing to Hiwula who set up Taylor whose sliced shot from distance was off target and posed no danger.

The match continued with Bradford enjoying long spells of possession and with a host of corners being awarded to the home side, but the Saddlers defence stood firm.

Five minutes before the break, City went close as an Evans drive was parried by Etheridge. Morais looked looked certain to score the follow-up, but a crucial challenge from Downing denied him.

The final few minutes of the half were a fairly quiet affair, and after one minute of added time was played, the teams went in level at the break.

SKY BET LEAGUE 1 | HALF TIME
BRADFORD CITY 0 WALSALL 0

The second half got underway with the teams unchanged after the break and City shooting towards the supporters in the TL Dallas stand.

Five minutes into the half Neil Etheridge was tested, as Tony McMahon sent in a right-footed shot from a free-kick just outside the box. The Walsall shot-stopper was alert and pushed the ball around the post to keep the scores level. The resulting corner was picked up at the far post by Evans, whose cross found McMahon, who was again denied by Etheridge, who got a hold of the ball.

Bradford continued to press, and James Hanson went close, with little over fifty minutes on the clock, with a header from the centre of the box, which had just a little too much height on it.

Eight minutes into the half, Andy Taylor received a booking for a late, and rather rash, challenge on Tony McMahon.

With fifty four minutes on the clock, City were rewarded for their pressure as Felipe Morais opened the scoring as his header from a free-kick bounced into the bottom corner, past James O'Connor who misjudged the shot as he waited on the line.

Within four minutes, Bradford had doubled their lead, as James Hanson bundled his way past Downing before coolly slotting a right-footed shot from the centre of the box past Etheridge.

Two poor goals for the Saddlers to have conceded, but the sheer dominance of Bradford had looked certain to pay off eventually. The Walsall bench reacted immediately to the second goal, as they replaced a very quiet Rico Henry with Tom Bradshaw.

City went close to securing a third goal shortly after the hour mark, as McArdle's head connected with a cross from Morais. Etheridge pushed the ball onto the roof of the net to keep the Saddlers just about in the game.

The frantic tempo slowed just a little, but sixty-six minutes in, Bradford again went close to extending their lead. A stinging shot from Morais saved at the near post by Etheridge. The Saddlers 'keeper really earning his keep as he kept his teams hopes of getting back into the game alive.

Two minutes later, it was Bradford 'keeper, Williams, who was tested, as an Hiwula dipping half-volley flew at him from distance. Williams did well to get his fingers behind the ball to tip it over and keep his teams lead intact.

With twenty minutes to play, the Saddlers made their second change of the afternoon, replacing Sam Mantom with Kieron Morris as they continued to seek a route back into the game.

Within two minutes of the change, the Saddlers task was made harder still, as Hanson headed home a McMahon free-kick to extend City's lead to three.

Seconds later, the game was effectively put to bed, as a Morais swung in a cross from the left wing, which James Hanson headed in from close-range, as he claimed the match ball completing a hat-trick within fifteen minutes.

Following the goal, Bradford made their first change of the afternoon, as goalscorer, and creator, Felipe Morais was replaced by Jamie Proctor.

The game became a rather scrappy affair, with City content to sit back and frustrate Walsall. The Saddlers were awarded free-kicks through Adam Chambers and James O'Connor, but did little with them, before making their final change of the day as Jordan Cook replaced Jordy Hiwula.

City also opted to make a change as they ran down the clock, with Nathan Clarke replacing Reece Burke.

Three minutes from time, Bradford made their third and final substitution as hat-trick scoring, James Hanson made way for Billy Clarke.

Four minutes were added to compound the Saddlers misery, as Paul Downing was booked as a flailing arm caught Kyel Reid.

The final action of the match, saw a booking for Jamie Proctor as he needlessly kicked the ball away. A scrappy end to a match which saw Bradford take all three points, and put a dent into the Saddlers goal-difference. A disappointing afternoon for the travelling side.

SKY BET LEAGUE 1 | RESULT
BRADFORD CITY 4 WALSALL 0
HALF TIME SCORE | 0-0
GOALS | Morais (54'), Hanson (58', 72', & 73')
ATTENDANCE | 19,336
REFEREE | Mr. Darren Drysdale | Lincolnshire

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