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Match Report: Bradford City 1 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from Tuesday evening's Sky Bet League One clash between Walsall and hosts, Bradford City.
Walsall arrived at this evening's match on the back of a last-gasp victory over Northampton Town, as George Dobson's injury-time winner saw the Saddlers secure a much-needed victory which all-but seals their place in League One for another campaign.

After an impeccably observed minute's silence in memory of the fifty-six people who lost their lives in the Valley Parade Fire disaster in 1985, the match got underway.

Bradford City started brightly, forcing a corner just a minute in, but Liam Roberts was alert and palmed the in-swinging ball away.

The two sides then took a little time to get into the game, but in the eighth minute, Erhun Oztumer and Amadou Bakayoko combined to win a corner for Walsall, but the Bradford defences were eventually able to clear the danger. Moments later, a good move from George Dobson culminated in a left-footed shot which was gathered by Bradford 'keeper, Colin Doyle.

With eleven minutes on the clock, a poor clearance from Luke Leahy allowed Bradford captain, Tony McMahon an effort on goal, but Liam Roberts was again on hand for the Saddlers to palm the ball away, before Kory Roberts completed the clearance.

After a quiet ten minutes, with very little in the way of goal-mouth action, a defensive mix-up allowed Oztumer head home from close range in the twenty-second minute after a shot from Dobson was blocked.

Again, the match quietened after the goal, but thirty-six minutes in, Bradford almost equaliser thanks to some good work from Stephen Warnock on the left, but Charlie Wyke was just unable to turn the ball home.

The game again settled into something of a midfield battle as the minutes ticked away, but moments before the half-time whistle sounded, as we headed into one additional minute, Bradford found the equaliser, as Matthew Lund was allowed to head home a left-wing cross, and the teams headed back to the dressing rooms level.

1 - 1

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and the second half got underway. There was little action of note early in the half, as the match returned to a midfield battle.

With ten minutes played, Bradford opted to make their first change, with Alex Gilliead making way for Jordan Gibson. Gibson almost made an immediate impact on the game, racing into the box just a minute after entering the fray, before firing a low effort wide of the upright.

In the fifty seventh minute, applause rang out around the ground in memory of the victims of the 1985 Valley Parade fire disaster.

As we reached the hour mark, Bradford again went close with a glancing header from Wyke forcing Liam Roberts into a save.

Two minutes later, Bradford were unlucky not to take the lead, as a powerful shot from Shay McCartan was parried into the path of McMahon, but the Bradford skipper was unable to keep his shot down, sending the ball sailing over the bar when he really should have scored.

The match was stopped in the sixty-fifth minute allowing Callum Guy to receive treatment for an injury which ultimately put an end to his evening, as debutant Cameron Hawkes took his place.

The game settled again after the change, with little action of note. Both sides appearing fairly comfortable to see out a draw.

In the seventy-eighth minute, Bradford opted to make their third and final change of the evening, as Stephen Warnock made way for Adam Chicksen.

Seventy-nine minutes in, a foul by Timothee Dieng on Erhun Oztumer resulted in both players picking up yellow cards.

Bradford saw much of the ball as the game continued, but the Saddlers defences ensured they were unable to create any further chances of note.

With eighty-six minutes on the clock, the Saddlers opted to make their first change of the evening, as Erhun Oztumer made way for Florent Cuvelier.

Four additional minutes were added to end the game, but neither side were able to create any further chances, both settling for a point, putting Walsall four points clear of twenty-first placed Rochdale, enough to ensure they will feature in next seasons League One campaign.

1 - 1
Lund (45+1')
Oztumer (22')
Attendance: TBC
Referee: Carl Boyeson

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