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Match Report: Walsall 1 Bradford City 2

Here is our Match Report from Saturday afternoon's League Two clash between Walsall and Bradford City.
The Saddlers arrived at the match in search of a much-needed win after their recent defeat to Newport County extended their winless run to four games, and saw them slip closer to the relegation zone.

Bradford City got the match underway, and after a lively start from both sides, debutant Sam Perry earned the first yellow card of the game after just four minutes of play, as he was booked for a foul on Elliot Watt.

With six minutes on the clock, Walsall created the first chance of the game, as Tyreik Wright found Derick Osei Yaw with space inside the box. The striker unable to direct his effort home, finding only the side netting. A bright start from the hosts though, whilst their visitors struggled to get going.

The Saddlers continued to enjoy a good spell, winning the first corner of the contest in the tenth minute, as Anthony O'Connor was forced to turn the ball behind, though nothing would come of the flag-kick.

The Bantams began to see more of the ball as we headed past the quarter hour mark, with Oliver Crankshaw seeing an effort from distance held by Saddlers shot-stopper, Liam Roberts.

Walsall won their second corner of the game in the seventeenth minute, as Bantams captain, Paudie O'Connor turned the ball behind, but the hosts were unable to make use of the chance as Andy Cook was on hand to clear the in-swinging ball.

With nineteen minutes on the clock, the referee flashed his yellow card for a second time, as Paudie O'Connor joined Perry on a caution, following a foul on Josh Gordon.

City had soon worked the ball back to the other end, as the game began to open up a little, but Crankshaw was unable to keep his twenty-first minute effort on target, scuffing the ball wide. The winger then firing wide again just one minute later, after a lovely pass from Anthony O'Connor played him in.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells of possession, without really troubling their opposition defences, though Charles Vernam did fire goal-wards from the edge of the area in the thirty-first minute, but the effort was directed straight into the waiting arms of the Walsall 'keeper.

The hosts were a little unlucky not to get a shot away in the thirty-sixth minute, as Osei-Yaw worked the ball out to Wes McDonald, whose promising cross into the box evaded everyone and bounced out of play for a goal-kick.

With forty-three minutes on the clock, the Bantams found the breakthrough, as Levi Sutton picked up the ball on the edge of the area and fired a powerful effort onto the underside of the crossbar, and over the line to open the scoring.

One additional minute was added to end the first-half, but with neither side able to create anything further of note, the sides headed off for their half-time refreshments with the Bantams leading by one-goal-to-nil.

-
HT
-
WFC
0-1
BCAFC

The teams returned unchanged after the break, and Walsall got the action back underway. Within six minutes of the re-start, the Saddlers had the ball in the back of the City net, but a foul on Sam Hornby saw the goal ruled out.

Bradford were quick to work the ball back to the other end, with Hornby and Cook combining to play in Callum Cooke, but Roberts was alert to the danger in the Walsall goal, getting down well to deny the visitors a second.

With fifty-three minutes on the clock, Hayden White joined those on a caution, picking up a yellow card for a foul on Cooke.

The visiting side continued to look the brighter of the two sides, winning a corner in the fifty-fifth minute, from which O'Connor forced another good save from the Saddlers shot-stopper.

With fifty-seven minutes on the clock, Walsall opted to make their first change of the afternoon, with Derick Osei-Yaw making way for Caolan Lavery.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells with the ball, though neither were able to test their opposition defences.

In the sixty-fourth minute, the Saddlers opted to make a double substitution, with Sam Perry and Callum Cockerill-Mollett making way for Frank Vincent and Cameron Norman.

With sixty-six minutes on the clock, the Bantams doubled their advantage, as goalscorer Sutton turned provider for former Saddler, Andy Cook who did well to get the ball down and fire into the bottom corner.

Josh Gordon joined those on a caution in the sixty-ninth minute, as he was shown the yellow card for a foul on Paudie O'Connor.

In the seventy-first minute, the Bantams opted to make a double change to their line-up, with both Callum Cooke and Andy Cook making way, as Billy Clarke and Danny Rowe took their places.

With seventy-seven minutes on the clock, the Saddlers pulled a goal back. A lovely ball in by Wright from a corner being flicked on by Norman before Dan Scarr got enough of a touch on it to turn it home.

The Saddlers felt they should have been awarded a penalty just two minutes later, as Gordon went down inside the area, but the referee was unmoved by their appeals and play continued.

Walsall continued to cause their visitors problems as we entered the final ten minutes of play, with Wright firing narrowly wide of the upright.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the eighty-third minute, whilst Vernam received attention for a head injury, but play was soon resumed with no change needed.

The Saddlers looked to be in again five minutes from time, as Vincent picked up the ball in the middle of the park before charging through the City defences, but ultimately his effort on goal sailed over the crossbar.

With eighty-seven minutes on the clock, the Bantams chose to make another double change, with Charles Vernam and Oliver Crankshaw making way for Jordan Stevens and Clayton Donaldson.

Five additional minutes were added to end the game, but neither side was able to create anything further of note, and the Bantams held on to their one goal lead to take all three points. Another disappointing afternoon from the Saddlers, who struggled to create or take their chances.

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FT
-
WFC
1-2
BCAFC
Scarr (77')

Sutton (43')
Cook (66')
VENUE
Banks's Stadium
REFEREE
Scott Oldham

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