Match Report: Walsall 1 Bradford City 2 Match Report: Walsall 1 Bradford City 2
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Report: Walsall 1 Bradford City 2

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Bradford City.
After failing to win any of their previous four league games, including last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Exeter City, Matthew Taylor and his Saddlers welcomed Bradford City to Banks's Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Walsall began the game brightly, and should have been a goal to the good just three minutes in, as a superb ball across the face of goal from Jack Earing was met by George Miller, but the striker scuffed his effort and sent the ball sailing wide when he really ought to have scored.

The Saddlers continued to enjoy a bright spell, with Conor Wilkinson seeing a chance to open the scoring just moments later, but he too failed to keep his effort on target, sending the ball high over the crossbar from outside the area.

Bradford City began to grow into the game as it continued, working the ball up to the other end in the seventh minute, where Walsall shot-stopper, Carl Rushworth was put to the test, first being asked to prevent a Liam Ridehalgh effort from just outside the area finding the target, before using his feet to deny Alex Gilliead from the rebound.

The game settled a little as it continued, with both sides enjoying time on the ball without really creating much to test their oppositions defences, however, fourteen minutes in, Miller was presented with another chance on goal, though he was unable to find the back of the net with a shot from outside the box which sailed well over the crossbar.

There was little further action of note until the twenty-eighth minute, when Joss Labadie saw an effort from distance saved, as the two sides continued to cancel one another out.

As we reached the half hour mark, Liam Kinsella became the first player to see yellow, as he was booked for a foul on Callum Cooke.

With thirty-seven minutes on the clock, Bradford opened the scoring. Matty Daly finding the target from the edge of the box, with the help of a deflection which turned the ball into the bottom corner, after some good play from Gilliead and Ridehalgh worked the ball into space for him.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the forty-third minute, allowing Ridehalgh to receive treatment for a knock, but he was soon back on his feet and able to see out the final minutes of the first-half.

Two additional minutes were added to end the opening forty-five, during which time, Donervon Daniels headed across the face of goal, finding Wilkinson whose effort from close range was tipped over the bar by shot-stopper, Alex Bass, before the two teams headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments, with Bradford City leading by one-goal-to-nil at the break.

The teams returned unchanged after the interval, and the action got back underway. The second-half got off to a rather slow start, with neither side able to create anything to trouble their opposition.

With fifty-six minutes on the clock, Jamie Walker became the second player to be shown the yellow card, as he was cautioned following a strong challenge on Hayden White.

Just a minute later, the Saddlers tied the scores, as Zak Mills effort from the free-kick, deflected off Miller and into the back of the net. A bit of good fortune for once going the Saddlers way, as George netted for the eighth time this season.

As we reached the hour mark, Bradford were forced to make the first change of the evening, with Matthew Foulds taking to the field as Liam Ridehalgh found himself unable to continue.

Walsall almost doubled their tally in the sixty-second minute, but Wilkinson's effort from outside the box was well stopped by the Bantams 'keeper, moments before a foul on Miller saw Yann Songo'o join those to already have been shown the yellow card.

With sixty-eight minutes on the clock, Bradford opted to make a second change to their line-up, as Jamie Walker was replaced by Charles Vernam.

The Saddlers continued to press, seeking to get ahead in the game for the first time, and were almost successful twenty minutes from time, as Brendan Kiernan lofted the ball into the box for Wilkinson, whose header back across goal sailed inches wide of the upright.

The visiting side had soon worked the ball back to the other end though, where they won a corner as a Daly effort was blocked before the Saddlers defences put the ball behind, with the resultant flag-kick being turned over the crossbar by Niall Canavan.

Walsall chose to make their first change of the evening in the seventy-seventh minute, as captain, Joss Labadie made way for Emmanuel Osadebe.

Nine minutes from time, the Bantams used their final substitution, replacing Matty Daly with Levi Sutton for the run in.

The visitors were presented with a chance to reinstate their earlier lead moments later, as Canavan worked the ball to Foulds, but the strikers' effort from the edge of the area sailed inches wide of the upright.

Eighty-four minutes into the contest, the Saddlers opted to make their second change of the game, with Brendan Kiernan making way for Tyrese Shade.
Hayden White joined those already named in the referee's notebook in the eighty-sixth minute as he saw yellow following a foul on Vernam.

Three minutes from time, Bradford were awarded a penalty for a handball by Mills. Former Saddler, Andy Cook, stepped forth to take the spot-kick and duly converted to put his side back ahead, but not before Zak Mills was shown the yellow card for the infringement.

Five additional minutes were added to end the match, during which time, the Saddlers opted to make their third and final change of the evening. Tom Leak, the man to make way as Kieran Phillips joined the fray.

There was little further action of note, and the referee brought the game to a close, with City's slender lead still intact. A disappointing evening for the Saddlers, who put on an improved display but were unable to take anything from the game.

Miller (57')
Daly (37')
Cook [P] (88')
Benjamin Speedie
4,097 (424) - Banks's Stadium
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