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

Match Report: Bradford City 2 Walsall 1

Here is our Match Report from the Saddlers' League Two meeting with Bradford City.
Despite sitting ninth in the table, the Saddlers arrived at the game without a win in six all-competition games and in search of a much-needed return to form.

Their midweek EFL Trophy defeat to West Ham United U21s summed up their form as of late as the team huffed and puffed but were unable to break their opponents down.

Michael Flynn's side started the game brightly, and just two minutes into the contest, Walsall were awarded a penalty as Romoney Crichlow-Noble felled Tom Knowles inside the area. Danny Johnson stepped forth to take the spot-kick, but Bradford City 'keeper, Harry Lewis went the right way and made the save.

The Saddlers continued to press, winning a corner in the third minute, as Brad Halliday turned the ball out of play, though that would come to nothing, and two minutes later, Johnson saw an effort from the edge of the box saved by Lewis.

Bradford grew into the game, and ten minutes in, won their first corner of the afternoon as Peter Clarke turned the ball behind, but the Saddlers defences stood firm and ensured nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Walsall had soon worked the ball back up to the other end, where Donervon Daniels saw a headed effort blocked, before Knowles also saw a shot blocked.

The game settled into something of a midfield battle as it continued, with both sides enjoying spells on the ball, without creating much to trouble their opposition defences.

Twenty-five minutes in, Scott Banks found himself in possession in shooting range, but his effort from the edge of the area curled wide of the far post, without troubling Walsall shot-stopper, Owen Evans.

Liam Ridehalgh became the first player to see yellow, as he was cautioned for a late challenge on Liam Kinsella.

Walsall looked the more likely side to score as the game wore on, with Clarke seeing a twenty-eighth minute effort from the centre of the box blocked, four minutes before Daniels headed wide.

The visiting side should have taken the lead in the thirty-fifth minute, as a low cross from Manny Monthe found Knowles in space, but a poor connection allowed Lewis time to get down and make the save.

Against the run of play, Bradford opened the scoring in the forty-first minute, as Halliday crossed the ball into the box, where Andy Cook was waiting to turn it home.

As we reached the forty-fifth minute, Jake Young doubled the Bantams advantage as he found the target with a powerful strike from outside the area. Young then saw his name taken by the referee, as he was cautioned for over-celebrating the goal.

After two additional minutes were played, the sides headed off to enjoy their half-time refreshments, with Bradford leading by two-goals-to-nil.


Walsall opted to make a double change to their line-up ahead of the re-start, with Peter Clarke and Hayden White sitting out the second-half, as Danny Cashman and Andy Williams took their places.

Bradford began the half brightly, and almost added to their tally just three minutes in, but fortunately for the Saddlers, Matthew Platt's headed effort from the centre of the box sailed narrowly wide of the upright.

There was a brief halt to proceedings in the fifty-first minute, whilst Daniels received treatment, but the Walsall captain was soon back on his feet and able to continue.

The Saddlers went close to pulling a goal back in the fifty-fourth minute, but Knowles effort from outside the area sailed narrowly wide of the target.

With fifty-seven minutes on the clock, Walsall were awarded a free-kick in a dangerous position, which was played into the area for Daniels, who prodded it home to bring his side to within one goal of their hosts.

Walsall went close again in sixty-third minute, winning a corner which was swung in by Cashman for Brandon Comley, whose effort from outside the box, narrowly cleared the crossbar.

With sixty-six minutes on the clock, City opted to make a double change, with Scott Banks and Jake Young making way for Dion Pereira and Tyreik Wright.

The game settled again as it continued, with both sides enjoying time on the ball, without creating much to test their opposition defences.

As we reached the seventy-fifth minute, both sides opted to make chances to their teams, with Bradford replacing Harry Chapman and Andy Cook with Kian Harratt and Vadaine Oliver, whilst Walsall took off Liam Kinsella in favour of Isaac Hutchinson.

Oliver went close to extended his sides lead just one minute after his introduction into the game, as he connected with a Halliday cross, but could only send his effort wide of the target.

The Saddlers almost restored parity in the seventy-eighth minute, as Monthe played the ball to Daniels inside the area, but the captains effort sailed inches wide of the upright.

In the seventy-ninth minute, the Bantams chose to make their fifth and final change of the game, with Levi Sutton making way for Yann Songo'o.

Another Walsall change followed three minutes later, as Liam Bennett made way for Timmy Abraham.

Bradford won a corner in the eighty-ninth minute, as Evans positioned himself well to turn a Harratt effort behind, but nothing would come of the flag-kick.

Manny Monthe became the first Saddler to see yellow, as the board was raised to confirm that five additional minutes would be played, as he was cautioned after getting into an argument.

Walsall opted to make their final change of the day moments later, with Tom Knowles making way for Ronan Maher.

There was little further action of note though, and the game was brought to it's conclusion with Bradford City winning by two-goals-to-one. A disappointing afternoon for the Saddlers, who failed to take their chances.

COOK (41')
YOUNG (45')

ATTENDANCE 16,433 (499)
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