A cold, wet & windy Tuesday night game is exactly what we got when Bradford City faced Leeds United. It is safe to say the Tuesday night games have been missed and this was a great way to return to them. The weather had been poor all day but the pitch at The Mitton Group stadium held up well and provided the space for a fantastic game from both sides.
Right from the kick-off you could tell it was going to be a good game with the wet surface playing a big part in it. It was very end to end with some fantastic breaks from either side but neither were to capitalise on the chance they created. City were shown a bit of hope though when they were awarded a penalty after Gill was brought down in the box on the 26th minute. Unfortunately, though City failed to convert the penalty and the game stayed level but not for long after Leeds were awarded a penalty on the 37th minute which they converted to make it 0-1. It was a questionable penalty though as it appeared that Robert’s challenge was not only outside the area but that she also won the ball.
The penalty didn’t stop City though they carried on fighting and showing the determination that they weren’t going to be behind all game. Before half time there was confusion as the referee signalled for another penalty to Leeds before talking to his assistant and overturning the decision. Throughout the game there were some very strange calls given and some even missed but neither team let it stop them, they still gave it their all.
City went into half time 1-0 down but that scoreline certainly didn’t reflect the first half.
City really picked up the tempo in the final 10 minutes as they continued to hunt down that winning goal whilst Leeds seemed to tire. It just goes to show how much pressure they put on as in those final 10 minutes gave them plenty of possession and a few more chances. It was nice to see the crowd getting behind the team too and trying to encourage them to keep going and take the chances they created for themselves, it definitely really added to the derby day feel.
There could have been plenty more chances for City in those 90 minutes but unfortunately due to conditions and a few heavy first touches it wasn’t meant to be and they settled for the draw.
It would certainly be a tough decision if you had to pick a player of the match as everyone on the pitch game it their all but for me the two standout players were certainly Roberts & Gill who were always making those tackles when they were needed and also were great at getting forward and creating those chances for City. Roberts made some absolutely fantastic challenges in dangerous areas to keep Leeds at bay and wasn’t afraid to put her body on the line to win the ball back. Stuart also had yet another fantastic game in midfield and was a key player throughout the 90 minutes by taking some chances and winning the ball back well.
You could see throughout the game just how much effort City was putting into each attack and when they had to be back to defend. They played some great passes and got themselves into some fantastic positions but unfortunately they just couldn’t get the ball into the back of the net. Well, that was until the Leeds ‘keeper fumbled a great free-kick by Roberts and Jakeman was there to slot the ball home. It was a well-deserved goal for City who had been on the hunt for a goal all game. This one found the back of the net, unlike those chances that went by.
This to me was the best game I have seen City play in a while and they went away with a well deserved point when they could have easily taken all 3 points with how they played which is a very different story from when the two teams faced each other in November last year where Leeds came out as 3-0 winners. This just goes to show how much the team has progressed under the management of Chris Hames and his team, if this game is anything to go by it could be a good season for Bradford this season. Things really are starting to look up for the team.
Photo by Edge of the Area
Subs not used: Routledge, Shepherd, Douglas
Subs not used: Hill