Russell Slade's pre-match concerns over a trio of players saw club captain Terry Skiverton pass a fitness test following an ankle injury, but a similar knock to Anthony Tonkin and the calf injury that Lee Morris had been carrying saw both players out of the sixteen. The paper-thin Glovers squad meant that they had to draft in right-back Craig Alcock and winger Gavin McCallum onto the substitute's bench for the first time in their young careers. Bradford included Jamaican international Omar Daley who had signed for the club a week or so ago, with him slotting into a right-wing position for his debut, with former Yeovil Town reserve trialist Jermaine Johnson continuing in a front-line position he has been converted to since the departure of veteran Dean Windass.
Bradford created the first chance after the game kicked off 5 minutes late for no obvious reason, with debutant Omar Daley whipping in an early cross allowing on-loan striker Dave Hibbert to get a header in on goal but Steve Mildenhall was well placed to stop the header from reaching the target.
However, Yeovil's first attack on goal was brilliant and incisive, and a case of classic counter-attacking football. Andy Lindegaard produced an excellent tackle on Jermaine Johnson to break up a Bradford attack, and then immediately set play going up field. From the break out of defence, Chris Cohen won a ball in midfield. He in turn picked out Anthony Barry, who fed a great pass to Arron DAVIES who out-paced veteran defender David Wetherall to the ball and slotted the ball home to give Yeovil a dream start to the game. 1-0 up and just 5 minutes gone!
Jermaine Johnson was showing how quick and direct he was in the Bradford attack though and he outdid Jean-Paul Kalala and Terry Skiverton for pace, surprisingly trying to find Dave Hibbert with a crossfield ball instead of trying to complete the move himself and for the second time in the match, Andy Lindegaard was superbly placed to block out the Bradford attack. Certainly the early goal looked to have ensured that this was not going to be a particularly tight game with both sides being very direct in their play towards goal.
Leon Best got a chance out of nothing midway through the half when Terry Skiverton put a ball over the top of the Bradford defence, with the Bradford back line and keeper completely static, leaving Best through on goal. Ricketts came out belatedly but the Yeovil striker got there first, lifting the ball over the top of the advancing keeper but the lobbed attempt landed on top of the goal netting, with Ricketts getting clattered as he tried to make amends for his hesitancy. After a lengthy delay Ricketts got to his feet, although Yeovil had given the home side another nasty scare.
Long range shots from Arron Davies and Anthony Barry saw the Glovers perhaps optimistically test the unhappy-looking Ricketts whilst he tried to feel his way back into the match. The first shot from Davies was more of a trickle shot, whilst the attempt from Barry landed over the crossbar.
Chris Cohen became the first booking of the match when he got involved in a wrestling match with Jermaine Johnson as the two players made their way down the wing, with Johnson getting the better of the Yeovil midfielder, and Cohen not only getting a booking but also an arm in the face as Johnson tried to wrestle free. Fortunately the free kick taken in a dangerous wide position came to nothing as Bradford found breaking through the Yeovil back line to be a frustrating business, with Andy Lindegaard and Terrell Forbes playing superbly at the back to block out the pace of Johnson and Daley.
As the half closed, Nathan Doyle almost caused panic in the Yeovil defence, when a ball into the box reared up nastily on the bounce, with Steve Mildenhall being forced to push the ball away from his goal, but Omar Daley's attempt to push the ball back into the box was blocked with once again the man to put his body in the way. Next Terrell Forbes produced another brave block from Daley as he moved towards goal, using his physical presence to take the ball away from the winger. Terry Skiverton was the next Yeovil defender to put his body on the line with Marc Bridge-Wilkinson's long-range attempt being deflected out for a corner. From that corner, Steve Mildenhall smothered the ball at close range as the home side finished the period very much on top, desperately trying to gain an equaliser before the break.
A minute before the break, and against the run of play, Yeovil perhaps should have had their first spot kick of the season when Leon Best broke clear into the Bradford penalty box after he was fed by Marcus Stewart. Receiving both a push in the back and a kick on the back of the leg, he looked to be impeded but neither referee nor linesman seemed interested in making the decision in Yeovil's favour.
To perhaps add insult to injury, Terry Skiverton was booked for a shirt pull as he took hold of Jermaine Johnson which the referee did choose to see. Another later foul by Skivo on the same player after a loose pass by Jean-Paul Kalala saw Marc Bridge-Wilkinson loop a free kick over the defensive wall but wide of the post. An interesting first half, and one that due to the late kick-off and the injury to Ricketts only completed at 3.55pm. With the goal having come so early in the match, this was going to be a long afternoon, but so far, so good.