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Season 2006-2007 : Bradford City vs Yeovil Town : Saturday 27th January 2007
Coca Cola League One : Bradford City vs Yeovil Town

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Venue: Intersonic Stadium (aka Valley Parade), Bradford
Saturday 27th January 2007, 3.00pm kick-off.

Scorers: Arron Davies (1-0, 5 mins), Arron Davies (2-0, 67 mins)

Attendance: 7,474 (including 246 Yeovil supporters)

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Lancashire)
Assistants: David Birkett (Lincolnshire), Mark Lawson (Northumberland)
Fourth official: Scott Duncan (Tyne & Wear)

Bookings:
Yeovil: Chris Cohen (34 mins, foul), Terry Skiverton (45 mins, foul)
Bradford: Craig Bentham (foul), Jermaine Johnson (81 mins, dissent). Red Card: Jermaine Johnson (81 mins, foul and abusive language)

Team Line-Ups

Yeovil Town : (4-4-2)
1. Steve Mildenhall
16. Andy Lindegaard 4. Terry Skiverton 6. Terrell Forbes 3. Nathan Jones
9. Arron Davies 8. Anthony Barry 14. Jean-Paul Kalala 11. Chris Cohen
29. Marcus Stewart 30. Leon Best

Subs: 5. Scott Guyett 10. Wayne Gray (86 mins for Anthony Barry) 19. Gavin McCallum 20. Craig Alcock 27. Ishmael Welsh

Bradford City : (4-4-2)
1. Donovan Ricketts
4. Nathan Doyle 5. David Wetherall 6. Mark Bower 3. Ben Parker
23. Omar Daley 7. Steven Schumacher 8. Marc Bridge-Wilkinson 22. Carlos Logan
12. Jermaine Johnson 24. Dave Hibbert

Subs: 13. Russell Howarth (GK) 9. Eddie Johnson (73 mins for Dave Hibbert) 20. Matthew Clarke 25. Craig Bentham (46 mins for Carlos Logan) 28. Joe Colbeck (86 mins for Ben Parker)

Match Report

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.

Half-time: Bradford City 0 - 1 Yeovil Town

The second half started in the same vein as the first half had with Bradford doing much of the pressing and Yeovil having to rely very much on quickly taken breakaways or misplaced passes from the home side. Nathan Doyle created Bradford's first chance of the half, feeding front-man Jermaine Johnson who beat two Yeovil defenders before forcing Steve Mildenhall to push the shot around the post for a corner. Terry Skiverton also toe-poked the ball out for a corner when Jermaine Johnson played the ball into Dave Hibbert after the Jamaican forced the ball down the right wing chased by Terrell Forbes. It always seemed as though Bradford were on the edge of breaking through but those body-blocks and outstretched toes were just about keeping them at bay every time.

At the other end a rare Yeovil Town chance came when Marcus Stewart fed Chris Cohen down the flank and what looked to be almost a replica of last week's Brentford goal, the ball was laid back to Arron Davies. But the finish wasn't there with Arron leaning back as he lifted the ball over the bar. Next, Leon Best had a goal ruled out for offside after he was found stood too far forward from a Chris Cohen pass.

Bradford continued to press, with the pace from their attack still seeing them look dangerous every time they went forward. Steve Mildenhall produced a superb save from Jermaine Johnson, beating the ball out from the Jamaican after he had beaten Terrell Forbes for pace, with the ball ricocheting out far away to safety. As the half wore on it looked inevitable that a rearguard action from the Glovers would be necessary to keep their slender lead.

But with Yeovil having defended for much of the game and having put in a superb defensive performance, they got their second goal against the run of play with 67 minutes gone to sink any hope Bradford had of getting back into the game. A Nathan Jones cross into the box was hacked away by David Wetherall but the experienced defender made an awful hash of his clearance, putting the ball into the path of Arron DAVIES. Even then it appeared that matters were not dangerous for the home side, but the Welshman found a narrow angle and shot home to give the Glovers a wonderful cushion to see out the remaining 23 minutes against the Bradford attack.

Bradford immediately responded by bringing on Eddie Johnson into an attacking position as the Bantams changed to a 4-3-3 with Jermaine Johnson and Omar Daley as they pressed the gamble button. However, that did give Yeovil more space at the back. Capitalising on that, Leon Best produced a great long range piledriver that slipped just wide of Donovan Ricketts' post with the ball clipping the outside netting. Minute later, Craig Bentham was booked for chopping down Leon Best.

With ten minutes to go through, it looked as though Bradford had been thrown a lifeline. Eddie Johnson recieved a through-ball that deflected off Jean-Paul Kalala into the path of the substitute. He finished well past Steve Mildenhall, but what seemed an age later, a linesman's flag went up and after some brief consultation both referee and linesman chalked the goal off - in more than controversial fashion - with Bradford understandably furious about what they felt was a howler of a decision with the final touch having come off Kalala.

To make matters worse, Bradford took their protests too far. Jemaine Johnson was initially given a yellow card for dissent but when he continued his protests that was followed by a straight red in quick succession, presumably for some sort of foul or abusive language. The home crowd howled "cheat" at the officials, and for once this season, it looked as though the Glovers had seen the coin drop down on the lucky side. After an extremely lengthy delay and yet more confrontation between the Bradford players and the officials, play finally continued.

Russell Slade raised a few eyebrows by taking that as an opportunity to introduce his own third striker, with Wayne Gray replacing Anthony Barry, with Marcus Stewart dropping a little deeper into a midfield position. Leon Best produced another long range attempt when perhaps a pass would have been the better option as Bradford heads went down, and Arron Davies almost completed his hat-trick when he put a chance wide.

Bradford, with their heads down, never came back into the match, despite five minutes injury time being announced to ensure the game finished comfortably beyond the 5.00pm mark. For long periods, the home side looked like they were going to get back into the game with Johnson and Daley's pace looking dangerous. But the likes of Lindegaard, Skiverton and Forbes were the proverbial brick wall that shut them out. Whilst Arron Davies will take the headlines for his two goals, it is this trio at the back who were frequently in the right place at the right time to ensure that Bradford never managed to pierce the fortress.

MOTM Vote Result:

Pos Player
1 Terrell Forbes
2 Arron Davies
3 Terry Skiverton

Overall match rating: 8.0 / 10
Performance: 8.0
Entertainment: 8.0

19 votes received.

Any comments/questions please email ytfc.motm@tiscali.co.uk

Full-time: Bradford City 0 - 2 Yeovil Town
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