Bradford sports news

Fleetwood Fight Back Hits Bradford’s Hopes

Bradford striker Jonathan Stead was on target for the Bantams - but couldn't prevent his side drawing against Fleetwood.

Bradford striker Jonathan Stead was on target for the Bantams – but couldn’t prevent his side drawing against Fleetwood.

Two late goals from Fleetwood meant that the Lancashire side came back from Valley Parade with a point, after being two goals down. The result against the ‘Cod Army’ leaves the Bantams in 12th, all be it with two games in hand on their play off rivals.

Bradford who missed the chance of a Wembley date earlier in the week with an agonising FA Cup replay defeat against Reading had Filipe Morais unavailable for this one. The former Chelsea man’s sending off in that defeat on Monday night means the 29 year old will have to sit out of this one.

As for the visitors Fleetwood they could call on Stephen Dobbie, after the midfielder was previously unavailable.

After enduring the heart ache of missing out on a chance of a Wembley date with Arsenal, the Bantams came into this one in determined fashion – and it was of no surprise when the home side took the lead.

Jonathan Stead who was a key part in the memorable FA Cup opened the scoring. Fleetwood keeper Chris Maxwell wasn’t able to hold on to a Billy Clarke cross, which allowed Stead to score.

The opening goal was a reward for Bradford’s dominance – and it was of little surprise when the home side double their lead. Christopher Routis who replaced the suspended Morais doubled the hosts lead. Routis managed to squeeze in James Hanson’s far post cross – and at that point the Bantams looked in complete control – but that goal seemed to spark Fleetwood to life.

The visitors who were dominated, managed to pull a goal back when Jamie Proctor pulled a goal back when he headed in Tyler Hornby- Forbes’ cross. Despite the disappointment of conceding that goal, you still would have back Bradford to see the game out – but unfortunately for the home fans Fleetwood’s Nathan Pond had the last say as the Fleetwood man scored in stoppage time after an all mighty scramble.

Two apiece it finished then – but this result will be a better result for the visitors no doubt. Having said that Bradford aren’t out of the promotion race just as they do have two games in hand on their play off rivals – but more dropped points in a fiercely competitive play off race is never ideal.

Bradford 0-0 Reading

Bradford City v Reading - FA Cup Quarter Final

Bradford 0-0 Reading

Bradford failed to take advantage of being at home in this FA Cup quarter final tie as Reading left Valley Parade still with in a shout of an FA Cup semi final as this one ended all square at 0-0, which means this match will have to be replayed on Monday 16th March.

The hosts just like in the other FA Cup ties, had to call on former Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Williams as Sunderland loanee Jordan Pickford hasn’t been given the approval to play by parent club Sunderland. Gary Liddle also returns for the home side after serving a ban.

As for the visitors Reading, they were pretty much as full strength as strikers Hal Robson Kanu and Pavel Probgrebnyak both started for the Royals.

With the incentive of a Wembley day out at stake, both sides were rather tentative as both sides resorted to long balls on a very difficult pitch, the playing surface was something which Sunderland manager Gus Poyet also publicly pointed in the build to their match against Bradford .

Although they are a side who are strong and physical, Bradford aren’t afraid to ‘put the ball down and play’. This game however the Bantams faced a different challenge, as the pitch was difficult to play and also home side were seen by some as the favourites for the tie despite being a league below Reading.

Wins against Chelsea and then Sunderland was only going to increase expectation on Bradford and they nearly fell behind in the first half. Russian striker Probgrebnyak latched on to a Jamie Mackie cross – but could only hit the post with a right footed shot.

Rattled by that, Bradford looked to take advantage of their reprieve and hit the woodwork themselves. The returning Gary Liddle who has had to sit out the last few games due to suspension, saw his speculative cross creep past Royal’s keeper Adam Federici – but thankfully for the away side Liddle’s effort hit the post.

Buoyed by hitting the post, Bradford came out the stronger in what turned out to be an overall tight affair. The home side will be slightly disappointed of not taking advantage of some good situations.

Andrew Davies saw his headed effort go over the bar and Scott Hanson’s side footed effort flashed agonisingly wide. Those missed chances nearly proved costly as an Oliver Norwood free kick was floated into the box – but a combination of the woodwork and some last ditch defending kept Bradford’s clean sheet intact.

This one finished all square. Reading will be the happier of the two sides as they have the advantage of playing at home next – but Bradford you feel won’t be phased by that. The West Yorkshire side have played with out fear and this what makes this cup tie so finally balanced.

The Black Cats Lose All Their Lives At Bradford As The Bantams Progress In The FA Cup

Bradford striker Jonathan Stead scored the second goal in an impressive 2-0 FA   Cup win over Sunderland

Bradford striker Jonathan Stead scored the second goal in an impressive 2-0 FA Cup win over Sunderland

League One giant killers Bradford took another premier league scalp in Sunderland which helped the Bantams book a place in the quarter finals of the FA cup.

Bradford who famously beat Chelsea in the previous round would have been confident going into this one. The fact that there are two leagues separating the two sides wouldn’t have bothered Bradford.

The home side came into this cup tie knowing that they were able to call Billy Clarke from the start for the second successive game. On loan Sunderland keeper Jordan Pickford misses out against his parent club.

As for the visitors they had to without former England striker Jermaine Defoe, Danny Graham who hasn’t scored for two tears came in for the 32 year old. Sunderland also changed their goalkeeper as Costel Pantillimon made way for Vito Mannone.

With the pitch being in a poor state, which was well documented – it was the hosts Bradford who took the lead after three minutes. The now fit again Billy Clarke’s effort deflected off Sunderland skipper John O’Shea and into the Black Cats net. The worst possible start for the visitors who were very publicly told about the pitch by manager Gus Poyet.

Bradford went on to dominate the half – but Sunderland did have their moments, Rory McArdle and Andrew Davies were forced to make last ditch tackles when Sunderland thought they were clear through on goal. The visitors had a huge penalty appeal turned down when Steven Fletcher tumbled in the box – but replays appeared to show the Scotland striker being offside when the offence happened, so a penalty award there, would have been harsh.

The homeside’s direct approach which was more physical to what is played in the premier league, was causing mayhem amongst the Sunderland ranks, it was actually a surprise the score was only 1-0 at half time as the hosts did have chances to increase their lead.

Bradford who were excellently managed by Phil Parkinson, were brave and resilient – something which has been a highlight of their cup run and their season. Danny Graham who replaced Jermaine Defoe for this game, didn’t look like he was going to end his two year goal scoring drought here. Sadly for the former Boro striker, Graham couldn’t continue after half time due to a serious head injury he sustained in the first half.

Danny Graham’s replacement was Connor Wickham, as Sunderland looked to get back into this game and avoid being another victim to a cup upset at the hands of Bradford City. To be fair the Bantams always seemed to be in control of this one – and double their advantage through Jon Stead in the 61st minute which killed the game off as a contest.

Gus Poyet will no doubt be quick to point out the state of the Valley Parade pitch – but how disappointing Sunderland were, I extremely doubt it would have made any difference.The Black Cats will have to focus on premier league survival now after missing out on another long cup run.

Bradford march on to the quarter finals and who ever they face will no doubt be in for a good game. The Bantams have showed here that spirit and hard work get you along way.

Bradford Vs Sunderland FA Cup Team News

Bradford can call on their talisman Billy Clarke for this one. Clarke and Filipe Morais will have to be at their best to help Bradford beat premier League Sunderland.

Bradford can call on their talisman Billy Clarke for this one. Clarke and Filipe Morais will have to be at their best to help Bradford beat premier League Sunderland.

FA Cup Fifth Round
Venue: Coral Windows Stadium
Kick Off: 14:30 GMT
Date : Sunday 15th February

In an FA Cup so far full of shocks, both teams will be fancying their chances in this years FA Cup. Bradford who enjoyed a famous FA Cup win over Chelsea, will be no doubt be not fearing any team – after beating the best team in England at the moment.

Sunderland who beat Fulham in the last round through a replay, like Bradford have been to a cup final in recent years and will not fear anyone – but this challenge for the Black Cats is different as this is a game the Premiership will be expected to win.

Bradford Team News

Bradford who last time out defeated League One high flyers will be looking for the same kind of battling spirit here. The Bantams who started the influential Billy Clarke in the win over Mk Dons could have the 27 year old in the starting line up for this match as well.On loan Sunderland goal keeper Jordan Pickford is unavailable because of the loan agreement with parent club Sunderland.

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson has no fresh injury worries for this one. Mark Yates who also scored in that famous FA Cup win over the Blues is available .

Sunderland Team News

The Black Cats who suffered the embarrassment of being the first home side to lose to QPR in the Premier League have a few injuries to worry about. Former skipper Lee Catermole (Knee) and Emanuelle Giacherrini (Ankle) both miss out – but former Everton and Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell is available again after serving a suspension and having a groin injury.

Apart from that the Premier League side are at all full strength and will be looking to likes Jermaine Defoe and Adam Johnson to inspire them to an FA Cup win here.

Our Verdict

In a competition filled with shocks – calling this game would be very difficult. I very confidently predicted a 2-0 win for Chelsea in the previous round – but I was proven wrong. This match although there is a case of Bradford being two divisions lower, I don’t think that would make a difference.

Bradford throughout this tournament and in League One this year have played with a lot of spirit. The win against Chelsea and Mk Dons a promotion rival, shows this team know how to raise their game for the big occasion.

That fact has also concerned Sunderland boss Gus Poyet who ‘offered’ to have this FA Cup tie moved to Sunderland’s Stadium Of Light, which maybe suggest Poyet is worried about his team getting knocked out by a lower league opposition. The outspoken Black Cats manager also suggested that his players should ‘pass the ball forwards’ otherwise they ‘won’t be picked’ .

Mind games you might think – but Gus if it is an attempt of mind games, leave it to the experts (Jose Mouriniho). The Black Cats who enjoyed a good cup run in last years League Cup will not be under as much pressure here – but a ‘favourable draw’ so far might add a bit more pressure now considering some of the big teams who have already exited the competition.

Players like Jermaine Defoe and Adam Johnson will be key for Sunderland – but I don’t see the toughness around the rest of the squad that’s needed for a game like this. The black Cats have been embarrassed 8-0 this year by Southampton – and the defensive fragility was the main reason for that.

It could be argued that the Premier League side have got better defensively since that defeat – but with the intense atmosphere of Valley Parade and the fact that Bradford beat the best team in the land this year (Chelsea) , the Black Cats will have far from an easy ride at Valley Parade.

The match it self I think will be full of goals – but Bradford will come out on top here.

Bradford 3-2 Sunderland

O’Connor Is Bradford’s Bantams Menace As Port Vale Battle Back To Salvage A Point

Michael O'Connor secures last gasp equlaliser for Port Vale, which dents Bradford's promotion push.

Michael O’Connor secures last gasp equaliser for Port Vale, which dents Bradford’s promotion push.

Michael O’Connor scored one and set up the other to help snatch a point for Port Vale in an entertaining game against playoff chasing Bradford.

Port Vale came into this game with an outside chance of the playoffs themselves – but having played more games than their rivals around them, that looks like it’s not going to happen for this season.

The home side came into this one no doubt looking for a win. The Valliants although just three points behind visitors Bradford, are only seven points away from the relegation places, so Vale will no doubt no doubt looking to avoid getting sucked into a unwanted relegation battle.

As far as Port Vale’s team was concerned, that was pretty much at full strength. Frenchman Achille Champion starts on the bench along with fellow signing Tommy O’Sullivan who was signed on loan from Cardiff.

Bradford who have hit the headlines in recent weeks after that superb FA Cup win over Chelsea, have struggled a little bit of late. Despite going on an impressive 10 game unbeaten run, the Bantams have suffered costly defeats at the hands of playoff rivals Rochdale and League Two strugglers Yeovil with in the last month or so.

Those defeats have seen the Yorkshire side slip to ninth position after being in fifth position at one stage, part of that has been due to Bradford’s impressive cup run. With the Bantams having a game in hand over some of their play off rivals, Bradford were looking to take advantage here and gain ground on the teams above them.

The visitors came into this game pretty much unchanged. Jordan Pickford who missed the famous FA Cup win over Chelsea due to not being grated permission by parent club Sunderland, starts in goal ahead of Ben William’s. Billy Clarke who had been so influential at the start of the season for Bradford, still isn’t ready to start after a long injury layoff – but does make the bench for this one.

In a game that was important to both sides, it was in fact the visitors who started the better. Bradford who famously went to Stamford Bridge and beat Chelsea in the FA Cup, were showing the confidence and the belief that they can be just as rampant here.

It was they who deservedly took the lead as well (Bradford). Filipe Morais who is having an excellent season, crossed into the box for James Hanson to open the scoring and the floodgates it looked at that point as well . The visitors who were well on top at that point failed to make their period of dominance count – and were made to pay dearly.

Port Vale managed to weather the Bradford storm, and went in at half-time just one goal down. Vale manager Robert Page introduced Frenchman Achille Champion who would make a telling contribution. Champion after coming as a second half substitute levelled for the home side with a well placed shot into the bottom left corner of Jordan Pickford’s goal, Michael O’Connor who would go on to save the game for the Valliants provided the assist.

Bradford after enjoying the better of the game would have been bitterly disappointed to have let their hosts back into this one. To rub further salt into the wounds James Hanson missed a great chance for Bradford to retake the lead as his header was easily saved Vale keeper Chris Neal. That disappointment how ever was to be short lived as Bradford did retake the lead through Filipe Morais. The 29 year old former Chelsea trainee scored from outside the box after being set up by James Meredith.

At this point the visitors must have been thinking that the game is surely – but the real drama was yet to come. Jordan Pickford who was sent off last month in the home defeat to Rochdale was to receive the same feat here. Bradford’s defence were playing a high line and were brutally exposed by a through ball which prompted visiting keeper Pickford to bring down Vale’s Greg Luer in the penalty area.

The referee was left with no other option – but to send off the Bradford keeper and reward Port Vale a last minute spot kick . The Bantams needing a keeper to face that spot kick were forced to bring on Ben Williams at the expense of Mark Yeates, sadly though one of Williams’ first touches was to pick the ball out of his net. The former Manchester United keeper was unable to save Michael O’Connor’s effort.

That penalty was to be the last action of a truly entertaining game – but for Bradford they will be no doubt thinking what could have been.

A draw does neither side many favours. Port Vale are 14th in the table and four points off the play positions – but the Valliants have played at least two games more than the sides above them. As for Bradford this draw sees them in ninth place. This result although it wasn’t a defeat isn’t ideal especially with extremely difficult games against Swindon and Mk Dons to come.

Chelsea Vs Bradford City Fourth Round FA Cup Match Report

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson masterminded yet another Premier League scalp, this time it was Premier League leaders Chelsea in one of the greatest shocks of FA Cup history.

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson masterminded yet another Premier League scalp, this time it was Premier League leaders Chelsea who lost 4-2 to at Stamford Bridge in one of the greatest shocks of FA Cup history.

Bradford City produced one of the all time shocks of the FA Cup as they dumped out Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after being 2-0 down.

Chelsea who were looking for glory domestically and in Europe, rested several of their normal first team squad- but on paper you still would have backed the Blues to win this one.

The West Londoners had Petr Cech in goal and also gave only a second start Andreas Christensson who was playing at right back, Diego Costa who I talked up before the game, was left out all together. Chelsea did though however have Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard on the bench, maybe the Blues had one eye on this weeks second leg semi final against Liverpool.

As for the visitors Bradford they were at full strength, well they fielded the best team they had available. Billy Clarke who has been a key player for The Bantams this year, returned to the squad after a six game lay off- but the 27 year old started on the bench for this one.

At the start of this game there was 49 places separating the two sides – but it was Bradford who arguably had the better of the opening exchanges against their Premier League counterparts. Bradford centre back Andrew Davies forced Chelsea keeper Petr Cech into a fine save.

Bradford who many were expecting to offer their main threat from set pieces, conceded from a set piece themselves. Chelsea midfielder Oscar delivered the corner which centre back Gary Cahill converted to give the Premier League side the lead.

The League One side at this point might have been fearing the worst against their Premier League hosts. It deed indeed get worse for Bradford, Mohammed Salah, a player who benefited from Jose Mouriniho’s decision to rotate his squad. The former Basel player who is expected to leave Chelsea, provided the ball for Ramires to convert to make the score 2-0 and put the game out of Bradford’s reach – or so we thought.

Bantams striker John Stead scored a couple minutes after Chelsea’s second goal with a powerful strike from the edge of the box which left Chelsea keeper Petr Cech with no chance. A great time for Bradford to score, the League One visitors were only one goal behind at the break.

Buoyed by grabbing a late first half goal, it was Bradford who started the second half the better. The visitors despite being two leagues lower than their hosts, were not overawed – and were asking questions of the league leaders.

Sensing that the League One side were getting more confident, Blues boss Mourinho looked to some of his big guns in an attempt to regain control of the match. Mohammed Salah was replaced by Brazilian Willian as Jose Mourinho was looking to kill this game off as a contest.

An injury to Jon Obi Mikel forced the Chelsea boss to bring on Cesc Fabregas as well. With the introduction of the former Barcelona midfielder, many would have seen such a substitution as a plus, due to Fabregas’ brilliant passing ability and calming influence – which was definitely needed.

Ironically Bradford grabbed an equaliser, and were daring to dream of an FA Cup replay. Former Chelsea player Filipe Morais who left Chelsea as a teenager, grabbed the equaliser with a right footed shot in to to the bottom right hand corner.

The former Porto manager Mourinho probably couldn’t believe what was unfolding out on the pitch in front of him. Bradford were starting to defend deeper were ushered forward by their manager Phil Parkinson. Eden Hazard came on for The Blues as they tried to avoid an FA Cup replay, which is the last thing you want to see as Bradford player. With pace to burn and with plenty of ‘trickery’ Chelsea were hoping Hazard could be the man to save them from FA Cup embarrassment.

Bradford who hadn’t made any substitutions, at this point would have been understandably tired. The West Yorkshire side battled hard and were well worthy of the replay for their sheer endeavour alone. The Bantams made their first substitution 10 minutes from the end, the change inadvertently paid dividends as Bradford went in front!

Jon Stead who scored the first goal, this time turned provider for Andy Halliday who smashed an unstoppable effort into to the top right corner to send the 6,000 Bradford fans behind Petr Cech’s goal into raptures!

The League One side, who would have been content with an FA Cup replay before the start of the game, were on the brink of a famous FA Cup – and another ‘giant killing’ . Chelsea from not wanting a replay, were now desperately searching for the equaliser which would have saw this game go to a replay at Valley Parade.

As Chelsea were pushing forward, they left themselves open to the counter attack – and that’s what duly happened. Mark Yeates who came on as a sub, placed his effort into the bottom right corner to kill of this FA Cup tie once and for all with a fourth.

This defeat was only the second at home for Jose Mourinho, an impressive feat for Bradford City. It’s onwards and upwards from here on in for the mighty Bantams! Who will no doubt fear no one in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Chelsea Vs Bradford Match Preview

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson takes his Bradford side to Premeir League Leaders Chelsea, in what should be a finically rewarding game for the Bantams.

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson takes his Bradford side to Premier League Leaders Chelsea, in what should be a financially rewarding game for the Bantams.

Bradford resume their quest for another cup final day – but this time the challenge can’t be much tougher for the Bantams. The League One side who will be in FA Cup fourth round action this Saturday, will take on Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues do post a good record in this tournament of late. The West London side will be hoping to add to their four FA Cup trophies in the last eight seasons – but the visit of Bradford will provide a tougher test than people may think.

The West Yorkshire side have been in good form of late in League One as they went 10 games unbeaten in League One. Bradford’s results in their last few games however have been disappointing – and they have lost two of their last three games. Despite those two defeats Bradford are in a respectable fifth position – but are sweating over their play off place with those defeats, which has allowed rival teams to close the gap.

The game against Chelsea could prove a welcome distraction however. The Bantams who enjoyed a memorable League Cup campaign in 2013 where they reached the final, will most definitely have their work cut out in this game.

The Blues who will be at home for this fourth round tie, will be expected to win – which sometimes can be an added pressure with in itself. Chelsea who have arguably the best side in the Premier League, are five points clear of their nearest rivals Manchester City. The West London club did lose some points over the Christmas period – but have bounced back superbly as the Blues look for glory on all fronts at home and in Europe.

If you were to analyse this game on the outside, one would most definitely say that this game will end in a Chelsea win -but strange things happen in the FA Cup, that’s what makes the cup so great! Watford although 3-0 losers, did compete bravely with Chelsea in round three.

Manchester United have been held at then Conference side Exeter at Old Trafford in the past so the outcome of this fourth round tie between Chelsea and Bradford isn’t a forgone conclusion. Let’s not forget Bradford do have previous in beating Premier League sides as Aston Villa and more notably Arsenal have succumbed to Bradford City in the League Cup. So you can’t really say anytime is safe from a ‘giant killing’ isn’t that right Manchester United fans?

This match is different though right? I mean Jose ‘the special one’ Mourinho is the manager of Chelsea let’s not forget – but that in itself doesn’t guarantee success surely. It’s 11 men Vs 10 and Eden Hazard (just joking Chelsea fans) so surely it’s an equal playing field, both teams chase a round ball and aim to put that ball in the goal more than the other.

If it only it was that simple. Chelsea many feel (yours truly included), have an abundance of talent at their disposal. The Blues boast of attacking talent such as Willian, Oscar, Fabregas and some bloke called Costa isn’t that bad either – and I am not talking about the fella who run owns coffee chain here.

The 26 year old Diego Costa who was signed from Ateltico Madrid this summer has been nothing short of sensational. The former Ateltico striker has scored 17 goals this year, that was more than Samuel Etoo, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba scored in the entire season- enough said.

Bradford on the other hand might not have the super stars, like their premier league counterparts – but they don’t lack in team spirit. The Bantams showed already in this years FA Cup that they can compete against higher competition after impressively sweeping Millwall aside 4-0 in the last round.

The Bantams as we know can boast that they have beaten premier league opposition in the past, Arsenal and Aston Villa fans won’t need reminding of that . As for Chelsea however, I think that they will not be the next premier league scalp for Bradford I am afraid.

This is Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea we’re talking about. The Portuguese manager always knows how to tactically out think an opponent it seems. This Chelsea side as much as they have been praised for their brilliant football, can play with ‘their sleeves rolled up’ and get ‘stuck in’ I feel they will have to on Saturday.

If I was a betting man I would go for a 2-0 Chelsea win with Oscar scoring in the 25th minute and Costa doubling the lead in the 83rd minute. That’s not an invitation to go to William Hill by the way. If Bradford do lose like many expect them to, it would be far from a tragedy. FA Cup produces good ‘pay days’ for the so called smaller clubs – and Bradford will benefit from that no doubt.

More money would hopefully mean more playing talent, which would help Bradford to get to the next level, no Bradford fan wouldn’t want that.

Yeovil Vs Bradford Match Report

 Yeovil striker Gozie Ugwu scored on his debut as Yeovil beat Bradford, which could potentially damage the Bantams' play off hopes.

Yeovil striker Gozie Ugwu scored on his debut as Yeovil beat Bradford, which could potentially damage the Bantams’ play off hopes.

Gozie Ugwu the only goal, which gave League One strugglers Yeovil a priceless win against Bradford, which dents their play off hopes.

The home side Yeovil are struggling in League One and find themselves in the relegation zone coming into this one. New signings Gozie Ugwu and Jamar Loza started in a new looking strike force for the home side as the Glovers look to boost their firepower in their quest for survival.

Visitors Bradford came into this one looking to get back to winning ways after losing to Rochdale last time out.Jordan Pickford is available after the goalkeepers red card against Rochdale, the extremely influential Billy Clarke is still out.

Bradford who needed to win this game, seemed to be a bit hungover from the brilliant midweek performance against Millwall – and never were really in this one. The home side who had plenty of endeavour throughout this contest, deservedly went ahead.

Debutant Gozie Ugwu grabbed the goal when he headed in Keiffer Moore’s flick home, that goal was just Yeovil’s sixth at home. The visitors knew they needed something from this game in their quest to maintain their play off push – but the visitors looked flat in this one and never looked like scoring.

The only real chance of note came to James Hanson, but the Bradford man couldn’t keep his header down after Moore’s initial error. In a desperate search to get something from the game, Bradford boss Phil Parkinson made a double substitution – but to to no avail. The Glovers hung on for a priceless win as they look to kick start a winning run to get themselves out of relegation trouble.

For visitors Bradford, this is a disappointing defeat. This is a second league defeat in a row for the Bantams, which isn’t ideal as they try to maintain their playoff push – but on a brighter and more positive note, the other sides around Bradford such as Preston, Sheffield United and Chesterfield all dropped points.

It could be argued then that this was the best day to have a off day – but the Bantams will no doubt be desperate to regain a winning run in League one. First though the West Yorkshire side have the small task of facing Premier League giants Chelsea in the FA Cup fourth round, well that should be easy then.

Bradford Vs Millwall Third Round Replay Match Report

Bradford manager was sent to the stands against Millwall - but that made little difference as Bradford won comfortablt 4-0.

Bradford manager Phil Parkinson was sent to the stands against Millwall – but that made little difference as Bradford won comfortably 4-0.

Bradford bounced back from the disappointing defeat by Rochdale on the weekend, with an emphatic win FA Cup win over Championship side Millwall, who were reduced to 10 men.

With a chance to meet Chelsea in the next round in what will surely be a money spinning tie, little motivation was needed you would have thought to win this one.

The home side Bradford who lost their 10 match unbeaten run over the weekend against play off rivals Rochdale, came into this match with Ben Williams in goal after Jordan Pickford’s red card at the weekend. Billy Knott who has been in good form for the Bantams of late also starts.

As for the visitors Millwall who lost to fellow strugglers Blackpool over the weekend, They would have been looking of the FA Cup as a way of escaping their disappointing league form. The South Londoners had Scott McDonald who set up two of the three goals in the first tie, on the bench – but his strike partner of the first tie, Ricardo Fuller starts.

With a glamour tie against Chelsea at stake it was the home side Bradford who came out of the blocks quicker. Millwall’s Mark Beevers received an early red card for preventing a clear goal scoring opportunity as the last man. If The Lions’ task wasn’t already difficult, playing against a noisy home crowd, the red card made it even more difficult.

After the dismissal of Beevers, Bradford took to the lead through a corner almost immediately. James Hanson was the man to open the scoring in the seventh minute, in what would turn out to be a goal fest for the home side . Millwall who were a goal down and a man down were poor throughout the contest, and it was of little surprise that John Stead grabbed Bradford’s second.

Two goals down and the game seeming out of Millwall’s reach lead to emotions boiling over, Millwall skipper Andy Dunne’s foul lead to a melee which lead Bradford manager Phil Parkinson being sent to the stands.

The dismissal of their manager made little difference to Bradford as the Championship side again struggled to deal with a set piece, and Stead was on hand to tuck the ball home to put Bradford firmly in control after 17 minutes.

Millwall never looked likely to get back into this one and it was of little surprise when the third goal came for the home side after 38 minutes. Andy Halliday was the man this time to benefit from yet more woeful Millwall defending.

The visitors 3-0 down and a man down would have been desperate for half time, when halftime did eventually come – to Millwall’s relief their was no further damage done to the scoreline. Millwall were still just as poor after the break and Billy Knott capped the win by adding a fourth for the Bantams. The only surprise in this game that there wasn’t more goals to the home side. The poor performance by Millwall, lead their chairmen after the game to say that all tickets will be refunded.

A very impressive victory for Bradford who now face Premier League giants Chelsea in the fourth round. The Bantams were brilliant as much as Millwall were poor – but Bradford have nothing to lose and a lot to gain as surely a good pay day awaits.

Bradford Vs Rochdale Match Report

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson saw his sides 10 match unbeaten run come to an end against Rochdale on Saturday. The Bantams boss will be hoping this set back will help them to an FA Cup third round replay win against Millwall.

Bradford boss Phil Parkinson saw his sides 10 match unbeaten run come to an end against Rochdale on Saturday. The Bantams boss will be hoping this set back will help them to an FA Cup third round replay win against Millwall.

Rochdale sub Calvin Andrew struck late to break 10 man Bradford’s hearts and end their 10 match unbeaten run in the process, which damaged their play off hopes – and re ignited Rochdale’s.

Bradford came into this game looking to build on their recent good form which has seen them move into the play off places into fifth. Bradford had keeper Jordan Pickford available and the Bantams keeper came in for Ben Williams for this game, star midfielder Billy Clarke is still unavailable and missed this match as the Yorkshire side came into this match looking to consolidate their place in the play offs.

The visitors after suffering back to back defeats were looking to get back to winning ways and force themselves back into play off contention. After starting Rochdale’s last game, Michael Rose started on the bench for the away trip to Valley Parade while Stephen Dawson starts as Rochdale looked to address their mini slump.

Bradford had the worst start possible, and lost goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to an 11th minute red card. Rochdale’s Matt Done drew a foul from Pickford in the penalty area which left the referee no option but to point to the spot and send the Bradford keeper off for a professional foul. The visitors missed the chance from the resulting penalty as Ian Henderson’s effort hit the bar – but Peter Vincenti made no mistake from the rebound as Rochdale went a goal up.

The home side who were a goal down and a man down – but refused to give up and levelled through former Huddersfield striker John Stead. Billy Knott who has been in and amongst the goals of late, this time turned provider by setting up Stead who had a tap in to make the game all square at 1-1.

Bradford after overcoming the disappointment of losing an early goal and a player, got more of a foothold in the game and looked the more likely to score the next goal -but the man disadvantage was always going to leave The Bantams always looked vulnerable to the ‘sucker punch’ – and the ‘sucker punch’ duly came.

Just when the game seemed destined for a draw, which in the circumstances wouldn’t have been the worst result for Bradford, Rochdale through Calvin Andrew snatched a dramatic late winner which the visitors hope will reignite their play off push.

Despite losing this match which ended their 10 game unbeaten, Bradford remain fifth – but the chasing pack below them, which includes Rochdale have closed the gap on the Yorkshire side. Rochdale are now only two points behind The Bantams in eighth. Sixth place Sheffield United also took advantage of their play off rivals defeat and are now only a point behind Bradford – but have played a game less than their Yorkshire rivals.

Phil Parkinson will need to pick up his Bradford side for the midweek FA Cup replay with Millwall – but with a chance to face Chelsea in the fourth round I doubt there is much motivation needed.