Bradford

The Bearded Captain Here With A Few Words

15055795_1170372786382171_7707986193791229281_n

Alhamdulillah, this is an example of bearded magnificence

Hello, greetings from your Bearded Captain. Before I was appointed (or self-appointed) as The Bearded Captain, life was very sad *sad face*. I before my new fancy title was known as Ayyaz Malik, a man who was epic, but didn’t believe the hype of his own magnificence with a beard, hence why I didn’t have one.

I have grown up to become quite the man alhamdulillah and with The All Mighty’s help, quite the beard too. Big,thick and with ginger strands …. ladies please I am reserved for the special one.

Sorry to be such the heartthrob and heartbreaker, but it’s the perils of having facial hair I guess. Just a polite note to you fellas who might be reading this post, please note you can be just as magnificent as me (alhamdulillah).

It’s not really a secret, nope nothing like the Colonel’s secret in what he puts in the KFC chicken scale of secret, no sir ….. not at all! This young man is something quite simple, grow a beard!

I can’t, I hear some of you say – No, don’t worry at least don’t use the razor, this is for “women”. A man’s face is magnificent (Allah Huma Barik) of course it is, it’s created by the all mighty, let nature take its path.

Fella’s let me let you into the magic of growing some “facial fur”. It keeps you warm, it’s like a napkin (it catches your food) and most obviously it makes you a babe magnet. Another thing, you can have the chance of an extra 15-20 minutes lie in because you’re not shaving, o yes!

So let me tell you of my journey in growing a beard, it was nothing too special, but something I feel I should share. It was a cold miserable night and my stubble was a week old. Fed up of the teppie Jaw Lines and looking like “Shaz or Immy” from Bradford, I felt “Na Bro” I’m a banda innit.

Not liking shaving from the start, I said “sod this” enough is enough! It’s time to grow up and embrace the inner man. Scared how people will react, I threw caution to the wind and morphed into this magnificent specimen that is me (Ayyaz Malik ,The Bearded Captain).

All my life, I was shy in front of the boys and girls, but with my new found friend (my beard) I had to readjust my mindset and deal with the newly found female attention. They would laugh and giggle, I felt like a rock star – except I don’t do the sex, drugs + rock and roll.

To couple with my beard, my humour grew on people too …. it was like my beard mesmerised people and made them up for a laugh. Everything I touched turned to gold, Alhamdulillah.

It can be distracting to fend off so many people who love you coz of your new found fame (your beard), but it’s good for the “man pride”. Ladies if you’re jealous of the man fur, I am afraid you can’t grow it like we can, although some try their best.

The Bearded Captain leaves you with this last piece of advice. Growing a beard teaches you a few life skills. How to be awesome, magnificent and most of all patient (for the married men, due to praying women being mesmerised by the handsomeness of your face mashaaAllah).

My beard and I love you and leave you, bearded fellas don’t forget your comb. The comb is your new life long companion! It’s over and out from The Bearded Captain.

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.

FA Cup Fourth Round Review

The draw for the fourth tie has thrown up some potential 'glamour ties' such as Chelsea Vs Bradford. The Bantams will have to overcome Millwall in a third round replay  after drawing against the South London side at the New Den.

The draw for the fourth tie has thrown up some potential ‘glamour ties’ such as Chelsea Vs Bradford. The Bantams will have to overcome Millwall in a third round replay first after drawing against the South London side at the New Den.

The draw for the FA cup fourth round was announced on Monday 5th January – and there are some real exciting ties for the lower leagues clubs such as our very own Bradford City and Cambridge United. The Bantams who were involved in an epic 3-3 draw against Millwall on Saturday 3rd January will have to replay their third tie at Valley Parade – but if they win their replay, premier league giants and current league leaders Chelsea await in a potential money spinning tie at Stamford Bridge. The Blues overcame a stubborn Watford side in round three but it was only until a brilliant strike from Willian which allowed the early shackles to be broken in what turned out to be a comfortable win the end.

League Two outfit Cambridge who are the lowest ranked team in the tournament have been rewarded for beating League Two rivals Luton and will face 11 times winners Manchester United at home, in what will be the biggest game in the East Anglian sides history . As for United, they left it late to defeat League One outfit Yeovil in round three to book their place in round four.

Holders Arsenal who easily swept aside last years finalists Hull in round three in what was a repeat of last years final, will face Brighton in round four . Championship side Brighton who are now managed by former Tottenham assistant Chris Hughton defeated Championship high flyers Brentford 2-0 to set up one of the biggest home games in the Seagulls’ recent history.

Eighteen time English champions Liverpool overcame a ‘banana skin’ tie against AFC Wimbledon to progress to round four, which was largely down to ‘captain marvel’ Steven Gerrard who grabbed a brace as Liverpool edged this one 2-1. It’s such a shame that the Liverpool skipper will be leaving for LA Galaxy come the end of the season, the Reds have a home time against Championship side Bolton who have seen a resurgence under new boss Neil Lennon. The Reds will be hoping for an easier tie in round four – but Neil Lennon’s Trotters will be no pushovers.

Manchester City who were winners of the FA cup in 2011 face another Championship side in Aitor Karanka’s high flying Middlesborough in round four. The Blues just about overcame a plucky Sheffield Wednesday in injury time in round three to set up this tie with the North East club in round four. As for Middlesborough they safely booked their place in round four with a comfortable 2-0 away against Barnsley.

Fellow Championship high flyers Bournemouth take on premier league strugglers Aston Villa, a potential giant killing is definitely on the cards here. The South coast side who currently top the championship and who also have the best attack in all four English divisions, impressively dispatched of Championship rivals Rotherham in what was a brilliant away performance in round three with a 5-1 mauling . Villa in contrast narrowly edged out Championship strugglers Blackpool 1-0 in round three. The fourth round ties will be played on the 24th and 25th January.

The full draw for the FA cup Fourth Round:

Cambridge United Vs Manchester United
Chelsea Vs Millwall or Bradford City
Preston NE VS Sheffield United
Aston Villa VS AFC Bournemouth
Liverpool VS Bolton
Brighton & HA VS Arsenal
Sunderland VS Fulham or Wolves
Manchester City VS Middlesborough
Rochdale VS Stoke City
Derby County VS Scunthorpe or Chesterfield
Cardiff City Vs Reading
Birmingham City VS West Brom
Blackburn Rovers VS Swansea City
Burnley or Tottenham VS Leicester City
Doncaster Rovers or Bristol City VS Everton or West Ham

Milwall Vs Bradford FA Cup Third Round Match Report

Ricardo Fuller starred for Millwall by scoring twice in an exciting 3-3 draw against Bradford in the third round of the FA cup.

Ricardo Fuller starred for Millwall by scoring twice in an exciting 3-3 draw against Bradford in the third round of the FA cup.

Bradford came into this third round FA cup match against Millwall on the back of impressive league form. The Bantams came into this match with a nine game unbeaten run in all competitions – and the visitors were looking to carry on their recent good form which has taken them to fifth in League One.

Championship side Millwall on the other hand have been struggling in the championship this year and find themselves in the relegation zone after two wins in 19 games. The Lions were hoping this game would help them take their minds of their struggles in the league. The South London club will be hoping to repeat their heroics of 2004 where they got all the way to the final of the FA cup only to lose to 10 time FA cup winners Manchester United at the Millennium stadium in Wales .

The home side included experienced duo Ricardo Fuller and Scott McDonald in their side for this FA cup tie, as for Bradford they had to again do with out star man Billy Clarke and in goal Ben Williams came in for Jordan Pickford.

For Millwall this was their first game in the competition and as for Bradford they were looking to carry on their momentum from the last round after impressively sweeping Dartford aside 4-0 at Valley Parade in round two.

As for the match itself the visitors started on the front foot, and duly took the lead against their championship hosts. Bradford took full advantage of Millwall’s lack of confidence and took an early lead in the sixth minute. Billy Knott who has been in good goal scoring form of late, opened the scoring with a powerful shot from Alan Sheehan’s corner to give the visitors a deserved lead.

Millwall did slowly get back into this game however and had a Ricardo Fuller goal disallowed on 15 minutes after centre back Danny Shittu was flagged offside. The disappointment of that ruled out goal was short lived , Scott McDonald once of Celtic and Middlesborough grabbed an equaliser with a diving header for The Lions to ensure that the home side went in at the break on level terms. This match burst into the life in the second as four goals were scored in what turned out to be a fantastic cup tie.

After overcoming the shock of falling behind, Millwall went ahead for the first time in the match through veteran striker Ricardo Fuller who converted strike partner McDonald’s cross to make the score 2-1 to the hosts .At 2-1 the game never looked safe for the home side, and so it proved as the visitors did equalise in rather fortuitous circumstances. James Hanson’s shot was deflected on to the bar and off the unlucky Sid Nelson into the Millwall which levelled the scores again at 2-2.

The drama was far from over in a classic FA cup encounter, Bradford who refused to lie down throughout took the lead for a second time in this game. Billy Knott who has been a crucial player to Bradford in recent weeks, grabbed his second of the game by placing Filipe Morais’ cross into the far top corner with a brilliantly controlled volley to leave the score at 3-2 to the visitors.

With 14 minutes left on the clock , Bradford must have been daring to believe of an FA cup upset – but in a see-saw encounter Millwall gabbed another equaliser. Substitute Magaye Gueye went on a surging run and finished his run by teeing up Fuller who cooly placed his effort in the bottom corner to break Bradford hearts and level the scores at 3-3.

This cup tie was nothing short of sensational, this FA cup tie was very open with both sides having 50% possession and having 32 shots between them. There was time for Gueye to win it for the hosts – but Ben Williams saved the former Everton mans volley.

A defeat would have been harsh on visitors Bradford who had 14 shots on goal, who more than held their own against a higher league opposition.

Nothing could separate these two sides in a classic FA cup tie as the match itself finished all square. These two teams will have to do it all again at Valley Parade in a third round replay.

Bradford Vs Notts County Match Report

 Billy Clarke who has been a key player for Bradford in recent weeks hasn't been able to play over the festive period - but the Bantams still boast a perfect record over christmas.

Billy Clarke who has been a key player for Bradford in recent weeks hasn’t been able to play over the festive period – but the Bantams still boast a perfect record over christmas.

Bradford went into this game on the back of a eight game unbeaten run. The Boxing day win over Fleetwood saw the Bantams move into the top five, the Yorkshire club went into this game looking for another win which would see them consolidate a position in the top five.

As for the visitors Notts County they were looking for a positive result so they could alive their own hopes of a play off place. Notts manager Shaun Derry will be hoping his side carry on their good form who boast an unbeaten away record in League One.

The Bantams had to do with out Billy Clarke who also missed the win over Fleetwood on boxing day.

The visitors Notts County saw an effort come off the post through Jack Cassidy as the Magpies started strongly. Bradford did slowly get back into the game and went close through Andy Halliday and Billy Knott to taking the lead.

The home side would take the lead however through Billy Knott on 41 minutes. A defensive mix up allowed Halliday in behind and cut back for Knott who made no mistake to slot home for what turned out to be the games winner.

The visitors Notts County were unable to get on the scoresheet and back into the game, that was much down to the brilliant organisation of Bradford. The Bantams did have further chances to add gloss to the score line – but James Hanson and Francois Zoko missed those chances as Bradford held on for another win which consolidates their position in fifth.