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Live blog: Walsall v Bantams
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WALSALL 0 BRADFORD CITY 2
A goal of the season contender from Kyel Reid fired City towards another impressive win this afternoon.
Picking the ball up from the halfway line, the winger let rip with a 30-yarder that exploded into the top corner right on half-time.
And James Hanson struck two minutes into the second half to clinch a third successive victory for the rampant Bantams.
Having beaten Wolves and held Leyton Orient, the trip to Walsall promised to be a serious test of City’s League One credentials. They passed it with flying colours.
Reid fired into the side-netting before Jon McLaughlin saved well from Sam Mantom.
Mark Yeates, in for the crocked Nahki Wells, was denied at close range before Reid’s rocket sent the heaving away end wild.
Hanson then latched on to Rory McArdle’s long ball to drill the second and City were in command.
Walsall improved after a triple substitution and should have pulled one back when Paul Downing missed from five yards.
But this was a mightily impressive result and performance from the Bantams – and don’t miss the first goal on the highlights.
That's it, three more points in the bag!!!!
Very lenient ref given no bookings.
Davies screams as he gets caught late on the right arm.
Chance to eat up some clock as Jones takes ball over halfway. Thompson tries to break down right but gives away foul in a tumble.
Still finds time to give the away end a wave on request...
Be strong is the shout from Parkinson to his back four. Job not done quite yet
Walsall have men in the box but Taylor's cross flies over the City bar.
The main stand emptying fast but there's still five minutes of added time to go.
Folan on the burst and dinks ball back but Jones can't get there.
Reid subbed to a huge ovation. On comes De Vita.
Late pressure from Walsall wins another corner. McLaughlin stretches to finger it away.
Good save from McLaughlin to beat away drive from left back Taylor.
Well deserved rousing chorus of the Co-op song as Hanson comes off. Folan's first outing as a Bradford City player with eight minutes to go.
Folan stripped and ready, presumably replacing Hanson.
Baxendale leaves Davies on the floor and his cross is fired over by Hemmings. Some concern from the City bench
Kennedy comes on for his first City appearance in the league. Yeates gone off.
City ready to make their first change. Kennedy ready for action to bolster the midfield.
Hanson back on and game continues.
Teams take a drinks break as Hanson receives attention
Hanson down. Folan sent out to warm up....
Fierce volley across goal by Hemmings. Substitutions have livened up the home side.
Crowd is 5,364 with 1,359 City fans
City defending in numbers and Darby thumps clear. Ball comes straight back for Westcarr to volley across goal and Downing somehow misses from five yards. Big let-off that...
And another ...
Corner for Walsall and home fans come to life.
Looks like home side going to 4-2-3-1 with Sawyers in free role behind Westcarr up front.
Walsall making all three subs. Baxendale replaces Hewitt, Hemmings for Featherstone and Sawyers on for Lalkovic, 61 min
The ole's have started as City enjoy good spell of possession.
Davies takes no chance by thumping ball out the ground...
Sounds like a City home game at the moment. Silence from rest of ground.
Mantom having all the Walsall shots. He has another go but McLaughlin gets everything behind it.
"You're just a (not very good) Kyel Reid" is the City taunt at Craig Westcarr.
Remember Westcarr turned down City once saying he could do better...
Tame shot wide from Mantom. Walsall look very ragged
Away end having a party. Test of concentration now for team to see game through - as ball flies inches over my head from Davies clearance!!
Just gets better for City....
2-0 to CITY! McArdle ball over the top and HANSON beats the offside trap to drill shot past O'Donnell at near post.
RT @ParkerTandA: And another of Garry Thompson .... #bcafc http://t.co/RojCYJyyoB— @thecitygent 05 October 2013
No changes as second half underway.
RT @ParkerTandA: Action pic from #bcafc man of moment Kyel Reid from @Bradford_TandA snapper Mike Simmonds... http://t.co/BwV4TgxKqs— @bantamsbanter 05 October 2013
And that's half-time. What a way to finish the half as the away end booms out Reidy, Reidy...
One minute of added time to play as the stadium tries to catch their breath.
1-0 CITY and what a goal!!!! REID picks up possession from halfway line, carries it forward and then unleashes from 30 yards. It flies past O'Donnell into the roof of the net.
Yeates shot blocked by defender to take sting out of it.
Butler concedes another corner under pressure from Davies. City finishing half strongly.
Reid's trickery leaves Chambers on his backside but his cross is flicked away by Downing.
Good battle going on between Hanson and Butler. Got it about level at the moment
Hanson drills ball across the goalmouth but nobody in there.
Chance for Yeates as Hanson manages to keep ball alive on the byline. Irishman follows up but shot blocked by Butler from close range.
Yeates corner headed straight back to him and the follow-up cross doesn't beat the first defender.
Hanson does well to win a second City corner.
Cleared as far as Mantom on the edge of the box but Doyle blocks his shot.
Darby concedes corner under pressure.
Thompson stabs wide from 20 yards after Meredith sparks counter-attack with 50-yard run.
Good approach work from Walsall being let down by poor final ball.
McArdle goal-bound header deflected wide but the flag is up for offside not a City corner. Slightly bizarre
Reid caught from behind by James Chambers. Obvious booking - unless you're Eddie Ilderton.
Spell of Walsall pressure seen off. Downing should have done better with header from corner
Great movement from Walsall as Westcarr tees up Mantom for 25 yarder. McLaughlin flies to his left to turn behind...
Great skill from Thompson to combine well with Hanson. Fouled by Taylor near corner flag but ref gives goal kick.
Walsall starting to get going in midfield now. No problems for the visitors as yet
Mantom cuts in from left to try low effort which McLaughlin saves at his near post.
It's all gone quiet for a minute.
Mistake from Yeates puts City under pressure for first time. Westcarr feeds Hewitt but he screws low shot well wide.
Thompson heads on for Yeates to combine with Hanson edge of the Walsall box but home defence hold firm.
Shot from Yeates at other end is straight to O'Donnell.
McLaughlin quickly off his line to slide on Walsal long ball as Hewitt closed in.
Game flying by at frenetic pace. Still no real shape but City will be happy with early stages
Walsall now allowing away fans into corner of second stand. Away end full...
Some fans thought that had crept in near post - O'Donnell was certainly at full stretch diving.
Taylor gets head to Thompson free-kick to nod behind for first corner of game. Huge chorus of Reidy as he takes it short - and gets it back for shot into the side-netting.
Game not found a pattern yet but foul on Reid gives City chance to swing ball into the box.
At least one less City fan here now as police move into away end.
McLaughlin wearing a natty black cap to keep the sun out of his eyes
Tremendous wall of noise coming from one end
Parkinson argues with linesman as McArdle gets shoved over conceding throw-in.
Huge roar accompanies Meredith run forward but Adam Chambers blocks.
Early chance for Yeates to cross but Downing just nicks ball off Hanson's head.
Perhaps they've read the stats about City and second halves...
Interestingly looks like Walsall won the toss and turned the teams round. Would have thought they'd want to attack their own end second half - maybe they just don't want City going towards the travelling army after break?
City will be kicking off towards their packed fans.
And here come the teams....
Great away following! What an atmosphere! #bcafc #wfc #football #away fans @ Banks's Stadium http://t.co/aUYlzSklBa— @MightyGeorge 05 October 2013
"We've got more fans than you" sing the away end. Don't think that's really that hard to be fair...
I'm going 1-0 city Stephen Darby baby with the goal #bcafc— @DStebbings 05 October 2013
Would take a draw today tbh, they have good home form, would love a win though #comeoncity #bcafc— @TomLove_18 05 October 2013
City fans are in good voice already as the team warm up. Not many others here yet though
Strong team even without a certain Mr Wells. 3 points today would be a real statement. #bcafc— @BantamDan_ 05 October 2013
Walsall have kept the same side that drew at Leyton Orient last week.
Skipper Andy Butler was sent off after 17 minutes of that game but the Saddlers got the decision overturned on appeal.
WALSALL: O'Donnell, J Chambers, Butler, Downing, Taylor, Featherstone, Mantom, A Chambers, Westcarr, Lalkovic, Hewitt. Subs: Purkiss, Hemmings, Benning, Baxendale, Sawyers, McQuilkin, Lewis.
As expected, Mark Yeates has earned a recall to City's starting line-up to replace Nahki Wells.
The other change from last week's breathless win over Shrewsbury sees Rory McArdle return at centre half for Luke Oliver.
Gary Jones and Garry Thompson have both overcome their slight injury doubts to play.
New signing Caleb Folan is on the bench - Andy Gray has not travelled.
Jason Kennedy is also names among the subs as Ricky Ravenhill is the man to miss out.
CITY: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Meredith, Thompson, Jones, Doyle, Reid, Yeates, Hanson. Subs: Oliver, Kennedy, Connell, McHugh, Folan, De Vita, Ripley.
Good luck to my boys at Walsall today, 3 points please! #bcafc— @SWhitaker_7 05 October 2013
RT @ParkerTandA: #bcafc have a look at the pitch. Folan here but can't see Andy Gray http://t.co/rGMJOS6VpQ— @chrisbcfc 05 October 2013
Waiting for team confirmation but expect Mark Yeates to get the nod as Nahki Wells' replacement. Rory McArdle should also return in place of Luke Oliver.
While we wait, Phil Parkinson is sat in glorious isolation in the stand making pre-match notes.
Good afternoon and welcome from Walsall as City hit the tenth game of their League One campaign. The Bantams have lost only one so far and are unbeaten in six but face a tough test against the first side to stop runaway leaders Leyton Orient.
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