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Live blog: Bradford City v Oxford United
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Bradford City 1 Oxford United 2
A late penalty condemned City to their third defeat in four league games – and they could have absolutely no complaints.
Oxford dominated at Valley Parade and were well worth their fourth win on the bounce. City never got out the traps.
Nahki Wells put the Bantams on the way after 15 minutes as he took full advantage of a defensive mix-up.
Former Leeds centre half Michael Duberry nodded the ball past his own keeper. It was going wide but Wells showed his pace to get there in time and divert home his 17th goal of the campaign.
But City’s joy evaporated within three minutes as Oxford levelled with a superb strike from Sean Rigg, blasting past Matt Duke from just outside the box.
Oxford looked lively and Duke denied them a second before half-time with a fine tip-over from Alfie Potter.
Duke saved again from Lewis Montrose after Rory McArdle was too casual in possession. And Carl McHugh came to the rescue on the line when Duke parried a Potter header.
City escaped again when Rigg’s header from a corner was tipped on to the underside of the bar.
But Oxford remained the better team and got their reward in the 89th minute. Stephen Darby tripped Potter in the box and Peter Leven smashed home the penalty.
Final whistle sounds and Oxford are worthy winners.
So we can beat Wigan, Arsenal & Villa but not Rochdale, Barnet & Oxford...We're definitely in the wrong division! #bcafc— @susiebantam 12 January 2013
Twelve cup matches for #bcafc this season. One win in the league after those games— @twobeersoneleg 12 January 2013
McHugh has ball in the Oxford net but the flag was up for offside.
Leven scores, roof of the net. 2-1 to Oxford
Oxford penalty as Darby penalised for foul on Potter.
And it's a yellow card for the pair of them.
It's going off between them again and the referee's heading that way.
Duberry and Connell having a bit of handbags as the Oxford defender refuses to throw the ball back for a City free-kick.
Crowd crank up the volume briefly, eight minutes left of normal time.
Connell for Wells #interesting #unexpected #bcafc— @Ianhirst666 12 January 2013
Final City substitution. Connell coming on for Wells to a few boos from crowd at losing the top scorer.
Jones kick goes to the far post but McHugh unable to keep it in play.
Another City corner.
It's too deep from Jones and Oxford blast the ball away. No attacking threat from the home side at all.
Wells pounces on slip by Batt to win a City corner. Need to do something to change the momentum.
Montrose lets fly from 30 yards but ball sails into TL Dallas Stand.
I'm terrified Oxford are going to score again #BCAFC— @itsgettinglate 12 January 2013
Crowd beginning to grow frustrated as City struggle to get into game.
Been outplayed yet again. When Hanson doesn't play, we're awful. Fact. #bcafc— @LukeGBantam 12 January 2013
Rigg meets it with header which Duke tips on to underside of bar. Another escape for City there.
Handball shout against Richards ignored and Oxford have another corner.
Long throw by Dickson into six-yard box is missed by Gray but he's penalised for a push.
Double sub after 63 minutes, Reid and Turgott for Atkinson and Hines. All change on the wing
Duke saves again to keep out Davis. Turgott and Reid ready to come on for City who need to impose themselves on the contest.
gimme some Kyel Reid #bcafc— @itsgettinglate 12 January 2013
McHugh athletically hooks off the line after Duke saves Potter header from Batt cross.
The Valley Parade crowd is 10,087 with 260 away fans.
Oxford gaining the upper hand again.
McArdle too casual in possession and his clearance is charged down by Montrose, whose shot is turned behind for corner by Duke.
RT @KathCox2: Rest of team need to remember that Gray isn't Hanson and play to feet not head!Not Gray's fault he's not 10 foot tall!! #bcafc— @brucebantam 12 January 2013
Dangerous break from Oxford again down their left but Doyle deals with low cross.
Hines tries his luck but ball flies into the Kop
Brighter football from City, Hines looks lively and wins corner as shot is blocked.
Richards shapes to shoot but McHugh in with timely challenge.
No changes for the second half.
Half-time and City have got their hands full against a lively side who have not come north for a draw. Matt Duke earning his corn again just like Tuesday.
Oxford corner comes to nothing but City are grateful for Duke.
Leven carves through City with brilliant jinking run. Ball breaks to Potter and Duke makes another important save at the near post.
Jones takes it but Raynes heads out of penalty area and Dickson fluffs his follow-up shot.
Hines a bit lucky to earn a free-kick for City but it's in a good position.
Atkinson lets fly from 20 yards but flies over bar.
Jeremy Simpson is no Howard Webb. Fear the ref could have a major say in this game.
Leven takes it and Duke fists away two-handed for an Oxford corner.
Game getting feisty as Oxford win another free-kick 25 yards out.
Jones booked for foul on Montrose.
Duberry clears straight to Jones who tries his luck from 25 yards. Brown catches it above his head and City's claims that he stepped back over the line are ignored.
Rigg, who looks Oxford's main threat, runs diagonally towards City box but his efforts are wasted by awful cross from Davis.
Great determination from Jones earns free-kick for City. Hines cross is cleared from six-yard box by Duberry.
As the drum beats, Jones's kick is cleared away.
Wells wins City's first corner of the game.
Yellow card for Montrose for foul on Doyle.
Just as I was looking to see where Well's goal had placed us in the table . . . #bcafc— @McWilly114 12 January 2013
Oxford look a threat down the left side and Hines have to do lot of tackling back, hardly his preferred game.
That lasted long. 1-1. #bcafc— @Chapalar 12 January 2013
Can't argue with the scoreline really.
And Oxford are level with stunning strike from Sean Rigg from just outside the box. Duke had no chance 1-1
Oxford had started the game well but that won't do their confidence any good.
Comedy defending from Oxford as Duberry and Brown get in a mess and the centre half heads ball past his own keeper. Wells follows it in and taps home from angle.
1-0 to City as Wells nets his 17th goal of the season.
Ball bobbling up on hard pitch.
Thumping header by fan behind the City dug-out to nod the ball back into play!
Nice skills by Wells to create room for cross but Duberry clears.
Good save from Duke to tip over from Rigg. Great run by Davis set him up.
Rory McArdle has got his own chant! City's marathon man certainly earned it.
City kicking off towards the Bradford End.
Remember Andy Gray's last goal for City? It was a late penalty in a dreadful FA Cup home defeat to a Luton side two divisions below. Bryan Robson was the very angry manager at the time...
Luke O'Brien's name gets applauded by City fans.
Just seen Alan Knill and Chris Hutchings outside t'stand #bcafc— @sexyandmoody 12 January 2013
Good luck to @Ryandickson23 making his debut for Bradford today. He will tear League 2 up with ease! #SaintsFC #BCAFC— @danbsfc 12 January 2013
COME ON CITY #bcafc— @dan_yeadon 12 January 2013
Andy Gray will wear the number ten vacated by Ross Hannah. Had been lined up for 22 originally.
I hope Andy Gray does well today for his second debut #bcafc— @KezzyB123 12 January 2013
gray and wells upfront #frightening #deadly #BCAFC #CTID #IPWT— @RobHutchy 12 January 2013
Expect Oxford to line up in a 3-4-3 formation.
Luke O'Brien is on the bench for his return to Valley Parade.
Oxford boss Chris Wilder, another former Bantam, makes six changes from their midweek penalties defeat to Southend in the JPT.
Midfielder Lewis Montrose, on loan from Gillingham, makes his league debut.
Oxford are unbeaten in the league since mid-November and have won their last three - two of them on the road.
OXFORD: Brown, Raynes, Duberry, Wright, Batt, Montrose, Leven, Davis, Potter, Richards, Rigg. Subs: Heslop, Capaldi, Worley, O'Brien, Parker, Craddock, Crocombe.
Andy Gray is handed an immediate debut for City after signing an 18-month deal on Wednesday.
The former Bantam, who left Valley Parade in 2004, takes over up from James Hanson. He misses out altogether to rest an injured toe.
The other change sees on-loan Southampton left back Ryan Dickson make his first appearance. He has joined until the end of the season.
CITY: Duke, Darby, McArdle, McHugh, Dickson, Hines, Doyle, G Jones, Atkinson, Wells, Gray. Subs: Reid, Ravenhill, Connell, Good, Turgott, R Jones, McLaughlin.
Garry Thompson underwent a pre-match fitness test on the pitch with physio Matt Barrass.