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FT: City 1 Gillingham 1
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Aaron Mclean opened his City account at the 11th attempt – but they had to settle for a frustrating draw against Peter Taylor’s Gillingham.
Mclean got them off to a flying start when he swept home Adam Drury’s cross in front of the Kop.
For an hour, the Bantams carried on where they left off at Colchester and played some really good stuff.
But for all their control of the game, a second goal eluded them.
Adam Reach was a real handful and hit the top of the bar with one cross – as did Kyle Bennett. James Hanson also had a header well saved.
Gillingham brought on Adebayo Akinfenwa for the second half and the hefty striker made a difference.
He was involved in the build-up to the equaliser, sliding a pass through for Cody McDonald to beat the advancing Jon McLaughlin.
It ensured Taylor got some reward on his first return to Valley Parade since leaving City three years ago.
But for the home side, it was definitely a case of two points dropped.
And that's the final touch as the game finishes all square
Everyone in the Gills half bar McLaughlin... but Jones slips as he shoots and free-kick flies into top tier of the Bradford end
Darby caught in the head by McDonald. Free-kick 30 yards out ...
Time for one last hurrah....??
Fourth official's board says three...
Bennett shoots through the mass of players but Legge blocks
Corner for City and the volume kicks up. Two minutes of normal time left
On he comes as Mclean makes way. Standing ovation for the striker
Thompson about to become City's second sub.
This has been a real 'nearly' game for #bcafc— @bradford_rich 15 March 2014
Mclean down after taking a bang on the head. The teams take the chance for a drinks break
Ten minutes to go and City need to pick it up again. They should have put this game to bed earlier
Bennett switches to left wing and latches on Hanson's header but his radar is off
Fagan getting booed now but he wins a corner
Fagan getting some stick from the Midland Road stand as he complains about a challenge from Drury. Now the Kop join in
Hanson heads it down and Reach volley flashes across goal
Bennett seeing plenty of the ball and he's just won a corner
El Capitan comes on for Dolan, who has had a good game
Jones stripped and ready for action
Time for the captain me thinks #bcafc— @kevrobbo79 15 March 2014
Bennett looks to play Hanson clear with defence-splitting pass but he puts too much on it
Akinfenwa finds room to have a pop from 25 yards out just wide. Ref bizarrely gives Gillingham their first corner
Mclean lets fly once again after Hanson flicks on Darby's long pass. Decent hit but it's always going wide
Suddenly become a little edgy round the place as Gills come more into the game
Chance for Gillingham to pinch the lead but Lee cannot keep his shot down after nipping in between the centre halves. Bit of a let-off there
Another surging run from Reach and his drilled cross is turned over the bar by a stretching Mclean
Gillingham level it up as City pay the price for not converting pressure into a second goal.
Akinfenwa pokes the ball past Darby and McDONALD slides it beyond the advancing McLaughlin.
Crowd today is 13,089 with 226 away fans
Reach cross bounces on top of the bar.
Akinfenwa heads away
And another one the other side...
Early corner for City, Reach again the instigator
Akinfenwa and Lee coming on for Gills. Hessenthaler and Pigott replaced.
Best #bcafc half of football this season. Reach, Dolan and Drury outstanding. Great to see McLean score.— @BCGaz 15 March 2014
Half-time and City good value for their lead...
Just time for Reach to launch a half-volley over the bar...
One additional minute to play
Ironic cheers as the ref gives successive fouls against Legge on Hanson. Stuck to him tighter than a cheap suit
City playing some great football and the fans respond
Crowd furious as Hanson goes down in challenge with Barrett. But ref unmoved by their noisy protests
City press again as Bennett retrieves Reach cross and puts it back into the box. Hanson sets up Doyle for a first-time drive wide
Crowd applaud Mclean for his chasing down as City pin Gillingham in their own half
Hanson gets a lecture from the ref for his challenge on Barrett.
Reach cross just has too much on it for Hanson at the far post
Jones goes for a warm-up run with the City subs and is instantly serenaded by the crowd. He's magic, you know
Corner comes out to Doyle who drills fierce shot into the crowd of bodies in the box.
Reach wins the first corner of the afternoon. City need to turn their pressure into a second - learn the lessons of Stevenage.
Dolan tries a rather ambitious half volley from 30 yards that bounces comfortably wide
Nelson does well to punch a deflected cross from Reach away from danger as Hanson comes powering in
Weston has a try from 30 yards which McLaughlin gathers at second attempt. But City respond straight away and Hanson's header from Bennett's cross is saved by a diving Nelson.
Doyle winning everything in midfield. Hustles possesion back and then supplies Reach for another chance to test Gillingham's defence
Reach shot blocked by Hewitt as City continue to turn the screw
"Taylor give us a wave" they ask now. And get a thumbs up straight back...
"Parky give us a wave" chant the Kop. The manager is quick to oblige
As it stands we're closer to the play-offs than the relegation zone... #bcafc— @BantamDan_ 15 March 2014
Mclean has the ball in the net again but the flag is already up. Chorus of Midland Road booms from behind the Gillingham goal...
Taylor's got his "not happy with that" face on ....
Could/should have been 2-0 as Reach carves way through but screws shot across goal
The goal came from an excellent move. Hanson's flick from McArdle's long ball was picked up by Reach, who laid it wide for Drury. The left back delivered a first-time cross which Mclean swept in from six yards.
City are in front and MCLEAN has got his first goal for the club!
Great run and cross from Bennett and the ball bounces off the top of the bar...
Early excitement as Reach gets into threatening position but his right-foot cross is swept clear
Kop warm up their voices as City prepare to kick off towards them
Taylor getting a good reception from the main stand
And here come the teams
A smattering of Gills fans have made the trip but at least they're having a pre-match sing...
Forgot about Fagan, not worried unless they get a pen! #bcafc— @ChrisHilton83 15 March 2014
Peter Taylor has named another former Bantam in his Gillingham line-up.
Craig Fagan is recalled as the Gills chase a third win on the bounce.
GILLINGHAM: Nelson, Martin, Barrett, Legge, Hewitt, Linganzi, Hessenthaler, Pigott, Weston, McDonald, Fagan, McDonald. Subs: C Davies, Akinfenwa, Dack, Lee, Smith, Harriman, Baxter.
Correct team selection for me. Play like we did Tuesday and we'll batter this lot #bcafc— @nw92 15 March 2014
Common sense #bcafc. Love Jonah but you can't change a winning team.— @aaronbower 15 March 2014
It's confirmed - City have named the same side that beat Colchester.
Gary Jones is back in the squad after his virus but he's on the bench in place of Mark Yeates.
Stephen Darby keeps the captain's armband.
CITY: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Drury, Bennett, Dolan, Doyle, Reach, Mclean, Hanson. Subs: Gray, Thompson, McHugh, Jones, Atkinson, McBurnie, Bentley.
Would expect the same team as Tuesday. Gary Jones trained yesterday but is still getting over the effects of his virus.
With Matty Dolan deputising well against Colchester, there is no need to rush the skipper back if he's not 100 per cent.
There's also no midweek game coming up so he'd have plenty of time to be right as rain for the trip to Shrewsbury next Saturday.
Swear I just saw Peter Taylor waiting for a bus in Yeadon. #bcafc— @bradford_rich 15 March 2014
Good afternoon and welcome from an overcast Valley Parade as Peter Taylor returns with Gillingham.
Only goal difference separates the two teams in mid-table so expect it to be a tight affair - particularly with Taylor at the helm.
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