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Bradford City earn praise for bouncing back
Phil Parkinson praised spot-on City for getting Dagenham straight out their system with another penalty win in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
League One opponents Hartlepool became the latest shoot-out victims at Victoria Park last night as Jon McLaughlin saved their final kick from Evan Horwood.
City won the second-round tie 3-2 on penalties after the game had finished goalless – and Parkinson was delighted with the way his team bounced back from leaking four at the weekend.
He said: “We’ve done well on penalty shoot-outs. Jonny is an athletic keeper and he’s sharp in his goal.
“It was a good night for us and a good response from Saturday. We looked really solid and were strong defensively. I thought we deserved to win it.
“We had some really good chances and didn’t quite take them. But if you don’t, then the defenders have to do their job at the other end and they did that.
“Now in five away games we’ve only conceded one goal in four of them. For whatever reason, we didn’t do ourselves justice on Saturday.
“But all you can do is get another game quickly and react. Andrew Davies, in particular, was outstanding at the back.
“It was so important we got back to winning ways. Coming to a League One club, you can see we have got some good players who are more than capable in that company.”
Parkinson stuck with the 4-3-1-2 look, with Alan Connell deployed in a deep role behind strikers James Hanson and Garry Thompson.
The City chief said: “It suits Alan because he likes getting in those pockets of space. I thought he was bright and enthusiastic like he was on Saturday when he came on.
“I told the lads when we were picking the team on the way back (from Dagenham) I just wrote Connell. He had to play because of his performance and he did well again.”
There was a strange delay before City’s victory was confirmed. Referee Graham Salisbury checked with his assistant to make sure the ball had not crossed the line after McLaughlin pushed Horwood’s shot on to the bar.
McLaughlin said: “I heard it hit the woodwork but I couldn’t see where it bounced because I was facing the other way.
“I was asking the linesman but he wasn’t given anything away at first. It was the weirdest end to a penalty shoot-out I’ve ever seen.
“We didn’t want to go off celebrating in case he pulled it back and I looked an idiot. But it was great we got the save and came through with the win.”