Crewe cut off Bantams' first route to Wembley

Hugs for Kyel Reid after the winger fired City into the lead

Tom Naylor beats Mathias Pogba in the air

First published in Bantams Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford City Reporter

Crewe Alexandra 4 Bradford City 1

Life usually begins at 40 but it marked the end of City’s Wembley assault in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last night.

The busiest team in the country were playing their 40th game of a convoluted campaign – and the heavy defeat did not tell the story as they dipped out at the northern area semi-final stage for the third time in four years.

Competition rules state that you must keep six starters from the last match but Phil Parkinson, as he had hinted, made more changes with only Nathan Doyle and new arrivals Ryan Dickson and Andy Gray staying in from the side that kicked off against Oxford.

For the likes of Reid and Alan Connell, it was a chance to gain some much-needed match action – and give the boss a nudge ahead of the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Aston Villa next Tuesday.

Reid did just that after 18 minutes, with a helping hand from home keeper Alan Martin.

Curtis Good’s clearance found its way to the winger 25 yards out to the left of goal. It was a decent strike but flew straight through Martin’s defences to stun the home side.

It was the first shot in anger at either end and Crewe showed no immediate signs of launching a response. Their crosses looked for Mathias Pogba but centre halves Tom Naylor, who had extended his loan earlier in the day until February 9, and Good dealt with the danger.

On the one occasion Pogba did elude his marker to make room for a shot, the angle proved too tight and he fired behind.

But City’s resistance was broken a minute before the break. Byron Moore took on Dickson and his cross deflected off the left back’s lunge, looping over Jon McLaughlin towards the net.

Doyle, playing right back, slid in with a desperate attempt to clear but the ball had already crossed the line.

Crewe came at City again straight away and McLaughlin beat out Ajay Leitch-Smith’s effort as the hosts finally started to turn their increased possession into chances.

Martin paid the price for his part in City’s goal as veteran Steve Phillips took over as Crewe keeper for the second half.

But it was his opposite number who was called into action as McLaughlin tipped over from Harry Davis after the Crewe defender found himself in space 12 yards out.

It was a sloppy game that was not helped by a pitch getting harder and harder as the temperature continued to plunge.

The action suddenly burst into life as Bradden Inman released Tootle on the left of the City penalty area. Naylor slid over to try to block the cross but instead diverted it against the inside of the post.

With McLaughlin out of position, Moore looked certain to fire home the rebound but Dickson made a fantastic goal-saving block with his body.

Parkinson swapped his strikers midway through the half as Nahki Wells and Zavon Hines replaced Alan Connell and Andy Gray.

City were hunting a second as Reid, who’d had an in and out night, burst into the box but ran out of ideas when looking for a team-mate.

But it was Crewe who struck the decisive blow with 13 minutes left.

Moore, always a threat on the wing, whipped in a cross which sub Max Clayton met with a diving header. McLaughlin should have dealt with it but was beaten at the near post.

The City stopper then spilled Inman’s shot as his unconvincing night continued. He was not making a case to unseat Matt Duke.

Carl McHugh was thrown on as an emergency extra striker for the last six minutes and City almost got another assist from more calamity defending as Phillips and Luke Murphy got mixed up leaving a bouncing ball for each other.

McHugh flicked a header just past the far post but Crewe took advantage of City throwing more and more bodies forward to seal the deal with a third goal from Bradden Inman on the break.

And the scoreline was given a really lop-sided look when Chuke Aneke drilled home number four with virtually the last kick of the game.

CREWE: Martin 5 (Phillips 46min, 6), Mellor 6, Dugdale 6, Davis 7, Tootle 7, Moore 8, Murphy 6, Osman 6, Inman 7, Leitch-Smith 6 (Clayton 64min), Pogba 6 (Aneke 70min). Subs (not used): Ellis, Robertson.

CITY: McLaughlin 5, Doyle 6, Naylor 7, Good 7, Dickson 7 (McHugh 83min), Turgott 7, Jones 6, Ravenhill 6, Reid 6, Connell 6 (Wells 67min), Gray 7 (Hines 66min). Subs (not used): Brown, Duke.

ATTENDANCE: 2,395

Comments (10)

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8:39am Wed 16 Jan 13

Saltaire Bantam says...

Oh well, we've only got 2 more cup games this season so we can concentrate on the league.
Oh well, we've only got 2 more cup games this season so we can concentrate on the league. Saltaire Bantam
  • Score: 0

9:12am Wed 16 Jan 13

gusbantam says...

Not sure if Simon Parker saw same game as us from the other side of the pitch. Doyle a 6? And Dickson a 7? Dickson looked so unfit, he was labouring after half an hour. Doyle I thought did very well as makeshift full back. Midfield was a joke, we can't keep playing two wingers against teams with strong midfields, Ravenhill and R Jones were poor-jones looked more intereste din last 30mins. Turbo looked decent but he is not strong enough yet to cope with league1/2 physicality.

Good mob from city as usual though, on a freezing cold night. Crewe played some nice football at times-love to see us sign one of their players. Even though they are a league above, we should be starting to be a bit more ambitious in the transfer market than Gray! Who looked no more than ok last night. Wonder if we could afford Pogba?!

Last word for Connell who thought played really pretty well.
Not sure if Simon Parker saw same game as us from the other side of the pitch. Doyle a 6? And Dickson a 7? Dickson looked so unfit, he was labouring after half an hour. Doyle I thought did very well as makeshift full back. Midfield was a joke, we can't keep playing two wingers against teams with strong midfields, Ravenhill and R Jones were poor-jones looked more intereste din last 30mins. Turbo looked decent but he is not strong enough yet to cope with league1/2 physicality. Good mob from city as usual though, on a freezing cold night. Crewe played some nice football at times-love to see us sign one of their players. Even though they are a league above, we should be starting to be a bit more ambitious in the transfer market than Gray! Who looked no more than ok last night. Wonder if we could afford Pogba?! Last word for Connell who thought played really pretty well. gusbantam
  • Score: 0

9:28am Wed 16 Jan 13

Citygentleman1968 says...

It's never good to lose, regardless of the competition your in and especially given we are on a poor run right now. But even if we don't get to Wembley via the Capital One Cup, I'm really not bothered that we lost this. 2 further Northern Final games we can do without. I would be happy with a point at PV, see how we fair on Tuesday against Villa, then the season will be much more clear cut. Whether we beat PV or not, or go through to Wembley, I feel we will start to improve from after the semi final 2nd leg. In my heart of hearts I do think we will be up against it.
It's never good to lose, regardless of the competition your in and especially given we are on a poor run right now. But even if we don't get to Wembley via the Capital One Cup, I'm really not bothered that we lost this. 2 further Northern Final games we can do without. I would be happy with a point at PV, see how we fair on Tuesday against Villa, then the season will be much more clear cut. Whether we beat PV or not, or go through to Wembley, I feel we will start to improve from after the semi final 2nd leg. In my heart of hearts I do think we will be up against it. Citygentleman1968
  • Score: 0

9:29am Wed 16 Jan 13

Thee Voice of Reason says...

Not much was clearly put into this game.

This time last year thousands travelled to Oldham in hope of a northern final appearance where we put out our first team, this year a handful travel down to Crewe and we put out a mismatch side.

In comparision to the League and League Cup this is a nothing competition and I for one am glad we don't have to fit an extra two games against Coventry into our February schedule which already sees us play 5 games.

I hope the rest did many players the world of good, because the next two games could define our season.
Not much was clearly put into this game. This time last year thousands travelled to Oldham in hope of a northern final appearance where we put out our first team, this year a handful travel down to Crewe and we put out a mismatch side. In comparision to the League and League Cup this is a nothing competition and I for one am glad we don't have to fit an extra two games against Coventry into our February schedule which already sees us play 5 games. I hope the rest did many players the world of good, because the next two games could define our season. Thee Voice of Reason
  • Score: 0

9:33am Wed 16 Jan 13

radiobantam1 says...

McLaughlin scored a 5? Closest he got to a 5 was the number of goals he conceeded. He was very poor for the nd goal and didnt seem to make an effort for the fourth. Wrst performance I have see from him. We need bette from a scond string keeper, if only to keep Duke on edge.

As for the "handful" of fans comment, must of been 4 - 500 there?
McLaughlin scored a 5? Closest he got to a 5 was the number of goals he conceeded. He was very poor for the nd goal and didnt seem to make an effort for the fourth. Wrst performance I have see from him. We need bette from a scond string keeper, if only to keep Duke on edge. As for the "handful" of fans comment, must of been 4 - 500 there? radiobantam1
  • Score: 0

9:49am Wed 16 Jan 13

radiobantam1 says...

439 away fans to be exact - hardly a handful - especialy baring in mind the recent cost for regulat attenders home and away.
439 away fans to be exact - hardly a handful - especialy baring in mind the recent cost for regulat attenders home and away. radiobantam1
  • Score: 0

10:49am Wed 16 Jan 13

ID498 says...

Looking at the forecast this weekend it wouldnt surprise me if the pv game is off which would be a godsend as we prepare for tuesday
Looking at the forecast this weekend it wouldnt surprise me if the pv game is off which would be a godsend as we prepare for tuesday ID498
  • Score: 0

12:06pm Wed 16 Jan 13

macca1969 says...

At least Johnny mac showed everyone why Duke is reguarded as number one keeper. Eight goals conceded in his last two games and both performances littered with basic errors. Duke for me everytime, might make mistakes but not as many as Jonny
At least Johnny mac showed everyone why Duke is reguarded as number one keeper. Eight goals conceded in his last two games and both performances littered with basic errors. Duke for me everytime, might make mistakes but not as many as Jonny macca1969
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Wed 16 Jan 13

oddshapedballs says...

more concerning than softball is the fact that everytime i log into this site the headlines are about that lot and what crime they have commited lately
more concerning than softball is the fact that everytime i log into this site the headlines are about that lot and what crime they have commited lately oddshapedballs
  • Score: 0

6:20pm Wed 16 Jan 13

bcfc1903 says...

Good turnout on a bitterly cold night...superb fellas...proud of everyone of you...looked good for 77 minutes..shame we couldn't take it to penalties!!!!

**

We shout with pride....we'll never hide...Claret and Amber!!!!!
Good turnout on a bitterly cold night...superb fellas...proud of everyone of you...looked good for 77 minutes..shame we couldn't take it to penalties!!!! ** We shout with pride....we'll never hide...Claret and Amber!!!!! bcfc1903
  • Score: 0

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