Phil Parkinson rues missed chances as Bradford City’s latest road trip ends in more frustration

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Will Atkinson tussles with Aldershot goal-scorer Wilko Risser Will Atkinson tussles with Aldershot goal-scorer Wilko Risser

Aldershot 1, City 0

The Duchess of Cambridge wowed the crowds as she dished out shamrocks to the Irish Guards stationed in the army barracks.

Just down the road, shoppers in the town centre were tucking into the Italian market. There was clearly plenty to enjoy in Aldershot on St Patrick’s Day.

That is unless you were a travelling City fan or player. For them it was the same old misery that always accompanies the trek to north Hampshire.

For the fourth year in a row, the Bantams came away pointless. For the third season on the trot, they’d lost 1-0 in a nothing match. Away trips don’t get much more miserable than this.

A week that had begun with the buzz of a richly-deserved win over play-off contenders Oxford ground to a depressingly familiar end with a second straight long-distance defeat.

We’ve had three or four and deserved something. But those chances need to go in. Do that and then their goal wouldn’t be anything more than a consolation

Phil Parkinson

To make it worse, Aldershot’s goal came from their only shot on target. A scruffy winner, tapped in from close range, settled a scruffy match.

And City came off to hear the news that their advantage on the relegation spots had been cut to four points.

Dagenham’s win maintained Macclesfield’s woeful spiral towards the bottom two – but Plymouth’s over Shrewsbury was unexpected and unwelcome.

While there are still six teams behind them – and the goal difference remains infinitely better – City have got work to do.

There may be no need for panic but an urgency is required again, starting at Gresty Road tomorrow night after yet another coach journey.

“They had one chance,” sighed a frustrated Phil Parkinson. “We’ve had three or four and deserved something.

“But those chances need to go in. Do that and then their goal wouldn’t be anything more than a consolation.

“We lacked a bit of sharpness first half but still had chances. I thought we looked better in the second and had the impetus in our play – that’s the disappointment for the lads.”

Parkinson had shuffled his pack once again, with five changes from Wimbledon. Chris Dagnall was thrown straight in after completing his loan move the day before. Simon Ramsden, the man who never loses, was also fit again to bolster the back four.

The most significant difference was in midfield with Ricky Ravenhill, back from suspension, and Michael Flynn replacing Lee Bullock and David Syers.

Bullock did not travel after being quarantined with a family virus. Syers, having looked strong on his return at Kingsmeadow, was on the bench and not called upon until the late hurrah.

His arrival in a treble substitution sparked City into late life as they pressed in vain to cancel out Namibian Wilko Risser’s first goal in English football.

It should have done enough to earn Syers a recall to the starting line-up at Crewe, though Parkinson felt he was right not to push him into another 90 minutes on Saturday so soon after his comeback exertions.

He said: “I just thought it was a big ask for Dave to go again after the other day. He’d been out (injured) and then put so much effort in when we played with ten men for a long period.

“That’s why I went with Flynny and Ravenhill again. It’s getting that balance right when you’re picking the team for so many games.

“We don’t want to put too many combinations out there that haven’t played together but they obviously have before. But equally we’ve got to pick a team that is fresh and sharp.

“That’s the challenge we’ve got again for Crewe. We need a team with good legs in them.”

Parkinson will first sit down with Football League referees chief David Allison today to talk over some of the contentious decisions that he feels have not gone City’s way of late.

There looked like another one to add to the collection when Dagnall was knocked over by keeper Jamie Young after seizing on a blunder from Darren Jones. Parkinson bawled at the fourth official, loudly demanding: “How’s that not a penalty?”

But Stuart Attwell, whose general performance was a breath of fresh air compared with Darren Deadman’s midweek showmanship, evened the score by ignoring a stronger-looking Aldershot claim when Luke Oliver’s outstretched leg ravelled itself round Risser.

The worst-case scenario would have been a spot-kick and a red card as last man for the big fella, who otherwise was as solid as ever.

Defensively, there was nothing wrong about City’s game. No blame could be attached to the only goal, Rob Sinclair’s deflected cross looping against the bar before Risser beat Marcel Seip to the close-range rebound.

The Bantams came up short at the other end, lacking creativity and supply out wide and a cutting edge when the chances did come around.

Kyel Reid had been outstanding in the previous two games and still carried the fight to Wimbledon even when the ten men were seemingly on the ropes.

But Saturday passed him by as the winger found himself starved of the ball. There was only one trademark run – and that should have produced a City goal towards the end of the first half.

Flynn supplied him in space and Reid stepped on the accelerator to beat Ben Herd and deliver the perfect cross. Will Atkinson attacked it and missed but the ball bounced off a defender and sat up invitingly for Dagnall.

The opportunity beckoned to follow the lead of Kevin Ellison, the last player to score on his Bantams debut 13 months ago. But his shot clipped a defender from ten yards out and flew left.

Dagnall’s movement and anticipation for James Hanson’s flick-ons suggested that he will be the quality addition that City are expecting to rubberstamp their League Two security. But he will be frustrated not to have opened his account.

City’s long throw-ins proved an effective route of attack and James Hanson nodded one into Dagnall’s path. But he could not get enough power behind a snatched effort which Young saved at his near post.

Aldershot had only managed one corner up to this point without testing Jon McLaughlin once. Then substitute Sinclair, who livened up Aldershot’s left side, found the room to cross and a striker who had come to League Two via Namibia, Germany and Malta bundled the ugliest of winners.

Syers led the late charge, with Andrew Davies adopting his customary emergency striker role. A few corners bobbled around the box and Nahki Wells, another of the subs, hit the side-netting. But the home side’s one shot, one goal policy proved enough.

Meanwhile, Kate was long gone and the Italians had packed up. They must have known what was coming.

Attendance: 2,763

Comments (8)

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8:19am Mon 19 Mar 12

bahamianbantam says...

This is upbeat reporting - I almost thought we were unlucky reading that! PP saying 3-4 chances - must be having a laugh! The team can't put three passes together. It was win possession maybe make a pass to someone a yard away then hoof it upfield in the hope JH might get something on it. The game passed Flynn & Ravenhill by. The full backs never crossed the half way line and with Atkinson and Reid getting no service it was pressure from the Shots who could put half a dozen to a dozen passes together. I can't remember one City pass to another City player in the last third of the pitch!
This is upbeat reporting - I almost thought we were unlucky reading that! PP saying 3-4 chances - must be having a laugh! The team can't put three passes together. It was win possession maybe make a pass to someone a yard away then hoof it upfield in the hope JH might get something on it. The game passed Flynn & Ravenhill by. The full backs never crossed the half way line and with Atkinson and Reid getting no service it was pressure from the Shots who could put half a dozen to a dozen passes together. I can't remember one City pass to another City player in the last third of the pitch! bahamianbantam

8:28am Mon 19 Mar 12

prince35 says...

Parkinsons deluded if he thinks , he can tell cty fans that went to aldershot we were unlucky.

He's had long enough to gel this team into a system of play.

I'm afraid he's not doing himself any favours .
Parkinsons deluded if he thinks , he can tell cty fans that went to aldershot we were unlucky. He's had long enough to gel this team into a system of play. I'm afraid he's not doing himself any favours . prince35

8:42am Mon 19 Mar 12

parader no1 says...

How can he gel a team when he has no idea what his best 11 are ?
How can he gel a team when he has no idea what his best 11 are ? parader no1

9:50am Mon 19 Mar 12

northyorksbantam says...

Interesting to note there was no mention from Parkinson re Jones' total omission? Why? Bit of a lame excuse re Syers been benched considering when he came back from injury we were told he was a naturally fit lad so he went straight in the team,but will give him the benefit of the doubt re that one. One things for sure the team did not look 'fresh and sharp' that he picked it for

I presume if pp wants a team with good legs in them at Crewe as he says then surely Jones and Syers have to start
Interesting to note there was no mention from Parkinson re Jones' total omission? Why? Bit of a lame excuse re Syers been benched considering when he came back from injury we were told he was a naturally fit lad so he went straight in the team,but will give him the benefit of the doubt re that one. One things for sure the team did not look 'fresh and sharp' that he picked it for I presume if pp wants a team with good legs in them at Crewe as he says then surely Jones and Syers have to start northyorksbantam

11:42am Mon 19 Mar 12

parader no1 says...

How many changes tomorrow night ?? Answers to VP
How many changes tomorrow night ?? Answers to VP parader no1

1:48pm Mon 19 Mar 12

340stopper says...

parader no1 wrote:
How many changes tomorrow night ?? Answers to VP
PP "we had three or four and deserved something" trouble is they had five and got something.
I fail to understand "yet another coach journey to Crewe " cripes it's only just over the hill !
Still my guess is more changes 3 or 4 .(squad rotation keeping legs fresh, but not working at the moment)
First we were going to be the fittest team in leaque two, then we had to train to be men,then we had to obtain the right mental state whilst now we need fresh legs what next ?
I hope we can limp through the rest of this season with PP and start yet again from square one - it's a bit like snakes and ladders game at City up the ladder then crash down on a snake back to the start.
Am i alone in thinking PP does not pick the team on his own - he is allways mentioning "we" have to decide is this Parkin or Lawn or both i wonder - what do you think?
[quote][p][bold]parader no1[/bold] wrote: How many changes tomorrow night ?? Answers to VP[/p][/quote]PP "we had three or four and deserved something" trouble is they had five and got something. I fail to understand "yet another coach journey to Crewe " cripes it's only just over the hill ! Still my guess is more changes 3 or 4 .(squad rotation keeping legs fresh, but not working at the moment) First we were going to be the fittest team in leaque two, then we had to train to be men,then we had to obtain the right mental state whilst now we need fresh legs what next ? I hope we can limp through the rest of this season with PP and start yet again from square one - it's a bit like snakes and ladders game at City up the ladder then crash down on a snake back to the start. Am i alone in thinking PP does not pick the team on his own - he is allways mentioning "we" have to decide is this Parkin or Lawn or both i wonder - what do you think? 340stopper

3:13pm Mon 19 Mar 12

cookie_brighton says...

340stopper......I think David Blunkett helps parkinson pick the team.
340stopper......I think David Blunkett helps parkinson pick the team. cookie_brighton

7:06pm Mon 19 Mar 12

Dave2610 says...

Fagan throws his dummy out costs us at least a draw misses 1 game and straight back in the starting 11 watch this space!!
shouldnt even be on the bench for me!!!!!!!!
Fagan throws his dummy out costs us at least a draw misses 1 game and straight back in the starting 11 watch this space!! shouldnt even be on the bench for me!!!!!!!! Dave2610

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