Bradford City 2, Newcastle Utd 0; Richard Sutcliffe reports from Valley Parade.

When Bradford City trooped off the field at half-time, anyone predicting a 2-0 triumph come the final whistle would have been laughed out of Valley Parade.

The Bantams had produced a disappointing display in the opening 45 minutes and allowed in-form Newcastle to dictate the play to such an extent that they had 11 attempts on goal.

A combination of Matt Clarke's fine saves, the woodwork and some woeful finishing was the only reason the score was still goalless at the halfway stage.

Before the game, the bookmakers had been offering 10-1 on a 2-0 win for City and at that stage I am sure they would have confidently added an extra '0' to the price without fear of losing money.

However City were a revelation after the break with goals from Dean Saunders and David Wetherall earning a vital victory and keeping Paul Jewell's men out of the bottom three.

Before the break, City's disjointed play had been similar to that from early season when they sat far too deep and invited pressure from opposing sides.

But after a half-time pep-talk from Jewell, the Bantams came out and produced one of their best attacking 45 minutes of the season.

Lee Mills and Dean Saunders were superb up front with the Welsh international fully justifying his inclusion in the side in place of Robbie Blake.

Speaking after the game, Jewell said: "Robbie and Peter Beagrie can both consider themselves very unfortunate. But I wanted to get in behind the Newcastle defence.

"Dean is superb in that respect. He makes darting runs and plays on people's shoulders. I thought we may get some joy out of that."

That was certainly what happened in that second half with Saunders' running off the ball ensuring that the Newcastle defence could never rest.

Mills also did a lot of unselfish running when not in possession and both front men played a huge part in City clinching only their second home victory of the season.

It was intelligent running from the City top scorer which created the opening goal as he sprung the Newcastle offside trap to latch on to a long ball from Andy O'Brien.

Mills then cleverly held the ball up until Saunders could get across his man and convert the chance by firing into the roof of the net.

That goal prompted delirious scenes on three sides of Valley Parade but they were nothing compared to the joy which met David Wetherall's 71st minute header which effectively sealed the game.

Lee Sharpe, who had been on top form during the second half, sent over the sort of free-kick which prompted former boss Alex Ferguson to once describe him as "one of the best crossers of a ball in the game".

And Wetherall, who had bemoaned his lack of league goals just 24 hours earlier in the Telegraph & Argus, rose magnificently to power the ball into the net.

After that, there was no way back for United with Duncan Ferguson summing up their afternoon in the final minute when he managed to miss the target by about 20 yards despite being clean through on goal.

City's second half display not only helped them earn three vital points, but should also leave them in fine heart for the daunting trip to Manchester United on Boxing Day.

That will provide the Bantams' defence with the ultimate test with the four strikers at Sir Alex Ferguson's disposal all among the best around.

However after keeping a clean sheet against the most expensive forward line in domestic football, City are full of confidence.

Clarke was outstanding in the first half while both Gunnar Halle and Andy Myers were impressive on either side of the back four

However it was again City's central defensive partnership which caught the eye as they professionally dealt with both Shearer and Ferguson.

Wetherall was at his towering best in that first half when the City midfield seemed intent on sitting just in front of their back four. This handed the initiative to Newcastle and, as a result, the defence came under the kind of pressure they had to face in early season.

However both Wetherall and O'Brien rose to the task and although Clarke had to rescue them on a couple of occasions, City made it to half-time unscathed.

And what a contrast after the break.

Sharpe and Dean Windass suddenly started to exert much more influence on the game and with both Mills and Saunders making intelligent runs, the home fans suddenly found their voices.

Stuart McCall was also at his best as the driving force behind many of City's attacks. At 35-years-old footballers are often expected to slow down, but that is something that cannot be levelled at the City skipper.

Even in the first half when Newcastle were in control, McCall still impressed with his calm use of the ball under pressure.

And after the break he played a huge part in the turnaround with his clever passing from deep in midfield helping City break quickly.

The victory is undoubtedly a huge shot in the arm for City's season and even prompted chief critic Rodney Marsh to admit on Sky that his previous claim that "City are the worst side ever in the Premiership" had been unjust.

The pundit has promised to shave his head if the Bantams do avoid the drop and he must now be worried that City may have the sweetest revenge of all come next May.

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