CITY will add Gander Green Lane to their list of Football League destinations for the first time tomorrow.

It is another new venue for the Bantams when they make the final journey of the season to Sutton’s 5,000-capacity home in south London.

Forever assured of a place in FA Cup folklore for staging the giant-killing of top-flight Coventry in 1989, Sutton’s compact base has proved tough to breach in their first year in League Two.

Can the Bantams sign off on the road with a long-distance victory to bring some late cheer to another under-achieving campaign?

They have seen a few new places – with mixed results – since dropping back into the bottom two tiers 18 years ago. This week’s nostalgia column takes a look at how they fared in the previously-uncharted destinations.


City made their maiden bow at Huish Park in January 2006.

Results had been up and down in Colin Todd’s second season in charge and the Bantams headed to Somerset amid mounting speculation of Barnsley wanting Dean Windass.

The man in question, playing in a deeper midfield role, laughed off any rumours by settling a dour tussle in City’s favour with a stunning 87th-minute free-kick.

"If Barnsley come in with an improved offer, which they probably will after that goal, then I'll take it from there,” said Windass mischievously.


This East London outpost was viewed as a little bit of a jolly on City’s breeze through League Two. At least, that was the plan.

The reality was very different and they would make the trek to Victoria Road for five successive seasons – mostly for nothing.

The exception from the losing norm came on that first visit in November 2007 – although the 4-1 winning margin did not tell the story.

Stuart McCall’s men were 2-0 up against 10 men before Paul Benson, a striker often linked with City, pulled one back to get nerves jangling.

City were under the pump until Nicky Law scored twice in the last minute to add gloss to the earlier goals from Peter Thorne and David Wetherall.


Peter Jackson staged one of the most downbeat post-match interviews this reporter has witnessed after a poor defeat in Hertfordshire.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Nicky Law is all smiles after scoring twice late on against DagenhamNicky Law is all smiles after scoring twice late on against Dagenham

There were still genuine fears of City dropping out of the league altogether and the interim boss was gutted over a “bitterly disappointing” display, mumbling through his quotes in barely a couple of minutes.

David Syers, who he had moved to right back, had equalised – only for Stevenage to clinch a 2-1 win with the decisive goal two minutes later.


If you thought Jackson was unhappy, Phil Parkinson really went to town after the Bantams blew a half-time lead in their first time at the Broadfield in September 2011.

Leading by a Kyel Reid goal, they were blown away after the break as Steve Evans began his hoodoo over the club.

There were no post-match fisticuffs, they would follow in the return fixture at Valley Parade, but Parkinson did not pull any punches as he saw how much needed changing to dig the team he had only recently inherited out of the doldrums.


City saw more red than green when they made their debut at the EFL’s most eco-friendly stadium.

The September 2020 visit was one of the few games when fans were allowed in during the behind-closed-doors season.

Around 600 locals – and a handful of clever away supporters watching through a gap from a public footpath – witnessed an encounter that exploded into life after the break.

A sleepy, goalless first half was turned on its head from the moment Lee Novak punished a blunder from former City loan keeper Luke McGee to put the visitors ahead.

Forest Green levelled and then Anthony O’Connor was sent off for a professional foul as he gave away a penalty.

But the spot-kick was missed – and Elliot Watt restored the lead for Stuart McCall’s 10 men.

They then went down to nine as Paudie O’Connor was dismissed for a touchline shove. Novak played centre half in a desperate rearguard action – but they conceded an equaliser deep in stoppage time.


This one shouldn’t count bearing in mind that Wetherby Road has been a stop-off for pre-season friendlies. Let’s not mention any 7-2s here.

But the first official Yorkshire “derby” in the town made famous by Betty’s was not City’s cup of tea as Harrogate won 2-1 in April last year to effectively kill off any lingering play-off ambitions.