City swing back into play off contention with a swing back at Torquay

Torquay United 1

Labadie 3

Bradford City 3

McArdle 7, Thompson 18, Hanson 48

Monday 1 April, 2013

By Chris Wilkinson

It was an unbelievably early start leaving my house at 5.40am in the morning when most of Bradford was still in bed, so I could be in Leeds in time for the train which was leaving at 7.05am. There was plenty of time on the journey to Devon, a whole six hours in total to contemplate which City team would turn up. Would it be a superb battling display such as against Southend, or a damp squib as at Exeter? Would it be another good trip spoilt only by the football?

It certainly wasn’t!

Granted, it was a bad start. Torquay were in front after only three minutes. A cross from the left was flicked on then bobbled off Andrew Davies and then Kyel Reid, before presenting itself straight into the path of Joss Labadie. He hit the ball across Jon McLaughlin to score. Here we go again, I thought!

To City’s credit though, they came back virtually straight away. Reid was fouled between the halfway line and the edge of the Torquay penalty area and, from a superb Gary Jones free kick, Rory McArdle managed to get on the end of it and head the ball past Torquay’s keeper to make it 1-1, a full four minutes after going behind.

From there City took control. Both Nahki Wells and Garry Thompson went close to scoring. Then in the 19th minute, a flick on by James Hanson was met by Wells, who had his shot blocked by the Torquay keeper, only for Thompson to hit the ball into the net from the rebound. It sparked jubilant celebrations from the travelling army of 246 City fans in the away end. It was a superb comeback!

Following City’s second goal, Torquay had to substitute their keeper Michael Poke and the replacement Martin Rice was instantly tested by a superb Jones shot from 25 yards. City restricted Torquay to only one worthwhile chance before half time. A Torquay cross came through a body of players in the box, McLaughlin could not get to the ball and it fell to Gulls centre back Brain Saah, who blazed it over the bar. City were in front 2-1 at half time and halfway to three points.

The second half started with a bang! Four minutes in, a superb cross from Thompson from the right was met by a trademark far post header from Hanson and City were 3-1 up! That, as far as I was concerned, was the end of the contest.

City controlled large parts of the second half on a difficult pitch and against, it has to be said, a pretty average Torquay side. We had chances to make it four on a number of occasions. Wells was pulled back in the box as he chased a through ball; a clear penalty to everyone but Rob Lewis, the referee, who turned down our appeals. Reid had a decent cross shot effort which Wells just failed to follow up after a parry by Rice, and Thompson almost managed to put the ball in the net after it had ping ponged around the Torquay penalty area before finally getting cleared.

Wells was replaced by Will Atkinson towards the end of the second half to warm applause from the City following. In my opinion, he had a superb game, linking up well with Hanson and showing glimpses of his form earlier in the season. Let’s hope this continues in the last six games!

The final whistle was met with cheers from the travelling 246 celebrating a superb job done by the team. Everybody stuck to their jobs well and it was a performance worthy of the three points.

Following the game I ventured into the excellent, and friendly Torquay United club house called Boots and Laces, to sink a few pints of Doom bar. Begging your pardon for the pun, there was certainly no Doom in the bar from the few City fans that were in there after the game.

City: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Meredith, Thompson, Ravenhill, Jones, Reid, Hanson, Wells (Atkinson 85)

Not used: Duke, McHugh, Nelson, Doyle, Connell, Hines

Categories: Match Reviews

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1 reply

  1. Excellent summary Chris. We were at the other end (in the Director’s box courtesy of a very generous Phil Parkinson gesture to hand out some tickets to travelling City fans before the start – thank you very much Phil and City Directors – but from that distance it looked absolutley certain Wells was hauled down from behind. How can the officials not see these incidents and interpret them correctly? As it happened it did not matter but would have afforded Nakhi the chance to add to his goal tally. His all round play and work rate deserved a goal and he was a real threat to Torquay throughout.
    One final thing to mention – it was blowing a gale down the ground and it was F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G. Jonnie Mac coped much better than Torquay keepers with this with excellent distribution – something he hasn’t always excelled with. Well done to the 246 who made the journey and outsang Torquay throughout.

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