Leyton Orient 0
Bradford City 2
Wednesday 18 February, 2015
Written by Mark Danylczuk (images by Mike Holdsworth)
It’s good to be a Bradford City fan at the moment. The good times just keep on coming. The Sunderland win was strangely comfortable. There was no one goal margin and hanging on as we have done in so many games. The same applied tonight.
It was comfortable, bar the odd box and goal-line skirmish. A James Hanson double did the job though. City were not at their best but a strong team effort combined with a poor Orient side ensured a vital three points in continuing the promotion push.
City began the game with two changes as Andy Halliday came in for the rested Billy Knott and Mark Yeates for Jon Stead who was suffering from a foot injury. Orient came into the match off an impressive away win at fellow promotion chasing Chesterfield, and had the game’s first chance with midfielder Dean Cox volleying comfortably into the arms of City keeper Jordan Pickford.
A strong away contingent encouraged City to settle into the game and Filipe Morais and Halliday started to probe down the right and get balls into the box for the attackers to go at. Orient then had arguably the best chance to take the lead with right back Elliot Omozusi delivering a ball into the box to find defender Romain Vincelot, who smashed his shot against the bar and Andrew Davies superbly blocked Richard Mooney’s rebounded effort.
Was this to be a turning point? It certainly, and thankfully, was.
The Bantams were then to take the lead moments later in the twenty-first minute, when James Hanson latched onto Mark Yeates’ superb aerial ball, chested it down and volleyed it superbly looping over the Orient keeper Cisak.
What. A. Goal.
Hanson continued to be a nuisance up front with Yeates, Halliday and Billy Clarke pulling the strings behind and it became comfortable. Even more so when the second went in 10 minutes later.
This time it was a Morais free kick floated in from the left and Hanson nipped in at the near post to head past the keeper. A two goal cushion and City went into the break with a renewed vigour and in contrast, Orient heads dropped. The City faithful were lapping it up including a barrage of amusing BT Sport chants such as ‘BT ‘Til I Die’ and ‘BT Sport is the Special One’ coming from the terraces as the half closed out.
The second half began with two changes for the Bantams, with boss Phil Parkinson seemingly happy to rest James Hanson and Andrew Davies and bring in on-loan Blackpool duo Francois Zoko and Gary MacKenzie respectively. They worked hard and MacKenzie, in particular, showing a composed performance with some great tackles.
But it is not the same. With the two core players out, City lacked the presence of Hanson up front to relieve defensive pressure and Davies in marshalling the defence. It’s only when they are removed from the equation when you realise how key they are to this team. But when the job is done, arguably they can be rested.
City had a great chance to make it 3-0 in the fifty-third minute when Yeates played a ball through ball to Zoko who took far too much time and his shot was smothered; the resulting drive by Clarke well saved by the Orient keeper.
As the game wore on, City sat back somewhat and invited the Orient pressure, but the quality was not there to pose a serious threat to the Bantams. They had a great chance to get one back after a skirmish in the box in which an effort by Mooney was superbly blocked by Stephen Darby.
Another chance for City to kill the game off came in the seventy-fifth minute when an excellent Halliday run from inside his own half into the opponents box was saved by Cisak. A frustrated Clarke wanted the ball played inside but understandably Halliday wanted the glory after his wonderful efforts in the run. More balls in the box were headed City’s way and another shot from ex-City loanee Chris Dagnall was blocked on the line by Morais. The game scrappily petered out and it was job done.
A thunderous chorus of ‘Everywhere We Go’ closed out the game as the City fans could see that seventh away win of the season coming. It’s fast becoming City’s unofficial anthem, and the Bantams certainly are making all the noise in pushing on both fronts: the surreal FA Cup dream and the very attainable League One play-off positions.
We are Bradford City. We are living the dream and long may it continue.
City: Pickford, Darby, McArdle, Davies (MacKenzie 46), Meredith, Morais, Liddle, Halliday, Yeates, Clarke (Sheehan 87), Hanson (Zoko 46)
Not used: Williams, Routis, Kennedy, Knott
Categories: Match Reviews