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West Yorkshire Woe
By: Ian Townsend
ON an unseasonably cold day Town made the relatively short trip to West Yorkshire to take on fallen "Giants" Bradford City in their self titled "Wembley of the North".
The Town line up contained no real surprises given the injury list with:
Barnes; Bennett, Atkinson, Fenton, Newey; Till, Bolland, Hunt, Boshell and Toner; Jarman holding it up on his own up front.
Hegarty, Butler and Clarke were relegated to the bench as Buckley looked to freshen things up. Also on the bench were Montgomery, and Bird.
Town were to kick towards a fairly substantial following given the lack of meaning to the game who were in very good voice as opposed to the Bradford fans who were strangely subdued.
From the off it appeared Town intended to put the poor results of the last week behind them. In the first few minutes Bennett (in what was to prove a feature of the first half) got well forward down the right. His decent cross found Boshell who miscued his shot. Then a glorious ball from Newey found Toner who’s cross was hit wide on the volley by Till.
As Bradford tried to get back into it first Newey had to be awake to take the ball of the toes of Daley as he shaped to cross and from the resulting corner Barnes made a sharp save down to his left.
This was but a brief respite for Bradford as Town, harried their opponents into errors and Jarman dispossessed Weatherall only for his shot to hit the side netting when he might have passed to the better placed Bolland playing against his home town club.
It came as no real surprise when Town went in front on 8 minutes. Again good work by Newey found Toner who put in a decent cross which the incoming Till sidefooted bravely into the net from three yards despite the close attendance of two Bradford defenders. As his team mates celebrated Till remained motionless on the ground clearly badly injured. It quickly became clear he couldn't continue and he left on a stretcher to be replaced by Hegarty.
All around the park Town were quicker in the tackle and Bolland was somewhat unfortunate to become the first player in the book for an innocuous looking tackle.
Gradually though Bradford came back into proceedings a bit and carelessness by Newey allowed Bradford to get away down Town’s left with the move only stopped by a poor challenge by Atkinson who was also booked. Newey was at fault moments later when he seemed to nod off leaving a Bradford forward clear on Barnes who made another fine save.
Back came Town and Bennett again pinged a teasing cross in from the right which Toner just failed to connect with. Within a minute Bennett was at it again. This time his cross found Jarman who was stopped by a last ditch tackle.
As the half wore on the officials who had been reasonably quiet incurred the wrath of both sets of fans with some bizarre decision making. Firstly Atkinson appeared to handle the ball inside the penalty area. The linesman started to put up the flag only to drop it when the referee waved play on to the fury of the home fans. Then Town were incensed when Heckingbotham escaped a booking for a carbon copy of Atkinson’s assault earlier.
On 40 minutes the game exploded. More good work down the left let Toner who was relishing his role, bang in yet another cross which found it’s way to Hegarty who struck his shot back across the keeper where it looked like Bennett put the finishing touch from an offside position. The opinion of the Town fans nearest the front was that it was already over the line but the "goal" was disallowed and Bradford who in truth were very poor breathed again.
The half ended with a flurry of Bradford attacks but Barnes was equal to the challenge.
HALF TIME: Bradford City 0 Grimsby Town 1.
Matty Newton continues the story in the Second Half
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