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Ravenhill saved from penalty drama

10 October 2012

City midfielder Ricky Ravenhill had more reason than most to be thankful to Jon McLaughlin for his match-winning penalty save at Hartlepool United on Tuesday night.

Why you may ask? Simple - because he was next up for a penalty!

The Bantams club skipper has revealed that he would have been next to face up to the pressure of taking a spot-kick had it not been for McLaughlin saving Evan Horwood's penalty to book City's place in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area Quarter-Finals.

The save secured the Bantams' sixth successive penalty shoot-out victory on the trot in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in recent years and Ravenhill was in no doubt Phil Parkinson's men were worthy winners.

"I was on (penalty) number six - honest!" Ravenhill said.

"I was next up if he'd (Horwood) scored his penalty. I was next man up so it was probably good that I wasn't really in the end and Jonny (McLaughlin) saved it!

"We went there (Hartlepool) with a point to prove after Saturday's performance down at Dagenham. We felt it wasn't good enough. 

"Against a team in a higher division last night, I felt we had the better of the match at Hartlepool.

"We had chances throughout the game, especially in the second period, and thoroughly deserved the win in my opinion."

Victory for City may have been sealed last night by McLaughlin's penalty save but, like most in the City camp, Ravenhill wasn't ready to celebrate too early.

Despite McLaughlin pushing Horwood's effort into the bar, Parkinson's men had to wait for a few seconds before the officials confirmed that the ball had indeed dropped down onto the line and not over it.

Ravenhill said: "It was a bit of a strange way to finish - no-one knew whether they were saying the ball was over the line or not.

"Jonny didn't seem to know and the referee wasn't giving anything away either. It didn't look to us like it had gone over the line, but I suppose you have to wait for it to be confirmed before you get too carried away."

For Ravenhill, Tuesday night's appearances in a three-man midfield at Hartlepool was his third consecutive start - his longest run of the season following his knee injury towards the end of the pre-season.

Understandably, the midfield battler is pleased to be back in Parkinson's starting line up and feels a regular run of games will only help him improve his performances.

Ravenhill added: "Obviously every player, ideally, wants a run in their team. I suppose I'm no different."

"I think you play your best stuff when you get a consistent number of games under your belt. I think most players will agreed that they don't play their very best stuff until they get four or five games into a run.

"Once you can get four or five games in the side in a row, you feel like you've got your full match-fitness there and you're confidence should be up. Having those sort of benefits certainly help bring the best out in you."

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