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Parkinson laments costly lapses

17 March 2013

Bantams boss Phil Parkinson had mixed emotions after his side’s heavy defeat at the hands of Exeter City at a damp St James Park.

In muddy conditions due to pre-match downpours, City extraordinarily lost 4-1 to Exeter despite totally dominating the whole of the second period.

Speaking about his side’s harsh loss, Parkinson admitted that the final scoreline by no means reflected the flow of the game, especially after the half-time interval.

While praising his side’s second period showing though, Parkinson felt City didn’t help their cause by a hit-and-miss first half performance and a failure to convert their chances when they arose.

Parkinson said: "I thought in the first half Exeter were better than us. We conceded a poor goal from a corner early on, which didn't help, and we were too deep as a team.

"In tough conditions, I felt we gave the onus to Exeter. When the conditions are tough like they were today, you have to roll your sleeves up even more. We needed to make it into half-time still in a decent position in the game, but we didn't really do that.

"In the second half though, I thought we were excellent. We took the game to them and put some really great crosses into their box.

"We did everything we could to get back into the game during the second half. We attacked with real purpose. 

"We had enough chances really to get back into the game. 

"We did get back into it at 2-1 with (Kyel) Reidy's corner, but then it was so disappointing to concede that third goal almost straight afterwards.

"Just before that point, we really did feel that we had the momentum with us and I'd have backed us to go on and get an equaliser at least. The third goal was a big blow for us though.

"At 2-1, I could see that the team was really lifted. It is such a shame we couldn't have kept it at 2-1 for a bit longer or even gone on to claim the next goal ourselves instead of conceding their third.

"We obviously changed it at that stage to go three at the back for one last chance of getting some goals, and we've conceded the fourth because of it really.

"As I've said plenty of times this season though, when you go to three at the backk, especially with two wingers as your wing-backs, you always run the risk of conceding on the break.

"Sometimes such a change has worked for us, other times it hasn't, so I am not too bothered about the fourth goal. I just thought in the first half we were second best."

Seemingly the story of City's season at the moment, Parkinson's men enjoyed a large share of the possession at St James Park and created a number of chances but, apart from Reid's goal direct from a corner, were unable to take them.

Parkinson added: "We've played some really good stuff on a difficult surface today - it's just getting that ball in the back of the net though.

"The quality of some of the balls into the area were terrific. But, as we've been saying in recent weeks, when you have good spells of pressure in a game, you have to score.

"Even in the first half, we've had some great moments to score. The game of football is obviously all about goals, and it just makes such a difference if you can score early and get yourself up and running in a game.

"When we're having dominance (in a game), we're not making the most of it.

"We are playing better than our results suggest, but you can only keep saying that for so long. We've been dominating game recently but, as I've been saying, you have to score goals. The quality of the attacks we've had up in their area, you would expect a goal to come from at least a couple of them."

City’s second half onslaught was partly inspired by a return to form for Kyel Reid.

The talented winger, who came on as a half-time substitute with Zavon Hines, was an almost constant threat to Exeter’s defence as he showed glimpses of why he was regarded as one of the most dangerous left wingers in the league last season.

Parkinson added: "It has been tough for Reidy because he had been playing well before he got injured and missed a large chunk of the season.

"I thought he was outstanding today, however, and getting back to his best.

"That is big positive for us because we're going to need Reidy to deliver those dangerous crosses into the opponent's box between now and the end of the season.

"He hasn't quite been on his game in recent weeks, but I think a lot of that is down to confidence.

"He was back near to his best today though, which is important for us because while he may knock a few crosses into the stands, the sheer volume of crosses he does get into the box will normally ensure you a good amount of scoring chances in a game."

Along with the pleasing return to form for Reid, there was also a return to City’s match-day squad for James Meredith.

The Australian, who has been missing to Parkinson since New Year’s Day due to a recent bout of glandular fever, was an unused substitute at St James Park.

Parkinson said: "It was important to get Mez (James Meredith) back in today. It has been a long road back for him, it certainly has been tough, but I'm pleased that he is back now.

"He will certainly get game-time between now and the end of the season."


Fellow defender Andrew Davies was able to make it through the whole of the game despite taking a nasty blow to the nose in the very first minute.

At one point it seemed that the central defender would have to come off after being accidentally headed by defensive partner Michael Nelson, but Davies shrugged off the get through the game without further incident.

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