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Walsall 0 Bradford City 2

5 October 2013

Walsall did have one or two brief glimpses of goal as time ticked away but, in truth, there was no denying City had performed strong enough on the day to warrant the win.

The hosts had the lion's share of possession in the closing stages of the game as the Bantams stuck to their defensive shape and looked to hold onto their two-goal advantage.

City introduced Caleb Folan from the substitutes late on to give the big striker his Bradford debut, while Jason Kennedy was also brought on in the final quarter of the game for the midfielder's first action in the league for the Bantams.

Understandably, Walsall threw more men forward as the half progressed in search of a way back into the encounter but City's defensive shape was proved very hard to break down.

Hanson showed impressive composure to drill a half-volley past Walsall 'keeper Richard O'Donnell from inside the area to leave City firmly in pole position for the points.

Rory McArdle's lofted ball forward was helped on by Mark Yeates into the path of Hanson to leave the striker with a clear run on goal.

Barely ninety seconds of the second half had been played when City struck for a second time to give themselves a decisive grip on the game.

Picking up the ball from inside his own half, Reid surged forward before letting rip from around 25 yards out with an absolutely magnificent strike that rocketed into the top corner.

Roared on another passionate and plentiful away support, City enjoyed the better openings of a relatively even first period until Reid's stunner just before the break gave the Bantams the crucial advantage at the interval.

The win for the Bantams is the fourth in their last five matches and also sees City secure back-to-back away victories and clean sheets following their success at Gillingham two weeks ago.

A disciplined defensive display from Parkinson's side, however, ensured the Saddlers came off second best throughout the Sky Bet League 1 contest.

Sitting only three points behind City in the table going into the contest and with some impressive results under their belt already this campaign, Walsall have a neat passing style that can cause opponents problems if allowed.

A stunning drive from distance from Kyel Reid on the stroke of half time and a confident finish from James Hanson just after the break gave Phil Parkinson's men their third win on the trot to lift them up to fourth in the League 1 ladder.

City secured perhaps their most impressive victory of the season so far with a deserved away win at Walsall.

Attendance: 5,364 (1,359 visitors)
Pictures kindly provided by Claire Epton
Saturday 5 October 2013
Sky Bet League 1
Walsall 0
Bradford City 2 (Reid 45, Hanson 47)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at the Banks's Stadium

FT: Walsall 0 Bradford City 2
Mantom takes aim from a couple of yards outside City's area but his low strike rolls a good distance wide of McLaughlin's goal.53min:
Mantom has another crack at goal from a similar distance - this time the ball sails into the clutches of the Bantams shot-stopper. 54min:
Westcarr's teasing centre across the six yard box just evades the diving Hewitt at the far post. 61min:
Walsall make a triple substitution. The hosts bring on James Baxendale, Romaine Sawyers and Ashley Hemmings, Hewitt, Milan Lalkovic and Nicky Featherstone. 61min: SUBS -
McLaughlin comes out of his goal to gather the ball after a heavy touch from Westcarr following Mantom's pass into his path had prevented the attacker from a chance of running on goal. 64min:
Yeates' takes to catch out O'Donnell following a quickly-taken City free-kick but the Irishman's low drive from outside the area whistles a yard or so wide of the 'keeper's near post. 64min:
A hanging ball into the box is played back across goal by Westcarr but a stretching Paul Downing can only fire high and wide when well positioned in the middle. 67min:
Baxendale's floated ball into the box eventually finds the lurking Hemmings at the far post but his volley across goal whistles narrowly wide of the target. 69min:
Hanson requires a spot of treatment from Head Physio Matt Barrass after appearing to take a knock to his knee. 74min:
Thankfully, Hanson is back on the pitch now as play continues. 76min:
The Bantams bring on Jason Kennedy for Yeates. 77min: SUB -
Hemmings is first to Baxendale's cross but the attacker's prod for goal from around fourteen yards out sails over the bar. 78min:
The Bantams bring on Caleb Folan for Hanson. 82min: SUB -
Hemmings fires for goal from around 20 yards out but his dipping drive sails a couple of yards over the bar. 83min:
Andy Taylor gets a return pass off Westcarr before letting rip with a low drive from just inside the area that McLaughlin gets down to and tips around the post. 85min:
Taylor fires in a low drive from the edge of the penalty area but his strike rolls a good yard or so wide of McLaughlin's goal. 88min:
The Bantams bring on Raffaele De Vita for Reid. 88min: SUB -
There will be five minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
47min: GOAL!!!!!Walsall 0 Bradford City 2 - City have doubled their lead less than two minutes into the second half. McArdle's lofted ball over the top is flicked forward by Yeates to put Hanson through on goal and with only O'Donnell to beat. On his favoured left foot, Hanson makes no mistake as he rifles a fierce half-volley pass the Saddlers shot-stopper.
There will be one minute of time added on at the end of the first half.HT: Walsall 0 Bradford City 1

Walsall restart the match.
O'Donnell has to gallop outside his area to kick clear after Hanson had threatened to latch onto a knock forward by Nathan Doyle.
45min: GOAL!!!!!!! Walsall 0 Bradford City 1 - What a strike from Reid to give City the lead!!!! After carrying the ball from just inside his own half, Reid lets rip with an absolutely stunning effort from around 25 yards out the crashes into the top corner. O'Donnell in the Walsall goal had virtually no chance with that thunderbolt!
: The Bantams kick off the match.0min
After playing a short corner with Mark Yeates, Kyel Reid fizzes in a low angled drive from just outside the area that ripples the side-netting by Richard O'Donnell's near post. 11min:
Yeates latches onto a headed knock-down by James Hanson but the attacker's shot from just outside the area has the pace taken out of it by a slight deflection and the ball rolls kindly into O'Donnell's hands. 18min:
Troy Hewitt twists and turns into shooting space after picking up the ball from Craig Westcarr but the striker's low drive from a couple of yards outside the area rolls harmlessly wide of Jon McLaughlin's far post. 21min:
Sam Mantom's curling low drive from just outside the box is comfortable enough for McLaughlin, who dives down to gratefully clutch the ball to his chest. 23min:
Mantom's drive from all of 25 yards out is pushed around the post by a smart diving save from McLaughlin. 27min:
Andrew Davies and Andy Butler contest a Yeates free-kick right in through of O'Donnell's goal after the delivery had been flicked on by the head of Rory McArdle. Butler manages to head the ball out for what City think is a corner but the linesman sees an offside in the passage of play and the hosts get a free-kick instead. 31min:
A Kyel Reid cross is initially cut out but Gary Jones wins the loose ball just outside Walsall's penalty area and plays it into the path of Garry Thompson, who drives a low angled drive from the edge of the box a yard or so wide of O'Donnell's far post. 33min:
Hanson latches onto a ball over the top by McArdle, just keeping the pass in play in the process by stretching to get a cross in from by the byline. Yeates runs onto the ball invitingly but his side-footed effort from around six yards out is blocked by Butler. 37min:
A short corner routine led Reid eventually sees the ball fall into Yeates' path. The Irish attacker tries to twist and turn into shooting space but his eventual shot is partly blocked by Butler before O'Donnell gets across to prevent the bouncing ball from going out for a corner.

: Lewis, Purkiss, Hemmings, Benning, Baxendale, Sawyers, McQulkinSubs

O'Donnell, J Chambers, Downing, Butler, Taylor, Featherstone, A Chambers, Mantom, Westcarr, Lalkovic, Hewitt

Walsall changes
Baxendale for Hewitt (61), Sawyers for Lalkovic (61), Hemmings for Featherstone (61)


: Ripley, Oliver, Kennedy, McHugh, Connell, Folan, De Vita Subs

McLaughlin, Darby, Davies, McArdle, Meredith, Thompson, Doyle, Jones, Reid, Yeates, Hanson
Bradford City changes:
Kennedy for Yeates (77), Folan for Hanson (82), De Vita for Reid (88)

Fourth Official: R Lewis
Assistant Referee: T. Wood
Assistant Referee: N Murphy
Referee: E Ilderton

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