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Club News

Bradford City 2 Stevenage 3

1 March 2014

Saturday 1 March 2014
Sky Bet League 1
Bradford City 2 (Reach 11, Hanson 42)
Stevenage 3 (Zoko 23, Freeman 65, 87)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at the Coral Windows Stadium

Attendance: 13,033 (138 visitors)
Pictures kindly provided by Thomas Gadd

The Bantams fell to defeat at the hands of Stevenage thanks to two stunning second half strikes from 'Boro's Luke Freeman.

City were leading two-one at half time thanks to Adam Reach's well-taken first goal for the club and James Hanson's eleventh of the season, but Stevenage fought back after the break.

Freeman's first of the afternoon five minutes after the hour mark - a venomous strike from distance - levelled things up before the attacker's second of the match three minutes from time won it following a well-worked free-kick.

The goal ended City's chance of making it three wins on the spin at the Coral Windows Stadium following recent victories over Port Vale and Milton Keynes Dons.

Things had started in such positive fashion for Phil Parkinson's men when, with only eleven minutes gone, Hanson headed Carl McHugh's cross into the path of Reach, who fired in a unstoppable volley from just inside the area past Chris Day at his near post.

Stevenage were level twelve minutes later, however, when their top-scorer Francois Zoko slotted home neatly inside the area after being picked out by Freeman.

Despite losing Andrew Davies to injury later in the half, City surged back into the lead just before the break when Reach's strike from the edge of the area was repelled by Day into the path of the lurking Hanson, who fired the ball back with venom into the open goal.

The Bantams had a great chance to double their lead when Reach's searching cross was crawled away by Day into the path of Aaron Mclean. The striker struck first time from close range but his effort went across goal instead of towards it.

Stevenage responded by hitting the bar through a powerful header from Bira Dembele before Freeman drew their visitors level for the second time in the match minutes later.

Picking up the ball from distance, Freeman strode forward unchallenged before firing in a fierce drive that whistled past McLaughlin's despairing dive and into the corner.

With chances limited for both sides thereafter, the game looked to be heading for a draw until Freeman struck again in decisive fashion with only three minutes of normal time remaining.

Stevenage were awarded a free-kick right on the edge of City's penalty box when Carl McHugh was adjudged to have bundled over Freeman.

The resulting set-piece was worked out into the path of Freeman and the attacker rifled the ball into the top corner with a thunderous effort from just outside the box.

City engineered one late chance to equalise when Hanson headed a Gary Jones free-kick into the path of an unmarked Mark Yeates but the substitute's volley from inside the area was wayward.

FT: Bradford City 2 Stevenage 3

90+1min: There will be four minutes of added on at the end of the match.

Stevenage bring on John Mousinho for Deacon.90+1min: SUB -

Stevenage bring on Sam Wedgbury for Doughty.90+1min: SUB -

Jones' free-kick into the area from just inside the Stevenage half is headed across the box by Hanson. The headed assist finds an unmarked Yeates but the attacker's volley sails a yard or so wide of goal.90min:

87min: GOAL - Bradford City 2 Stevenage 3 - Freeman fires Stevenage into the lead for the first time in the match from the resulting free-kick. The ball is worked short to Freeman who rifles in an unstoppable shot into the far top corner.

Stevenage are awarded a free-kick right on the edge of the area after McHugh is adjudged to have bundled over Freeman. McHugh is booked for the offence.85min: YELLOW CARD -

Jones takes aim from around 20 yards out but his rising drive flashes wide of Day's far post.83min:

Freeman latches onto a McArdle header just outside the area but the attacker's first time shot is scuffed wide.82min:

The Bantams also bring on Andy Gray for Mclean seconds later.80min: SUB -

The Bantams bring on Mark Yeates for Thompson.79min: SUB -

Mclean tees the ball back to Jones but the midfielder's low effort from outside the area is tipped around the post by a diving Day.75min:

Picking up a loose ball, Mclean shoots on the turn but his effort from outside the box sails high and wide.66min:

64min: GOAL - Bradford City 2 Stevenage 2 - Freeman hits a superb strike from distance to level things up again. Freeman is allowed the freedom to get his head up and strike for goal from nearly 30 yards out and his fierce effort whistles past McLaughlin at his near post.

Stevenage hit the bar! Freeman gets past McHugh and to the byline where he clips over a cross for Dembele to attack and rattle the bar with a thumping header.61min: CHANCE -

Reach's searching cross is crawled away by Day as the 'keeper worries it is about to drop into the far corner of goal. The ball drops into the path of the lurking Mclean but his shot from close range goes across goal instead of towards it.56min:

Thompson's curling ball towards Hanson is headed away by Bira Dembele as far as Mclean, who tries his luck with an ambitious volley from around 35 yards out. The effort is well-struck but bounces a good few yards wide of Day's goal.55min:

50min – Stevenage bring on Roarie Deacon for Hartley before the start of the second period.HT SUB
: Stevenage restart the game 46min
: Carl McHugh’s teasing cross into the area eventually finds Mclean but the striker’s bicycle kick from around twelve yards out is held by Day. 47min
: Michael Doughty’s ball forwards towards Deacon is cut out by McArdle but Akins pounces on the clearance just outside the area. Akins strikes for goal but is low effort is held with relative ease by McLaughlin.

HT: Bradford City 2 Stevenage 1
45+3min: Mclean steals in at the near post to connect with a low Jones corner delivery but the striker's effort is mistimed and the ball bounces harmlessly wide.
45min: There will be three minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
42min: GOAL!!!!!!! - Bradford City 2 Stevenage 1 -City retake the lead! Reach's low shot from outside the area is well saved by Day down to his left but Hanson is on hand inside the box to fire home with the loose ball.
39min: City fail to properly clear a Smith cross into the area and an attempted Rory McArdle clearance loops up off Zoko and over the bar for a goal-line.
38min: YELLOW CARD - Akins is booked for tripping up Thompson as the Bantams attacker looked to burst forward on the attack while just inside City's half.
36min: SUB - After going down earlier with an apparent injury, Davies sadly has to be replaced now by Matthew Bates.
32min: After turning away from Darby by the byline, Akins fizzes over a teasing centre along the six yard box which Andrew Davies does well to kick away thanks to a vital clearance.
31min: City clear a Curtis Obeng throw-in into the area as far as the lurking Jimmy Smith, who drives in a half-volley from outside the area that is held by McLaughlin.
26min: Hanson latches onto Thompson's ball into the box but his half-volley on the turn from just inside the area sails well over the bar.
25min: Akins' little lofted cross into the area nearly finds Charles close out but, thankfully, the ball beats the attacker and bounces through to McLaughlin.
23min: GOAL - Bradford City 1 Stevenage 1 - Zoko equalises for the visitors. As Stevenage break forward, Freeman's shot from the edge of the area is blocked by Stephen Darby but the Stevenage attacker still manages to find team-mate Zoko across the box. Zoko turns away from the dive of Gary Jones before slotting home into the bottom corner by McLaughlin's near post.
21min: City play the resulting free-kick short but Thompson can only find comfortably wide of Day's near post with a low strike from outside the area.
21min: YELLOW CARD - Peter Hartley is booked for barging into Garry Thompson as the pair jump for the ball in the air.
19min: The ball finds Reach over by the far side of the area and the winger fires in a fierce drive from a tight angle that Day just about manages to cling onto at the second attempt.
17min: Michael Doughty takes aim from around 20 yards out but his rising drive is held by McLaughlin.
11min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 1 Stevenage - Reach thumps City into the lead with a fine volley! A City cross into the area is headed into Reach's path by James Hanson and the Bantams winger fizzes in a fierce volley from just inside the area past Chris Day at the 'keeper's near post.
9min: Adam Reach strikes forward with a looping half-volley from just inside the area but the effort bounces wide of goal and just out of the reach of the lurking Garry Thompson over by the far post.
7min: Freeman climbs above Stephen Darby to meet Akins' inswinging cross but his glanced header floats well wide of goal.
6min: Darius Charles' bobbling effort from just outside the area is easy enough for McLaughlin.
5min: As City clear the free-kick, Aaron Mclean suddenly finds himself in with clear run inside Stevenage's half after charging down the ball. Mclean drives for the penalty area but his eventual strike on goal is blocked by the recovering Jon Ashton.
5min: Luke Freeman's delivery from the resulting free-kick finds the head of Lucas Akins inside the area but his downward header is repelled thanks 
3min:YELLOW CARD - McLaughlin is booked for catching Zoko just outside the area as the pair tangled for the ball.
3min: A half-cleared Stevenage cross drops into path of Francois Zoko but his driven effort from just outside the area is held by Jon McLaughlin.
0min: The Bantams kick off the match. City will attack the Kop in the first half.

McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, McHugh, Thompson, Jones, Doyle, Reach, Mclean, Hanson

Subs: Jameson, Dolan, Gray, Yeates, Bates, Atkinson, Bennett

Bradford City changes:
Bates for Davies (36), Yeates for Thompson (79), Gray for Mclean (80)

Bradford City cautions:
McLaughlin (3). McHugh (85)

Day, Obeng, Dembele, Ashton, Hartley, Akins, Doughty, Smith, Freeman, Charles, Zoko

Subs: Arnold, Wedgbury, Jones, Mousinho, Burrow, Parrett, Deacon

Stevenage changes:
Deacon for Hartley (46), Wedgbury for Doughty (90+1), Mousinho for Deacon (90+1)

Stevenage cautions:
Hartley (21)

Referee: C Sarginson
Assistant Referee: M Salisbury
Assistant Referee: A Scregg
Fourth Official: N Gibbons

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