Tuesday 24 February 2015
Sky Bet League 1
Swindon Town 2 (Luongo 15, 34)
Bradford City 1 (Clarke 54)
Kick Off: 7.45pm
at the County Ground
Despite an improved second half showing, Phil Parkinson's Bantams just came up short this Tuesday after tasting defeat at promotion-chasing Swindon Town.
Following a strong first half showing from the hosts, Swindon found themselves two goals to the good at half time thanks to a well-taken double from Massimo Luongo.
In truth, Swindon could added more to their interval advantage with Andy Williams heading over from close range and then hitting the woodwork later in the half when put through on goal.
With the words of Parkinson undoubtedly still ringing in their ears, City looked a more threatening force after the break and they managed to pull back a goal back less than ten minutes after the restart.
Nathan Thompson managed to cut out a teasing Jon Stead ball into the six yard box but the Swindon skipper's attempted clearance went nowhere, allowing the lurking Billy Clarke to pounce and fire past Wes Foderingham from close range.
Shortly after Clarke's goal - his eighth of the season - Luongo was denied his hat-trick at the other end when Jordan Pickford produced a stunning flying save to prevent the Australian's powerful drive from just inside the area from finding the top corner.
The pacey Nathan Byrne then finished a surging run forward with a fizzing drive from outside the box narrowly over the bar shortly afterwards but City were finding more joy themselves at the other end as the half progressed.
On his City debut, Oliver Burke twice nearly found himself through on goal, while Parkinson's men saw a decent shout for a penalty turned away when Stephen Darby's cross into the box appeared to hit the out-stretched hand of Ben Gladwin.
In the ninetieth minute, Gary Liddle thought he had forced Foderingham into a fine close range save with a header from a cross by half time substitute Alan Sheehan but play was halted at the same for a supposed foul by Clarke on Raphael Branco.
FT: Swindon Town 2 Bradford City 1
90+4min: YELLOW CARD - Darby is booked for catching Smith with a late tackle. The City skipper is initially shown a yellow card and then a red after referee Mr Berry mistakenly thought he had already cautioned the right back. Realising his mistake, however, the match official calls back Darby and just shows him a booking.
90+3min: SUB - Swindon bring on Harry Toffolo for Gladwin.
90min: There will be three minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
90min: Nice play from Knott plays Sheehan into space deep inside Swindon's penalty area. Sheehan's cut-back on the stretch from the byline is met by Liddle but his header is tipped onto the bar from close range by Foderingham. Even if the effort had of gone in through, the goal won't have stood after referee Mr Berry blew up for a push.
88min: Zoko drives deep inside Swindon's area but as he tries to play the ball across the six yard box, he is muscled off the ball by Louis Thompson and Swindon can clear.
87min: Halliday's shot on the turn has the sting taken out of it by a deflection and Foderingham can control with his boot before gathering up.
85min: Branco seems to have caught Clarke in the back off the ball but despite the City striker going down, the incident appears to have gone unnoticed and plays continues.
84min: An amazing surging run from Byrne eventually ends with a scuffed low drive from the winger flashing wide of Pickford's near post.
83min: Decent shouts for a penalty for City are turned down after Darby's cross into the box appears to hit the out-stretched arm of Gladwin.
82min: Zoko has a sniff of latching onto a short-hit Swindon back-pass but with Branco blocking his route to goal, the Ivorian is beaten to the ball by Foderingham, who kicks clear.
80min: YELLOW CARD - Nathan Thompson is booked for bringing down Zoko just inside Swindon's half of the pitch.
75min: SUBS - The Bantams bring on Francois Zoko and Mark Yeates for Stead and Burke respectively.
69min: Louis Thompson surges forward before trying to play Williams through on goal but his attempted pass to the striker is just cut out by Pickford as the 'keeper dives out at his feet.
65min: Burke's attempted cross on the half-volley after being played into space down City's right flank has to be tipped over by Foderingham to stop it from dropping under his crossbar.
64min: A long free-kick forward from deep by Sheehan causes a moment's panic for the hosts when it is allowed to bounce dangerously deep inside Swindon's penalty area. Burke tries to latch onto the kick but a stretching Foderingham manages to get a hand on the ball and knock it against the young winger for a goal-kick.
61min: Byrne shows electric pace to burst past a couple of City players before firing in a fizzing rising drive from around the edge of the area that flashes a whisker over the bar.
59min: Stead and Halliday combine as City break threateningly forward on the counter-attack. After receiving the ball from Stead, Halliday tries play Oliver Burke in with a clean sight of goal but a recovering Gladwin just manages to get his boot on the attempted pass and Swindon can clear their lines.
58min: What a stunning save from Pickford! Good wing play from Byrne eventually sees the ball find its way into the path of Luongo but the Australian's powerful curling drive from just inside the box is tipped over the bar thanks to a great reflex save from Pickford.
54min: GOAL!!!!!!!!! Swindon Town 2 Bradford City 1 - The Bantams have a goal back through Clarke! Swindon skipper Nathan Thompson beats Clarke to Stead's ball across the six yard box but the defender's attempted clearance goes nowhere allowing Clarke to pounce on the loose ball and fire past Foderingham from close range.
52min: Sheehan's resulting corner delivery is headed on by MacKenzie but Clarke's follow up shot on the turn is scuffed straight at Foderingham.
51min: Sheehan's ball forward finds Halliday in space deep inside Swindon's half of the pitch. The Bantams winger eventually gets past Nathan Thompson as he moves into the area but his angled drive from goal from around eight yards out is blocked out for a corner thanks to a diving tackle from Turnbull.
46min: The Bantams restart the match.
HT SUB - After narrowly avoiding a second yellow card in the first half, Meredith is replaced by Alan Sheehan before the start of the second period.
HT: Swindon Town 2 Bradford City 0
45+1min: Stead fires the ball invitingly across the box but Raphael Branco vitally kicks clear inside the six yard box with Andy Halliday lurking behind him.
45min: There will be three minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
41min: Already on a booking, Meredith gets a stern talking to by Mr Berry after catching Byrne with another late tackle, this time just inside City's half.
39min: YELLOW CARD - Liddle is cautioned for bringing down Luongo just inside City's half of the pitch as Swindon look to spring another attack forward. Liddle's booking is his tenth of the season, meaning he will miss City's next two games through suspension.
36min: YELLOW CARD - After initially letting play continue, referee Mr Carl Berry decides to book Gary MacKenzie for an earlier foul in the build-up to a Swindon attack.
35min: Well-placed just outside City's box, Smith could play an unmarked Luongo in on goal but he elects to shoot himself and his drive from around the edge of the area is blocked by McArdle.
34min: GOAL - Swindon Town 2 Bradford City 0 - Luongo doubles Swindon's lead with another confident finish. Jordan Turnbull's searching pass into Williams eventually sees the ball pop up into Luongo's path and the Australian international crashes a drive past Pickford from just inside the box.
32min: A Swindon forward pass nearly plays Michael Smith through with a clean run on goal but a well-positioned Rory McArdle manages to hold the striker off before feeding the ball back to Pickford, who kicks clear.
26min: Swindon hit the bar! A superb through-ball from deep by Jack Stephens plays Williams in on goal with only Pickford to beat. Deep inside City's penalty box, Williams tries to bend the ball into the top corner but the effort rattles against the crossbar and away.
23min: YELLOW CARD - Louis Thompson is booked for clipping Billy Clarke as the City attacker looked to make progress down the right flank deep inside Swindon territory.
20min: Raphael Branco heads over the bar from Byrne's resulting corner delivery.
19min: A swift counter-attack from Swindon, led by Byrne, sees the right winger eventually play the ball across the area to the unmarked Gladwin. The Swindon player looks to find the far bottom corner with a shot from just inside the area but the effort is blocked behind by a recovering Darby for a corner.
15min: GOAL - Swindon Town 1 Bradford City 0 - Massimo Luongo fires the hosts into the lead with a confident low drive into the far bottom corner from around fourteen yards out.
14min: Gladwin moves in-field away from the attentions of Stephen Darby and Gary Liddle but his strike from just outside the box sails comfortably wide of Jordan Pickford's far post.
13min: So close for Swindon there! Ben Gladwin's driven ball across the six yard box finds the lurking Andy Williams but the striker couldn't quite control the powerful delivery and his close range header fizzes over the bar.
11min: YELLOW CARD - James Meredith is booked for catching Nathan Byrne left with a sliding tackle over by the far touchline midway into City's half.
1min: A bursting run from Andy Halliday sees the winger surge into the Swindon box and past Nathan Thompson. Halliday reaches the byline but, with Jon Stead lurking in the middle, he can't quite keep the ball in play and Swindon receive a goal-kick.
0min: Swindon kick off the match.
7:44pm: Ahead of kick off tonight, the County Ground stands as one to give a minute's applause in memory of 15 year-old Rhiannon Brown, who sadly died recently due to a brain aneurysm. Rhiannon was connected with the Football in the Community department at Swindon.
SWINDON TOWN LINE UP:
Foderingham, Branco, N Thompson, Turnbull, Byrne, Stephens, Luongo, L Thompson, Gladwin, Smith, Williams
Subs: Belford, Kasim, Swift, Toffolo, Obika, Barthram, Hylton
Swindon Town changes:
Toffolo for Gladwin (90+3)
Swindon Town cautions:
L Thompson (23), N Thompson (80)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
Pickford, Darby, McArdle, MacKenzie, Meredith, Burke, Liddle, Knott, Halliday, Clarke, Stead
Subs: Williams, Dolan, Sheehan, Zoko, Yeates, Kennedy, Routis
Bradford City cautions:
Meredith (11), MacKenzie (36), Liddle (39), Darby (90+4)
Bradford City changes:
Sheehan for Meredith (46), Zoko for Stead (75), Yeates for Burke (75)
Referee: C Berry
Assistant Referee: M Griffiths
Assistant Referee: R Hyde
Fourth Official: M Amphlett