The Bantams made it four 1-0 victories on the spin as Billy Clarke’s first half goal proved to be enough to confirm another three points, moving City up to third in the League One table. It wasn’t the prettiest Bradford City victory of the season you’re likely to see, but it was win that keeps the momentum going, looking ahead to next weekend’s trip to Shrewsbury Town.
City started the game brilliantly, dominating the general play in the early stage and they took the lead through Billy Clarke. A long throw-in from Nathan Clarke bounced towards the back post and the ball was then looped towards goal by the head of the Irish forward. The header wasn’t dealt with by Swindon stopper Tyrell Belford and it crept over the line to give the hosts the lead.
Raphael Rossi-Branco fouled Jamie Proctor and the resulting free kick was taken by Lee Evans who saw an attempt on goal from 25 yards go inches over the bar. It would have been some goal.
Billy Clarke and Proctor were linking up well as a partnership in the first half and they produced some slick build up play in the final third to allow Kyel Reid an opportunity to get into the box. He did just that but he sliced his attempt wide of the target to let the visitors off the hook.
The visitors came back into the contest towards the latter stages of the half and almost got the leveller through Rossi-Branco. Michael Doughty, on loan from Championship side Queens Park Rangers, floated a free kick into the box and the big Brazilian defender arrived at the far post but just couldn’t connect with the ball to force Ben Williams into action.
Proctor latched onto Reid’s cross into the box from the left hand side to produced a downward header towards goal, but his attempt lacked power and Belford held onto the ball relatively comfortably.
At this stage it was an even contest and Swindon almost levelled the scores on the stroke of half time. A ball was contested for by a couple of players and it broke loose to Jermaine Hylton and he hammered a low shot from 25 yards which was well held by Williams.
The second half was a cagey affair from the get go and City couldn’t really establish any form of authority in the game.
Doughty took matters into his own hands to try and get his side back on terms; he weaved past two or three City players and into the box before Stephen Darby halted him important as he looked to go one on one with Ben Williams.
Less than a minute later, Louis Thompson tried one with a shot from the best part of 25 yards. It was a well struck shot but it was one that Williams watched all the way before holding onto well, showing determination to record yet another clean sheet.
Swindon were having some half decent chances, albeit the majority of them were shots from distance, and it was Doughty trying his luck from range once again. The Welsh midfielder’s attempt on this occasion was well hit and it fizzed just a matter of inches over the bar.
The visitors were still having a decent proportion of the ball as the half progressed and they looked for a penalty late on. James Brophy got forward well from his left wing back position and played a one-two with Doughty before going down under the slight contact from Nathan Clarke. It could have been a classed soft one to give and the referee David Coote opted not to give it.
The one goal proved to be enough for the victory as City’s resilient defence stood strong once again to record another three points. All focus turns to next week’s encounter with relegation threatened Shrewsbury Town at Greenhous Meadow.