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Match Reports


5 May 2018

Match Reports


5 May 2018

Simon Grayson's Bantams finished off their 2017/2018 campaign with a creditable performance and result against promotion-chasing Scunthorpe United.

Fresh from collecting his Player of the Year award earlier this week, Matthew Kilgallon headed City in front early after the break from a Tony McMahon corner.

Scunthorpe equalised soon after, however, when Conor Townsend converted from deep inside the box.

The game saw Stephen Warnock call time on his professional career with his final appearance before retirement.

Warnock was actually given the captain's armband for City's season finale at Glanford Park.

After missing Tuesday's home match with Walsall through injury, Kilgallon was fit enough to join Warnock in the Bantams' starting XI.

There was also a place in the team for young winger Jordan Gibson - his first starting appearance for City in League One.

Scunthorpe, who clinched their place in the Play Offs on Tuesday night, made five changes ahead of next week's semi-final first leg, but there was still places in the team for former Bantams duo Josh Morris and Rory McArdle.

Buoyed by their recent success in midweek, Scunthorpe started the game with purpose.

Cameron McGeehan warmed the hands of Colin Doyle with an early shot, although Gibson was quick to test Gilks at the other end with a strike soon after.

The Iron nearly took the lead fifteen minutes in when Morris took aim with a free-kick from outside the box and proceeded to crash a curling effort against Doyle's crossbar.

After a relatively slow start to the match, City seemed to have more of a say in the contest - certainly from an attacking sense - as the opening half progressed.

Shay McCartan tested Gilks with a low shot on the turn from outside the box, while Gibson fired wide from inside the area minutes later.

Although genuine clear scoring chances remained limited for the rest of the half, Grayson's men continued to hold their own against their hosts as the game moved into the break.

The Bantams seemed to up the tempo after the interval, enjoying good spells of possession in the early stage of the second half.

Scunthorpe could have actually caught City out on the counter-attack, though, but Hakeeb Adelakun's low drive was held by Doyle after the winger had been found by Novak.

City were rewarded for their bright play when they took the lead just over ten minutes after the restart; Kilgallon rising highest to connect with a McMahon corner delivery and head into the corner past a rooted Gilks.

The goal capped off a fine personal week for Kilgallon after the defender had collected seven trophies at the Club's Player of the Year awards on Wednesday night.

Sadly for City, however, they could only hold onto the lead for just four minutes.

Alex Gilliead tried to get back in position to cut-out a Neal Bishop pass, but Townsend was still able to latch onto the ball and finish past Doyle from close range.

Gilliead was replaced soon after, with young midfielder Cameron Hawkes receiving more match minutes following his senior debut against Walsall on Tuesday.

Although the game naturally had an end-of-season feel to it at times, there was no denying City were giving it a good go in the second period despite Townsend's equaliser.

Gibson fired narrowly wide of the far post after a neat piece of skill had given him some shooting space outside the box.

The winger, who showed flashes in the May sunshine of what he is capable of, was replaced fifteen minutes from the end by another player to enjoy a breakthrough year this campaign, Omari Patrick.

Just under ten minutes from the end, City came agonisingly close to finding the winner that their second half showing probably deserved.

Wyke let rip with a stunning half-volley strike from the edge of the area that rattled against the underside of the bar with Gilks seemingly beaten.

McCartan tried to latch onto the rebound for a close range finish as the ball bounced loose but Gilks narrowly beat him to it.

Warnock then tried to look for the dream goal on his final outing minutes later but his fierce cross-come-shot from the left fizzed over.

That shot for the left back would prove to be his last meaningful action in professional football, with the defender replaced soon after by 16 year-old apprentice Reece Staunton.

The whole of Glanford Park, including the home supporters, gave Warnock a tremendous ovation as he left the pitch.

The defender was also congratulated by players from both sides following a fantastic playing career.

It was an emotional and fitting ending for a player who started and ended it all with the Bantams after over 540 appearances in the game, several seasons in the Premier League and two England caps.

For his replacement Staunton, it was the youngster's first ever involvement in a league game; the left-sided defender had earlier become City's youngest ever appearance-maker in the Checkatrade Trophy back in November.

As City's attentions began to turn to the summer and next season, and Scunthorpe's thoughts naturally drift to the play-offs, the game almost inevitably headed towards a draw.

The Bantams did have one final chance when Levi Sutton sliced over his own bar from a Patrick cross in injury time, but Matthew Lund's shot in the box from the resulting corner was blocked.

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