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Match Reports

BANTAMS BATTLE BACK TO EARN DRAW

26 December 2023

Match Reports

BANTAMS BATTLE BACK TO EARN DRAW

26 December 2023

Graham Alexander's Bantams staged a second-half comeback to extend their unbeaten run to seven matches, with a 2-2 draw at home to Morecambe. 

The away side raced into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 20 minutes thanks to early goals from James Connolly and JJ McKiernan, but substitute Clarke Oduor and Brad Halliday ensured the Bantams would not leave empty handed after the break. 

Although Alexander's men started brightly, it was the visiting side who opened the scoring in the third minute through James Connolly.

A whipped in free-kick into the City area ricocheted off a home body into the path of Connolly, who placed his shot past Harry Lewis to put the visitors in the lead.

The Bantams sustained a high amount of possession, but the Shrimps took a two-goal advantage 15 minutes later through JJ McKiernan.

Good play down the left flank by the pacey Jordan Slew saw him fizz a ball acroll, which McKiernan finished high into the roof of the net to put the visitors in command.

Morecambe continued to cause City problems, almost adding a third through Yann Songo’o, whose header was denied only by the post as the Bantams were placed under pressure coming into the end of the first half.

The hosts came flying out of the gates in the second half, coming close to immediately getting on the scoresheet through half-time substitiute Oduor.

Some intricate play down the right flank from Gilliead saw him cut back a lovely cross into the path of Oduor, whose goalbound shot deflected behind off Tyler Smith, as the Bantams looked to pressure the away side. 

Their pressure told, however, and City did get on the scoresheet through Oduor, after Gilliead won the ball back high up the pitch.

Gilliead played Halliday in down the right-hand side whose cross was met by the thigh of Andy Cook, where an awaiting Oduor was there to get the home side back into the encounter. 

The Bantams continued to pile the pressure on their visitors, looking for a elusive equaliser. A fantastic free-kick delivered in from Smallwood was met by Matty Platt, but his looping header flew over, as the momentum continued to side with the hosts.

City made their pressure pay in the 83rd minute, drawing level through Brad Halliday's first goal of the season.

The Bantams had been building and pressurising the Shrimps' goal. Ciarán Kelly swung a dangerous ball to the far post where Halliday emphatically powered home to give City a more than deserved equaliser, much to the delight of the home faithful. 

Alexander's side continued to cause havoc in the away side's box and, with the wind in their sails, wanted a winner.

Once again, a cross from the left-hand side, this time from Lewis Richards, was met in the air by Cook, who did well to hold off his marker. His looping header hit the underside of the crossbar and dropped down, leaving City inches from a winning goal. 

The Bantams pushed until the very last minute but were unable to find a third, as their six-match unbeaten run was ended. 

CITY: Harry Lewis, Brad Halliday, Matty Platt, Richie Smallwood (C), Emmanuel Osadebe (Clarke Oduor 45’), Andy Cook, Alex Gilliead, Tyler Smith (Vadaine Oliver 72’), Ciarán Kelly, Jonathan Tomkinson, Lewis Richards. Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Liam Ridehalgh, Ash Taylor, Kevin McDonald, Matt Derbyshire.

GOALS: Oduor (59’), Halliday (83’). 

MORECAMBE: Adam Smith, David Tutonda, Jacob Bedeau (C), Yann Sonogo’o (Jake Taylor 86’), Tom Bloxham (Michael Mellon 78’), Eli King, John Joshua McKiernan (Farrend Rawson 86’), Adam Mayor, Joel Senior, Jordan Slew, James Connolly. Subs not used: Geroge Pedley, Jacob Davenport, Cammy Smith, Charlie Brown.

GOALS: Connolly (3’), McKiernan (18’).

ATTENDANCE: 18,540 (420 visiting supporters). 


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