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Match Reports


20 April 2024

Match Reports


20 April 2024

City battled back from two goals down to secure their third-straight victory, beating Walsall 3-2 at the Poundland Bescot Stadium. 

Andy Cook's header followed by two Jamie Walker points secured the points for the Bantams, who played over 20 minutes with 10 players, following the latter's dismissal for a second-bookable offence. 

The home side flew out of the gates, opening the scoring in the seventh minute through Ryan Stirk.

A swift counter from the hosts resulted in a Isaac Hutchinson carrying the ball forward and playing a through ball into the path of Stirk, who found the back of the net.

The hosts doubled their lead not long after, through miscommunication for the Bantams after a long ball over the top.

Jackson Smith’s punt was met by Mo Faal, whose header floated over a on rushing Sam Walker, to double the lead.

The Bantams did not take long however in responding to the early setback, as Cook netted three minutes after the Saddlers' second against his former side, to halve the deficit.

Walker whipped a cross to the back post which was met by City’s No.9, who did well to hold off Joe Foulkes and nod home to bring City back to within a goal's reach.

The home side continued to pressure their visitors following Cook’s goal. Hutchinson, who set up Walsall’s first, almost added a third, after his long-range effort hit the post and bounced back out.

Just before the end of a hectic first half, though, City levelled the game through Walker.

Richie Smallwood’s set-piece was met by Cook, who nodded his header back across the six-yard area, where Walker headed home to drag the Bantams back on level terms.

City started the second half the brighter side and, with a renewed optimism, completed their comeback in the 53rd minute - Walker doubling his tally for the afternoon.

Another ball into the box was met by Andy Cook, whose crashing header goalwards was blocked by a Walsall body, though Walker was on hand to hammer home the rebound in front of the 785 travelling City supporters.

Despite now having the lead, Graham Alexander's side continued to push to further their lead, almost adding a fourth through Kavanagh. Brad Halliday’s shot fell into the path of the in-form frontman, whose effort was saved by Jackson Smith.

The Bantams had their backs against the wall when they were reduced to 10 players in the 68th minute, following Walker’s second yellow card of the game for denying a threatening looking Walsall attack.

The hosts pressured and peppered City with efforts, with the best coming courtesy of a Tom Knowles cross. The effort hit the post and was swiftly scrambled away from danger by Sam Walker.

Still, Walsall came forward. During seven minutes of added time, Hutchinson whipped a cross into the Bantams' penalty area, onto the head of Knowles, who was denied by City’s No.1 once more.

The hosts' pressure was not enough to grab a third, as City defended valiantly to secure a remarkable comeback and three points on the road. 

CITY: Sam Walker, Brad Halliday, Matty Platt, Richie Smallwood (C), Jamie Walker, Calum Kavanagh (Alex Gilliead 73’), Andy Cook, Ciaran Kelly (Clarke Oduor 82’), Daniel Oyegoke, Bobby Pointon (Jonathen Tomkinson 73’), Tyriek Wright (Lewis Richards 89’). UNUSED SUBS: Colin Doyle, Tyler Smith, Harry Chapman.

GOALS: Cook (19’), Walker (40’), (53’). 

WALSALL: Jackson Smith, David Okagbue (Dougles James-Taylor 79’), Liam Gordon, Donervon Daniels (C), Isaac Hutchinson, Joe Foulkes (Tom Knowles 59’), Brandon Comley (Ross Tierney 59’), Josh Gordon (Jamille Mott 59’), Taylor Allen, Mo Faal (Danny Johnson 74’), Ryan Stirk. UNUSED SUBS: Owen Evans, Priestley Farquharson.

GOALS: Stirk (7’), Faal (16’). 

ATTENDANCE: 6,556 (785 away supporters). 

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