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Match Reports

CITY SLIP TO CRAWLEY DEFEAT

6 January 2024

Match Reports

CITY SLIP TO CRAWLEY DEFEAT

6 January 2024

The Bantams fell to a late defeat at the University of Bradford Stadium, as two goals deep into stoppage time saw City lose 4-2 against Crawley Town.

Danilo Orsi’s headed the visitors in front on the 12th minute, before Liam Ridehalgh’s first in City colours and an Andy Cook penalty turned it around for Graham Alexander’s men in the second half.

Adam Campbell equalised shortly after, creating a frenetic final 10 minutes - in which Orsi found his second from the spot, before a late Klaidi Lolos strike sealed all three points for the men from West Sussex.

The encounter began rather evenly, as Cook and Jonathan Tomkinson combined from Richie Smallwood’s looped corner, but the American centre-half could only head narrowly wide.

Just as the clock ticked into double digits, the visitors found themselves in front.

Nick Tsaroulla was fed through by Liam Kelly, before floating a lofted cross into the path of Orsi, who headed the visitors in front.

Searching for a way back into the encounter, Alexander’s men thought they had levelled proceedings just after the half-hour mark.

A long Richie Smallwood ball forward was met by a composed Cook, who found the back of the net emphatically, but the linesman’s delayed flag ruled the leveller out for offside.

Five minutes before the break, City were handed another opportunity as Cook flicked a header into the path of his strike partner Tyler Smith, but he was denied from close range by Addai. 

Starting the second half with a renewed impetus, Smallwood’s lifted pass found Cook with space inside the area, but Addai tipped his effort around the post. 

The search for a leveller increased as the second half went on. Clarke Odour and Ridehalgh went close with speculative efforts, which were both stopped by Addai.

Just after the hour mark, City were rewarded for their efforts, and so was Ridehalgh, as the left-back netted his first in claret and amber.

The ball came to the Bantams' No.3, who sent a first-time delivery back into the area, where it nestled seemingly perfectly into the top-right corner.

Ridehalgh thought he found his second of the match when space opened up for the full-back on the left flank, though his driven effort was well parried by Crawley’s No.1.

Moments later, Alexander's side had managed to turn the tie on its head by edging in front with 10 minutes of normal time left. 

Second-half substitute, Vadaine Oliver regained possession deep in Crawley’s area, before Dion Conroy was adjudged to have fouled the No.19, prompting Neil Hair to point towards the spot.

Up stepped Cook, who initially saw his penalty stopped by Addai, but the power behind the strike was enough to force the Red Devils ‘keeper into spilling the spot-kick into the back of his net.

The lead would not last for long, however, as midfielder Adam Campbell equalised from close-range to rescue a late-leveller for the visitors.

As both sides set out searching for the victory as the game approached its end, it was Scott Lindsey’s men who took the points back to West Sussex.

A penalty was awarded to the visitors deep into stoppage time, when Brad Halliday was adjudged to have brought down Tsaroulla inside the area.

Orsi sent his spot-kick to the left of Harry Lewis, and in doing so, found his second of the game.

With City putting everything towards rescuing a late point, second-half substitute Lolos converted from a counter attack to hand Crawley all three points.

CITY: Harry Lewis, Brad Halliday, Liam Ridehalgh (Matt Derbyshire 89'), Matty Platt, Richie Smallwood (C), Andy Cook, Alex Gilliead, Clarke Oduor, Tyler Smith (Vadaine Oliver 65’), Ciarán Kelly, Jonathan Tomkinson. Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Ash Taylor, Harry Chapman, Bobby Pointon, Kevin McDonald.

GOALS: Ridehalgh (61’), Addai (79' OG).

CRAWLEY: Corey Addai, Dion Conroy (C), Liam Kelly, Laurence Maguire (booked 19’), Danilo Orsi, Ronan Darcy (Harry Forster 82’), Jack Roles (Klaidi Lolos 69’), Nick Tsaroulla (booked 16’), Jay Williams, Adam Campbell, Will Wright. Subs not used: Luca Ashby-Hammond, Kellan Gordon, Harry Ransom, Joy Mukena, Kamarai Simon-Swyer.

GOALS: Orsi (12’, 90+7’ pen), Campbell (85’), Lolos (90+10’). 

ATTENDANCE: 16,596 (103 Crawley supporters).


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