Bradford City 2 (Gilliead 4, Jones 44)
Saturday 4th November 2017 | Emirates FA Cup First Round | Northern Commercials Stadium
The Bantams scored two first half goals against League Two basement club Chesterfield to ensure progress into the second round of the Emirates FA Cup. Alex Jones provided the pass for Alex Gilliead to open the scoring after just four minutes before Jones himself doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time to leave Stuart McCall's side in a comfortable and ultimately decisive position.
Paul Taylor was arguably the liveliest player on the pitch at Fratton Park last weekend and he delivered a low cross to Gilliead who teed Charlie Wyke up for a goal-bound shot which was blocked importantly by Ian Evatt.
Gilliead it was who scored the opening goal of the afternoon and it was one that was well-taken. Alex Jones won a 50-50 challenge on the halfway line and made a beeline for the area before playing in the Newcastle loanee to keep his cool and slot past Chesterfield stopper Joe Anyon for his first goal in the colours of Bradford City.
Kristian Dennis has been Chesterfield's main man so far this season and he came into this contest with 10 goals under his belt already; his first sight of goal was a shot from distance which was watched all the way by Colin Doyle who held onto the ball assuringly.
Timothee Dieng came back into the side to partner countryman Romain Vincelot in central midfield with Jake Reeves' absence with a minor injury and he came close after controlling Taylor's low cross into the box to drag a shot a yard or so wide of the target to let the visitors off the hook.
Dieng had another opportunity to double City's lead and it came after good work by Man of the Match Alex Jones. The forward worked hard to move forward down the right-hand side and thread a deft pass into his team mates' path but he lashed a shot into the outside of the side-netting.
Dennis had the ball in the back of the net after helping Jak McCourt's shot past Doyle and into the back of the net but the flag was already up for offside, shortly before City doubled their lead.
Jones it was who was on the scoresheet and the goal was no more than he deserved after a bright first half display. Played in by strike-partner Charlie Wyke he confidently produced a deftly chipped finish across goal and into the far corner to leave the basement division struggler on the ropes.
Wyke found the net himself after rising highest to head home a Taylor corner in added time at the end of the first half but the referee spotted a push and chalked the goal off for a foul by the City number nine.
The Bantams weren't at their best in the second period and Chesterfield sensed that with a bit betwee their teeth. The first chance of the half belonged to Jack Lester's side and it was a presentable one to say the least. Andy Kellett managed to work his way past Luke Hendrie and his low cross was blazed over the bar by Joe Rowley in the centre of the six-yard box.
Rowley was causing one or two problems for the Bantams and after he threatened again shortly afterwards, the ball broke invitingly to Bradley Barry who saw a fierce shot blocked in the goalmouth by Adam Thompson.
Wyke wasn't to get on the scoresheet but he came close on the hour with a superbly executed and somewhat audacious attempt. The frontman controlled the ball before attempting a volley from at least 25 yards which had to be pushed to safety by Anyon who took no chances.
Jones missed a real opportunity to double his tally and extend City's advantage midway through the second half. Taylor's low drive was a testing one and it was pushed into his path by Anyon, but the ball came at him awkwardly and he turned the ball over the bar with the Chesterfield stopper grounded.
Taylor's performance probably deserved a goal and he almost got one with his next opportunity. He executed a free kick which dipped over the wall and was saved really well by Anyon who had produced an admirable performance for the visitors.
Bradford-born Jordan Sinnott came off the bench late on for the visitors and tested Doyle with a deflected strike from range but that was the last Chesterfield had to offer as the Bantams cruised over the line and into the next round of the famous old competition.
Bradford City: Doyle; Hendrie, Thompson, Kilgallon, Knight-Percival; Gilliead (Robinson 87), Vincelot (c), Dieng (Devine 78), Taylor; Jones (Law 71), Wyke
Unused Subs: Raeder, Poleon, McCartan, Patrick
Chesterfield: Anyon; Barry, Hird, Evatt (c), Wiseman; McCourt, Dimaio (Sinnott 78); Rowley (Mitchell 83), Reed (O'Grady 70), Kellett; Dennis
Unused Subs: Jones, De Girolamo, Maguire, Weir
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