Parky’s purring as duo de­liver

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­ By Richard Latham

BRAD­FORD strik­ers James Han­son and Nahki Wells are go­ing to give League One de­fend­ers all the trou­ble they can han­dle this sea­son.

So says man­ager Phil Parkinson, who heaped praise on his two front­men af­ter see­ing his side twice come from be­hind to earn an open­ing day point at Ash­ton Gate.

Han­son and Wells com­bined for the first Brad­ford goal and the com­bi­na­tion of Han­son’s height and strength with Wells’ speed and sharp­ness looked a po­tent com­bi­na­tion.

Parkinson said: “James and Nahki were al­most un­playable at times to­day. They were im­mense.

“They came up against what was ba­si­cally a Cham­pi­onship back-four and goal­keeper, yet still showed what a hand­ful they can be.

“We fully de­served our point. Bris­tol’s sec­ond goal came against the run of play af­ter we had dom­i­nated the start of the sec­ond half.

“When we fell be­hind we had to call on the strength and be­lief in each other which we showed through­out last sea­son.

“While we might have done bet­ter with their goals, I pre­fer to dwell on the pos­i­tives be­cause it was a very en­cour­ag­ing start.”

Bris­tol went ahead for the first time on 11 min­utes when two of their sum­mer re­cruits com­bined.

Scott Wagstaff fired home right­footed from 12 yards af­ter Jay Em­manuel-Thomas had forced his way into the box.

Sean O’Driscoll’s men looked com­fort­able on their lead un­til a de­fen­sive mix-up on 33 min­utes saw Han­son break be­tween their two cen­tre-backs.

Goal­keeper Frank Field­ing made a poor de­ci­sion to race out to the cor­ner of his penalty area and Han­son rounded him be­fore cross­ing for Wells to shoot past the only cov­er­ing defender on the line.

The im­pres­sive Em­manuel-Thomas, a for­mer Arse­nal ju­nior un­der Arsene Wenger, slot­ted home left-footed from a Sam Bal­dock cross on 58 min­utes to restore Bris­tol City’s ad­van­tage, but Brad­ford’s dom­i­nant cen­tre-back Rory McAr­dle had the fi­nal say on pro­ceed­ings as he nipped in un­marked at the near post to glance home a 79th minute cor­ner from sub­sti­tute Raf­faele De Vita and send more than 1,000 trav­el­ling fans into ec­stacy.

Bris­tol City head coach O’Driscoll was far from dis­cour­aged by the per­for­mance of a team in­clud­ing five new sign­ings.

He said: “It will take time to bed them all in and there was a lot of good in how we started the game and the way the play­ers went about their busi­ness.

“We gave away two very poor goals and were guilty of sur­ren­der­ing pos­ses­sion too eas­ily at times, which is dis­ap­point­ing and we need to work on that.

“But Jay Em­manuel-Thomas showed what a threat he will be in this league and if we can get him a bit fit­ter he will be an even greater force this sea­son.

“There is a lot to work on, but I could see things to build upon and we will get bet­ter.”

Asked for the lat­est on winger Al­bert Adomah’s pro­posed £1 mil­lion move to Mid­dles­brough, O’Driscoll said: “It has been on and off so many times I’ve lost count.

“I didn’t feel it was fair on the lad to play him to­day and await the out­come like ev­ery­one else.

“We have to make up our mind as a club whether we want to sell Al­bert.

“If we do, then th­ese things hap­pen and you get on with it.

“If we don’t I would like him set­tled and part of the squad.”

For all Brad­ford’s good play, goal­keeper Jon McLaugh­lin had to make a fine late save from a Greg Cunningham header to pre­serve a point.

But Brad­ford will be pleased with their first per­for­mance of the new sea­son.

DUEL: Bris­tol City’s Neil Kilkenny, right, chal­lenges Brad­ford City’s Nahki Wells

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