TOUGH WEEKENDS IN TRIUMPH FOR JOHNSON
Depleted Glovers grab the points
back for Leitch-Smith to slap a beautiful 18-yarder into the top corner.
Bradford had a go at chucking the kitchen sink, but looked dead on their feet long before the end.
“We just didn’t have any energy or spark in our play,” he said. “Our decision-making on the ball was a bit ponderous and they were better in both boxes. That was a shame because we’ve had a terrific start to the season.
“With the run we’ve had, it just looked like a game too far. I know people will say that’s an excuse but it did look that way. Even the players we rested on Tuesday lacked a sharpness in their game.”
ATRAUMATIC week for Yeovil ended in the best possible fashion with a classy victory over Bradford.
According to Glovers’ assistant Terry Skiverton, boss Gary Johnson was left “disappointed and angry” after chairman John Fry failed to land a trio of Premier League loan signings on deadline day.
And rumours that the former Bristol City manager could be set to leave his post were fuelled after he turned up late to Tuesday’s 3-1 JPT defeat to Portsmouth.
But after seeing his side dismantle Bradford – who began the day fifth in League One – Johnson insisted the issue has been blown out of proportion.
“We had a squabble,” admitted Johnson, who could name only six fit players on the bench.
“But nobody has fallen out. It’s not personal, it’s business.
“What it boiled down to was a communication problem on the most important day of the season. The board explained to me why that happened, and I accepted that.
“The chairman has trusted me over the years and I trust him. There’s no problem in that respect. But sometimes we have things we need to work out.
“It’s behind us in the sense that nobody is going to be any less passionate about the football club, especially me. But we need a discussion about what we do from here.
“A promotion-winning side isn’t built in September. When we went up last time, about five of those players came in January. We need to keep on top of things, keep that momentum.
“Everyone is worried about financial fair play but you also need to think a bit bigger sometimes. That’s where I need him to trust me.”
When it comes to trust, Bantams boss Phil Parkinson is going to have a tough time putting any in his centre-backs after a poor first half.
Just seven minutes had elapsed when Sam Foley’s corner was met by Aaron Martin, the big centreback rising miles above a static home rearguard to thump a header in off the bar.
And a quarter of an hour later, the duo combined with equally emphatic results, Foley’s deep free- kick hitting a combination of Martin and Bradford’s defenders on its way into the bottom corner.
“We’ve been telling Aaron to stop just going up there and giving opposition defenders a cuddle,” joked Johnson. “It looks like he got the message.”
Not to be outdone, the Glovers showed they knew how to give cheap goals away too. Their defenders watched helplessly as the unmarked Rory McArdle thundered Billy Clarke’s corner past Chris Weale, and again as James Hanson glanced wide.
In fairness, Yeovil did not look a side seeking only a second win in seven games. Fast and fluid on the break, the away side created a string of chances, with Ajay Leitch-Smith twice testing Jordan Pickford and full-back Nathan Smith galloping forward to send a powerful drive inches wide.
If the first half had hinted at their superiority, the second confirmed it. And if Johnson was upset by his deadline day duds, he must be delighted with one signing that did come off. Jack Price, a loan signing from Wolves, was tremendous in the centre, his energy and movement exploiting every gap in a shapeless Bradford midfield.
And the 21-year-old was the architect of the crucial third, skinning Stephen Darby before pulling
AT THE DOUBLE: Aaron Martin is mobbed by his teammates
RISE AGAIN: Aaron Martin heads Yeovil Town into an early lead