The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Jon Wal­dron

IT WAS only nat­u­ral that Brad­ford City might feel a slight sense of an­ti­cli­max af­ter hum­bling Pre­mier League lead­ers Chelsea in their own manor.

But, fol­low­ing their FA Cup hero­ics last week, the Ban­tams’ feel­ing of dis­ap­point­ment at fail­ing to beat strug­gling Colch­ester was para­mount.

For a while, it looked as though Phil Parkin­son might even end up empty-handed against his for­mer club, who had led for the ma­jor­ity of the con­test thanks to Chris Porter’s ex­cel­lent fifth­minute strike.

In the end, a well-taken strike by Filipe Mo­rais, with 13 min­utes re­main­ing, res­cued a point for Brad­ford, but Parkin­son was less than im­pressed with the aw­ful state of the Val­ley Pa­rade pitch.

Parkin­son said: “I have to de­fend the grounds­man Mick Doyle be­cause he’s work­ing so hard.

“But he hasn’t got the help needed from up­stairs to make the pitch bet­ter.

“The ref­eree was go­ing to call the game off at 12.30, but I con­vinced him it had been worse in pre­vi­ous games and that we should play it.

“It’s not an ex­cuse be­cause we’ve adapted re­ally well to games here, but the state of that pitch was un­fair.

“Colch­ester started well and we were poor. I thought our two cen­tre-backs gave Chris Porter too much space.

“They had some good chances, but in the sec­ond half, we were loads bet­ter and played with more en­ergy all over the pitch.

“We de­servedly got the equaliser and prob­a­bly should have gone on and won it, but we’ll take the point.”

Colch­ester boss Tony Humes was de­lighted with his side’s dis­play, which left them a point off safety in League One.

Humes said: “I thought we were su­perb and it was a real team dis­play.

“Ev­ery­one played their part from start to fin­ish and I was de­lighted, es­pe­cially when you come to a place like this when they’re on a high.

“It was an aw­ful pitch, but I think we would have set­tled for a point be­fore the game.

“I’m de­lighted for Chris Porter be­cause he’s set­tled in very quickly and it was a great goal – he led the line very well for us. It was prob­a­bly the hard­est chance of the few we had in the first 15 min­utes.

“I’m pleased for him that he got off the mark for us early.”

Colch­ester took a fifth-minute lead through Porter, who curled a mag­nif­i­cent 20-yard shot into the top cor­ner as the game started in some style.

Gavin Massey and Sam­mie Sz­mod­ics wasted gilt-edged op­por­tu­ni­ties for the U’s in the min­utes that fol­lowed.

Brad­ford went in at half-time trail­ing but im­proved in the sec­ond half.

They scored their de­served equaliser through Mo­rais, who thumped home su­perbly at the far post from Jon Stead’s invit­ing cross. De­spite their late pres­sure Brad­ford could not force a win­ner and Colch­ester held on for a valu­able point.

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age Ltd


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rd DAN­GER MAN: Filipe Mo­rais scores for Brad­ford. Inset: Chris Porter scores the opener

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