Parkinson blasts ref for spot kick call
BRADFORD boss Phil Parkinson couldn’t fault his players but had plenty to say about referee Michael Bull after his side conceded an injury-time penalty against Port Vale.
The FA Cup conquerors of Chelsea looked set to collect all three points and move into a play-off position after twice taking the lead through James Hanson and Filipe Morais.
But having once drawn level through substitute Achille Campion, the Valiants salvaged a lastgasp point, when Chris Birchell was brought down by City keeper Jordan Pickford.
Michael O’Connor converted from 12 yards to earn Vale an unlikely point, but it was the general performance of the match official which irked Parkinson.
He said:“I said to the ref at half-time ‘try not to let the crowd influence your decisions’. His performance in the first 15 minutes of that second half was incredible with some of the decisions they got.
“When we did get a free-kick, 2,000 Bradford fans sarcastically cheered him.We can’t all be wrong.
“I can’t fault the lads for their effort. As well as our goals we’ve had two chances that I don’t know how they haven’t ended up in the back of the net to kill the game off. It’s a cruel game.”
On 41 minutes Bradford took the lead when busy winger Morais saw his shot blocked only to then cross for Hanson to head into a gaping net.
The goal was fair reward for City who dominated the first half while their hosts offered little in attacking fortitude.
Just before the hour mark Vale had the equaliser when substitute Campion – with his first goal for the club – reacted quickest to an O’Connor header, following a cross from Carl Dickinson.
But Morais put Bradford back in front seven minutes later when he smashed home from outside the box following Chris Neal’s flailing punch, sending the Bantams’ supporters wild.
A late surge of pressure finally saw the visitors buckle and concede a decisive penalty earning a point for delighted Vale manager Rob Page. He said:“Late on we’ve shown we’ve got the character in the squad to keep going right up until the last second.
“I decided to go a little bit different first half with the team that last kept a clean sheet against Rochdale.
“We’re fully aware that we’re not keeping clean sheets.
“We brought Campion on at half time, he got his goal and I think we looked a bit more positive second half with our play.
“When we went a goal behind we had to make positive changes. I just wanted to go a bit more direct.”
STAR MAN FILIPE MORAI