Brad­ford frus­trated as Hi­wula nets late

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Aaron Bower

BRAD­FORD City as­sis­tant manager Steve Parkin re­fused to crit­i­cise his side de­spite a be­low-par draw against Wal­sall as Billy Clarke’s fifth goal in seven starts earned the Ban­tams a share of the spoils.

Brad­ford backed up their 2-0 win against Ley­ton Ori­ent in mid­week with a point that moves them into the top six with a game in hand on those be­low them.

And Parkin in­sisted fol­low­ing the game that de­spite lead­ing it is a point gained, as op­posed to two dropped.

“We were a bit frus­trated walk­ing off, but I think when we get in the dress­ing room and let it sink in then it’s got to be re­garded as a good point for us,” Parkin said.

“We snuffed each other out for long pe­ri­ods of the match; we were pretty poor in the first half although we still man­aged to shade a cou­ple of de­cent chances.

“It’s a great re­sult against a team who’ve got a bril­liant away record, es­pe­cially on the back of three points against Ley­ton Ori­ent in the week. When you look at the ta­ble and see we’ve gone up a place into the top six then that just gives ev­ery­one a fur­ther lift.”

In a game with few clear-cut chances, it wasn’t un­til the sec­ond half when the game re­ally started to come to life.

Brad­ford emerged from the break af­ter a dull first 45 min­utes much the bet­ter of the two sides, and took the lead just be­fore the hour mark.

Some good work from the home side mov­ing for­ward saw the ball find its way to Clarke, who ri­fled home a su­perb shot from 25 yards to nudge the Ban­tams into the lead.

Wal­sall hit back strongly from that set­back though - Clarke’s strike was just the third goal they had con­ceded in eight away games - and even­tu­ally bat­tled their way back into it to grab a point.

Af­ter An­thony Forde came close with a free­kick, striker Jordy Hi­wula nod­ded home at the far post to claim a point for the vis­i­tors, with boss Dean Smith equally pleased with a pre­cious point against a pro­mo­tion-chas­ing side.

“It’s not an easy place to come to. It’s a big point for us, es­pe­cially com­ing from a goal be­hind,” Smith said.

“They’ve a big crowd who gets be­hind them, makes a lot of noise and can re­ally drive them on at Brad­ford.

“We with­stood it and got our re­wards in the end, which from a per­sonal point of view was re­ally pleas­ing.

"I wouldn’t say we were any­where near our best, but I think Phil (Parkin­son) would prob­a­bly say the same about their guys, too.

“It was prob­a­bly a fair re­sult in the end. Ev­ery point in this league is hard-earned, that’s for sure.”


A Wal­sal


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