Bradford frustrated as Hiwula nets late
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.”
STAR MAN JORDY HIWUL