Cod Army fire late bul­lets to grab point

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

FLEET­WOOD staged a dra­matic late come­back to snatch a point against Brad­ford City – and boss Gra­ham Alexander in­sisted it was no more than they de­served.

The vis­i­tors trailed 2-0 with five min­utes left on the clock, but late strikes from Jamie Proc­tor and Nathan Pond grabbed the Cod Army a share of the spoils.

“We de­served a point; be­ing 2-0 down wasn’t in the plan and we were nat­u­rally dis­ap­pointed with the way we con­ceded the goals,” said Alexander.

“The 2-0 score­line flat­tered Brad­ford a lit­tle bit, but to come back from that score­line shows fan­tas­tic re­silience from the play­ers, and it was no less than we de­served.

“I re­ally thought we de­served it; we needed the first goal to give our­selves half a chance, and you could see the be­lief in our team rise, and the nerves hit amongst Brad­ford’s play­ers and the crowd, which is what you have to do at a place like this.”

The Ban­tams were cruis­ing un­til the late rally from Fleet­wood. They led at the break af­ter striker Jon Stead prod­ded home from close range to open the scor­ing in the 11th minute.

The lead was dou­bled six min­utes af­ter the restart, when French mid­fielder Chris Routis tapped in fol­low­ing great work from striker James Han­son.

City looked com­fort­able and on course to pick up a vi­tal three points in the race for the play-offs, un­til Fleet­wood staged an in­cred­i­ble come­back.

The first goal came when striker Proc­tor headed home to halve the deficit.With Brad­ford sit­ting deep, Fleet­wood struck in in­jury time to grab a draw.

De­fender Pond smashed past Ben Wil­liams to snatch a priceless point on the road, leav­ing Brad­ford shell-shocked.

The Ban­tams have now failed to win in three matches, and boss Phil Parkin­son in­sisted af­ter the game he will not let their im­pres­sive sea­son fade out with a whim­per.

Parkin­son said:“We need more steely de­ter­mi­na­tion. We were the dom­i­nant team and we’ve some­how ended up with a point, and that’s not good enough.We need more re­solve about us than we showed.

“I thought all our sub­sti­tutes were, in truth, poor when they came on. We’ve looked at how we can im­prove and con­tri­bu­tion from the bench is a key area.

“We’ve had a lot of plau­dits this sea­son and,with ten games to go, rep­u­ta­tions can be made or bro­ken as foot­ballers.

“Play­ers can do su­perbly all sea­son and then peter out in the last few games – and I am not pre­pared to let that hap­pen.”

STAR MAN BILLY CLARK

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