The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Steven Chicken

DON­CASTER do not com­pare to Chelsea or Sun­der­land, but Brad­ford boss Phil Parkin­son ranks this James Han­son-in­spired victory over their York­shire ri­vals as one of the Ban­tams’ best this year.

City missed an op­por­tu­nity with the first of their two games in hand by los­ing at Ch­ester­field on March 31, but this victory keeps them three points be­hind the sixth-placed Spire­ites hav­ing played one game fewer.

Parkin­son said: “I think in the con­text of wins this sea­son, that’s got to be right up there as one of our best.

“We got beat on Tues­day and then came up against Don­caster, who have a lot of Cham­pi­onshipqual­ity play­ers in their team.

“They’re a good side and ob­vi­ously close to us in the ta­ble, so tak­ing ev­ery­thing into ac­count it was a huge win for us.

“Han­son hasn’t been at his best lately, I’ll be hon­est, but he showed what he’s all about.

“Don’t any­body think he’s just a big man, be­cause that an­noys me. He’s got abil­ity and foot­ball in­tel­li­gence. He’s a big man who can play.”

Rovers’ first penalty shout of the game was turned down on 18 min­utes af­ter Stephen Darby pushed over Jon­son Clarke-Har­ris.

Brad­ford put in a typ­i­cally com­mit­ted away per­for­mance, and Han­son could have given them the lead had the re­turn­ing Filipe Mo­rais’ 25th-minute cross been two inches lower.

But Don­caster went clos­est to break­ing the first-half dead­lock, with Curtis Main hit­ting the cross­bar from just out­side the box.

An­other Rovers penalty shout fol­lowed as Gary MacKenzie tus­sled with Harry For­rester, but an off­side flag negated the foul.

City opened the scor­ing on 55 min­utes, with Han­son caus­ing a scram­bled panic in the Donny box and MacKenzie even­tu­ally bundling home.

Billy Clarke dou­bled the lead af­ter City caught the hosts nap- ping and Han­son held off Luke McCul­lough su­perbly be­fore tee­ing up his strike part­ner.

And sub­sti­tute Tony McMa­hon scored his first Brad­ford goal deep into in­jury time, find­ing the bot­tom cor­ner af­ter rob­bing Reece Wabara just out­side the penalty box.

Fum­ing home boss Paul Dickov in­sists his side are not yet out of a play-off race that extends all the way to his side in 12th, but much im­prove­ment will be needed.

He said: “I’m more an­gry than dis­ap­pointed, es­pe­cially about the sec­ond half.

“I want to give a lot of credit to Brad­ford, be­cause they out­fought us, out­bat­tled us, won sec­ond balls - all the ba­sic things in games that you should be do­ing, they did it bet­ter than us.

“Sec­ond half we tried to over­com­pli­cate it, we didn’t want to go with run­ners, and made un­be­liev­ably em­bar­rass­ing mis­takes for the goals.

“It gives me plenty of food for thought, not just for the end of this sea­son but look­ing to next sea­son as well. There’s 21 points to play for and the way the league is that still gives us a chance, but we’ve no chance if we play like that.”

PIC­TURES: Me­dia Im­age

MAC’S A MIL­LION: Gary MacKenzie is mobbed af­ter giv­ing Brad­ford City a 1-0 lead

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