PHIL PURRS AT BEST WIN YET
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.”
MAC’S A MILLION: Gary MacKenzie is mobbed after giving Bradford City a 1-0 lead