SUPERSUB COLE FIRES BANTAMS
BRADFORD CITY boss Phil Parkinson believes he now has potent weapons to call upon off the bench after new signing Devante Cole came on to score an injury-time winner and the Bantams secured a first victory of the season.
Cole, son of Manchester United and England striker Andy, only signed from Manchester City this week but he made an immediate impact with a 94th-minute goal.
Parkinson said: “He offers something different; he’s got real pace and he’s prepared to get into the six-yard box, which is where goals come from.
“We’re really pleased with him coming off the bench and scoring, and on his debut.
“He’s a terrific signing for us and a real project for us to work with.
“We’ve wanted more threat off the bench as we didn’t turn enough games round last year. I looked round today and thought ‘woah, we’ve got options now’.”
Port Vale will feel hard done by as they had the better chances in the first half through Enoch Andoh’s trickery and Uche Ikpeazu’s audacious overhead kick.
However, their midweek exertions in taking West Brom all the way in the Capital One Cup seemed to catch up with them in the second period as the home side pressed for a winner.
It came when the ball fell to Cole in the dying seconds and the 20-year-old fired in off keeper Jak Alnwick’s leg.
Parkinson was pleased with his side’s response as they claimed their first three points of the season.
He said: “We deserved the win. We played with so much more conviction with the ball and passed it much better – we looked like a different side.
“The game opened up in the second period. It’s always tight against Port Vale because they are a good side and confident after a great performance in midweek.”
His opposite number Robert Page was understandably frustrated that his team’s unbeaten run came to an end after what he called a preventable goal.
Page said: “To lose any game of football is tough to take, but to lose it in the 94th minute is a bitter pill to swallow.
“I think when you’re on top during a game it’s important to score and we created enough chances to maybe be two goals to the good at half-time.
“We knew we had to cope with the presence of James Hanson up top and in the main we did it very well, it was just a lapse of concentration that cost us.
“We gave them half a chance and Cole put it in the net.
“We’ve been beaten by a goal that we really should have dealt with.”
After naming the same starting XI for two matches running, having taken West Brom to penalties on Tuesday, Page admitted tiredness was an issue for his players.
He added: “I’m disappointed but 120 minutes against a top team is bound to be a factor, and we were caught open in the second half, but there are no excuses.”
STAR MAN ENOCH ANDOH PortVale COLE-DEN CHANCE: Devante Cole makes an immediate impression at Bradford by scoring the last-gasp winner