Tie soaked in history – but not in goals
BOTH Bury and Bradford went into the hat for Monday evening’s fourth round draw after the League One rivals failed to find the net at a soaking Gigg Lane.
With three FA Cup triumphs between them – although Bradford’s 1911 win is the most recent – and memories still fresh of the Bantams’ outstanding run in last year’s competition, this was a game with history on its side if not the conditions, as both sides struggled after a first half that promised more.
Bemoaning his side’s wastefulness after they missed a host of chances, Bradford assistant manager Steve Parkin said:“It was a typical Cup tie with a heavy pitch and both teams committed.
“On another day we could have scored two or three but all things being equal it was a fair result.”
Currently training at a temporary venue in Leeds after recent flooding forced the closure of their Apperley Bridge base, Parkin admitted it had not been easy for his players.
“There were certain aspects of our preparation that we couldn’t do anything about but the lads have been brilliant,” he said.“It was a whole-hearted performance.”
Roared on by their huge away following who occupied both ends of Gigg Lane, Bradford had the better of the opening exchanges. But before the visitors could take advantage the game was disrupted by a lengthy stoppage following a clash of heads which resulted in Bury midfielder Craig Jones being carried off.
The hosts, who were looking to book a place in the fourth round for only the second time in 16 years, began to gain a foothold but it was the Bantams who came closest to opening the scoring when Tony McMahon’s low free-kick totally deceived debutant goalkeeper Ian Lawlor but rebounded off the post.
The best move of the half should have resulted in Bury taking the lead on 41 minutes when Danny Mayor squared for Andy Tutte, but he failed to challenge Ben Williams with a weak shot. Gary Liddle missed a fine chance to win it for the Yorkshire outfit in the second half but somehow headed wide from the excellent Kyel Reid’s pinpoint cross, before James Hanson wasted another gilt-edged opportunity in injury time.
Bury manager David Flitcroft said:“We were very brave first half and got the ball down well.We carved them up quite a few times.
“There were some real gilt-edged chances late on that went wasted and I didn’t expect it to be goalless as it was quite a vibrant game.”
STAR MAN KYEL REID Bradford