‘UGLY’ WIN MAKES PARKIN­SON SMILE

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Colin Hen­rys

BATTLING Brad­ford will march for­ward with a spring in their step, ac­cord­ing to boss Phil Parkin­son, af­ter beat­ing Millwall to climb into the play-off places.

Sub­sti­tute Steven Davies scored the game’s only goal in a match dic­tated as much by the wet and windy con­di­tions as the play­ers on the pitch.

But Parkin­son be­lieves win­ning ugly is a tes­ta­ment to the Ban­tams’ ver­sa­til­ity as they bid for a top-six place.

“This win will send us to Crewe with a great spring in our step,” he said. “And we have to go there and set the same stan­dards we have been.

“This was al­ways go­ing to be a game where we had to grind out a win. In Eng­land you come up against dif­fer­ent weather con­di­tions through­out the sea­son, and the good teams pro­duce all types of vic­to­ries.

“You have to do what­ever it takes to give your­selves the best chance of win­ning and I felt we did that re­ally well. It was a huge win for us.”

Chances were hard to come by for much of the first half, but Tony McMa­hon curled a right-footed, 25-yard free-kick just wide on five min­utes. Millwall’s first chance also came from a free-kick, from a sim­i­lar dis­tance on 21 min­utes, but Joe Martin’s left-footed ef­fort also missed the tar­get.

Brad­ford seemed to set­tle into their pass­ing game quicker than the visi­tors, but Billy Knott’s strike with the out­side of his left foot on 32 min­utes failed to trou­ble Jor­dan Archer.

Kyel Reid went closer ten min­utes later, dip­ping his shoul­der to cut inside from the left, but his shot was straight at Archer. Millwall could have been in front on the stroke of half-time though when Morison crossed for O’Brien, but the striker mis­kicked inside the six-yard box and the ball looped over.

Brad­ford thought they had taken the lead six min­utes af­ter the restart, but a com­bi­na­tion of Archer, Mark Beev­ers and the off­side flag saved the visi­tors.

First Archer saved bril­liantly from Jamie Proctor at point-blank range and, af­ter Beev­ers got a vi­tal touch to deny Billy Clarke, Proctor’s tap-in from the lat­ter’s pass was ruled out for off­side. Parkin­son in­tro­duced Davies and James Han­son with 15 minute to play, in place of Proctor and Billy Clarke, and the change paid off big time.

Just four min­utes later, Nathan Clarke crossed deep into the area and Davies rose highest to head down and in.

He was then called into de­fen­sive duty at the other end, get­ting a vi­tal touch with Chris Tay­lor lurk­ing in the area on 83 min­utes, be­fore Ben Wil­liams saved well to deny Morison as Brad­ford held on for the

win. Millwall boss Neil Har­ris said: “I’m dis­ap­pointed and frus­trated. I didn’t feel we did enough to win the game, but I didn’t think Brad­ford did ei­ther.

“We knew it was go­ing to be a tough one with the con­di­tions and the pitch, and we com­peted re­ally well but we have bet­ter qual­ity than that.

“Ob­vi­ously you want to keep the gap to the teams be­low you as big as pos­si­ble, so it’s dis­ap­point­ing to lose, but there will be lots of twists and turns to come.”

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