PATRICK PULPS THE TANGERINES
ADEBUT goal from Omari Patrick sealed all three points for Bradford City against newly-promoted Blackpool at Valley Parade.
Nathaniel Knight-Percival had given the Bantams the lead shortly before half-time with his first goal for the club, only to see his back-post finish cancelled out immediately by Colin Daniel’s low strike.
The match was marred early on by a suspected neck injury to new Bradford signing Adam Chicksen, the left-back stretchered off after being treated for ten minutes.
But debutant striker Patrick struck on the hour mark to get Bradford off to the best possible start, although manager Stuart McCall wasn’t completely satisfied.
“I didn’t particularly enjoy the game to be honest,” he said.
“We didn’t move the ball quick enough, our passing from back to front wasn’t good enough but we got better second half. But there’s no denying it’s a great start for us. We got Omari in to have a look and without building him up too much, he deserved his opportunity and he really took it.”
Understandably, the first half was a tepid affair after such a long stoppage, but the visitors felt they should have had the lead before Chicksen’s injury when ex-Blackpool goalkeeper Colin Doyle appeared to spill a Mark Cullen ball across the line.
It took a set-piece to undo a tight Blackpool back three – Nicky Law’s ball in from the left was flicked on by substitute Timothee Dieng, allowing Knight-Percival to slide home at the back post.
Despite an instant response as Daniel cut in from the left and fired low past Doyle, Gary Bowyer was left frustrated by his side walking away with nothing.
“At times, we gave a really good account of ourselves. I thought our lads were terrific at times,” said Bowyer.
“We conceded a soft goal but our response was terrific.
“It was a really good bit of football and a great finish but we didn’t carry on from that and that’s what we’re disappointed with – you can’t just play well for one half of football in this league.
“It’s a good benchmark for us. Bradford are a great team but we need to do better on being more ruthless when we get a chance.
“That’s one thing we’ve just talked about and we’ve got to learn from that.”
Bradford, though, struggled for a breakthrough, despite the brilliance of new signing Jake Reeves who impressed all afternoon.
Fortunately for the hosts, Patrick had other ideas, turning and smashing an effort into the bottom corner to send the 20,000-strong crowd into raptures.
Regarding Chicksen, McCall added, “Adam is getting better. He’s improving. He was out for a couple of minutes but I’ve spoken to him and he’s aware of where he is and what he’s done.”
GOOD KNIGHT: Bradford City’s Nathaniel KnightPercival scores his team’s opener at Valley Parade
JOY: Omari Patrick celebrates