BANTAMS ‘GRIND’ TO DERBY GLORY

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Harry Everett

STU­ART McCall be­lieves there was no bet­ter way for his Brad­ford side to round off a suc­cess­ful month after “grind­ing out” a derby vic­tory.

Brad­ford climbed to third in the table – just two points out­side the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion spots – by clinch­ing York­shire brag­ging rights over Don­caster.

And even more sat­is­fy­ingly, they bounced back from a 3-0 mid­week de­feat to Fleet­wood to made it 16 points from 21 in Septem­ber, leav­ing McCall buoy­ant, de­spite a less-than-vin­tage dis­play.

“Some­times it’s about grind­ing re­sults out,” ad­mit­ted McCall. “I would’ve loved to have played a bit bet­ter but away from home par­tic­u­larly, they are a good side, so to come away with a clean sheet is pos­i­tive.

“It’s been a ter­rific month for us with 16 points.

“Colin Doyle made a good save just 30 sec­onds after half-time when their boy maybe should scored and that was key.

“We felt set-plays and put­ting crosses in could be key for us against Don­caster and that proved to be the case.”

Brad­ford broke the dead­lock in the 18th minute when an Adam Chick­sen cross from the left was headed back across goal­keeper Marko Marosi and into the bot­tom corner by Char­lie Wyke.

Rovers had been on top be­fore the goal but never made any­thing out of their halfchances through Al­fie May and John Mar­quis on the counter-at­tack. Brad­ford soon had the ball in the net again, a strong header from Matt Kil­gal­lon su­perbly saved by Marosi then bun­dled in by Wyke, but the lines­man’s flag de­nied him a sec­ond in two min­utes.

City did get the sec­ond just be­fore half-time how­ever. Great work by the im­pres­sive Dom Poleon, ha­rass­ing the Donny de­fence, led to a corner and Nat Knight-Per­ci­val nod­ded in Tony McMa­hon’s out-swing­ing cross.

Donny boss Dar­ren Fer­gu­son said that at half-time, he said to his play­ers: “make sure you get the next goal be­cause 2-0 is al­ways a pre­car­i­ous lead.”

And less than 30 sec­onds into the sec­ond half, Rovers had their best chance, Mar­quis and May ex­chang­ing one-twos be­fore the lat­ter’s shot was palmed out for a corner from a tight an­gle.

Brad­ford counter-at­tacked and Poleon went through but Marosi came out and saved well.

The rest of the sec­ond pe­riod was played at a far higher tempo than the first half but lacked qual­ity from ei­ther side to add to the score­sheet.

“We kept go­ing but I’m not go­ing to praise them for keep­ing go­ing. That’s a given,” added Fer­gu­son.

“We’re beat­ing our­selves. We’re not giving our­selves a chance at the mo­ment. We just didn’t do the ba­sics and that’s cost us the game.

“On set-pieces, they’re very strong and we gave them a free header from a set­piece. We know what we need to do and we need to find a way to do it.”

PIC­TURES: PSI/Si­mon Davies

HEAD BOY: Brad­ford de­fender Nat Knight-Per­ci­val cel­e­brates nod­ding in to make it 2-0

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