BANTAMS ‘GRIND’ TO DERBY GLORY
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.”
HEAD BOY: Bradford defender Nat Knight-Percival celebrates nodding in to make it 2-0