Tag: Bradford

League 1: Bristol City promoted to Championship

League One leaders Bristol City thumped Bradford City to seal promotion to the Championship after a two-year absence.

The away side dominated from the start, with James Tavernier’s toe-poke and Joe Bryan’s far-post header putting them in command at the break.

Luke Ayling fired in from long range and Aden Flint nodded in as the Robins ran riot in the second half.

Tavernier’s slotted finish and Aaron Wilbraham’s strike completed a memorable evening.

Now 10 points clear of second-placed Preston North End, the Ashton Gate outfit need to win only one of their remaining three games to be certain of securing the League One title.

Under boss Steve Cotterill, the Robins have been in imperious form since the very start of the season, winning at fellow promotion contenders Sheffield United on the opening day and remaining unbeaten until mid-November.

Having lifted the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley last month,Bristol City’s latest undefeated run in the league stretches 12 matches and leaves them strong favourites to complete a lower-league double.

This campaign also represents a remarkable turnaround for a club who, when Cotterill was appointed 16 months ago, were languishing in 23rd in the table and in danger of suffering successive relegations.

The former Cheltenham, Burnley and Portsmouth manager’s summer recruitment has been key to their success, with the arrival of Luke Freeman from Stevenage as significant as any.

Already the division’s leading assist maker, the 23-year-old was again the orchestrator as the visitors bossed the opening period, setting Tavernier clear for their first and crossing for Bryan to head in the second.

But, while Bristol City enjoyed the better of the first half, they produced an emphatic display of attacking football in the second to seal promotion in style.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Reading 3-0 Bradford

Bradford’s fairytale run was brought to an end as Reading sealed their first FA Cup semi-final appearance for 88 years.

A Hal Robson-Kanu header and deflected Garath McCleary shot in the opening nine minutes set the Championship side on the way to a sixth-round replay win.

Bradford’s Filipe Morais was sent off for a high challenge on 63 minutes and Jamie Mackie scored Reading’s third shortly after with a neat low finish.

The Royals will face FA Cup holders Arsenal at Wembley on 18 or 19 April.

Reading took control straight from the first whistle, nine days after the sides battled out a 0-0 stalemate at Valley Parade.

Robson-Kanu gave them an ideal start, rising to score with a near-post header from McCleary’s sixth-minute corner.

The impressive McCleary – later the alleged victim of racist abuse by a supporter – doubled the lead three minutes later with Phil Parkinson’s side still attempting to regroup.

The winger cut in from the right to beat keeper Ben Williams from just inside the area with a shot that took a big looping deflection off Andy Halliday.

A fine save from Williams prevented Reading’s Dan Williams from adding a long-range third before half-time.

League One Bradford, who made six changes to the side that drew with Notts County on Saturday, retained hope of a second-half comeback, after recovering from two goals down in round four to beat Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge in one of the competition’s greatest-ever shocks.

But 48 hours after their last game, the tired-looking Bantams never appeared capable of a repeat of their heroics, which had also seen them knock out Premier League Sunderland and Championship side Millwallduring a memorable run.

Their task was made even harder when Morais was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Nathaniel Chalobah – the Portuguese winger’s foot connecting with the on-loan Chelsea midfielder’s midriff as they contested a high ball.

Reading, who had rested all of their starting 11 in Saturday’s 4-1 defeat by Watford, pressed home their numerical advantage, Chalobah releasing Mackie to fire past an exposed Williams.

Home fans celebrated on the pitch after the final whistle, having had time to savour the success in a one-sided contest.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Semi Final Draw

FA Cup holders Arsenal must wait until next Monday to find out who they will meet in this year’s semi-finals at Wembley.

Shortly after seeing off Manchester United in an exciting Sixth Round tie at Old Trafford, Arsene Wenger’s men were paired with the winners of Bradford City and Reading in the last-four.

Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel and Arsenal fan Dermot O’Leary made the draw for the semis, which drew out Aston Villa to face the victors of Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers’ replay in early April.

Bradford or Reading Arsenal
Aston Villa Liverpool or Blackburn Rovers

The two ties will be played on the weekend of 18 and 19 April at the national stadium, exact dates and times will be confirmed soon.

Read more at The FA

FA Cup: Bradford 0-0 Reading

Bradford and Reading must wait to make history after the two lowest sides left in this season’s FA Cup clattered out a goalless lunchtime draw at Valley Parade.

League One side Bradford had the best of a fractious affair but Phil Parkinson’s men could not quite summon the spirit which had swept them past Chelsea and Sunderland in the two previous rounds.

And despite the Bantams dominating for long periods Championship outfit Reading almost snatched it at the death when Oliver Norwood’s free-kick eluded everyone in the box and struck the base of Ben Williams’ right-hand upright.

Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak and Bradford’s Gary Liddle also hit the woodwork in the first period in a game big on intent but clearly suffering from the pressure of the momentous prize at stake for both clubs.

A winner would have sent Bradford into the semi-finals for the first time since they won the trophy in 1911 while the Royals were bidding to end their own 88-year wait.

The bustling tempo was set in the opening minute as Bradford midfielder Billy Knott barged over Jamie Mackie and moments later a Nathaniel Chalobah challenge left James Hanson stretched out on the turf.

If such a game was always bound to be short on quality the early tempo was breathtaking with both sides clearly keen to make a mark in front of two sets of raucous supporters in the lunchtime sunshine.

The urgency even extended to the sidelines where Parkinson reacted with fury to an Alex Pearce foul on Hanson which went unpunished by referee Neil Swarbrick who called the game back for an earlier foul throw.

Bradford had the first shot on target in the 12th minute but it was a simple save for Adam Federici after Hanson only half-connected with a deep cross from the left by James Meredith.

Perhaps mindful of their status as favourites in many people’s eyes given their heroics of previous rounds, it was the hosts who seemed to be feeling the pressure most as Steve Clarke’s men began to take a grip on proceedings.

Pogrebnyak missed a great chance to snatch the lead for the visitors in the 27th minute when he was put through by Mackie only to fire his low right-foot shot against the post.

But the home side came equally close nine minutes later when a half-clearance fell to Liddle whose cross from wide on the left eluded everybody in the box and struck the base of Federici’s right-hand post.

Keen to keep up his record of scoring in every round of this season’s competition, Jon Stead was close to connecting with another Meredith cross as the first half nudged to a rather gruelling conclusion.

Bradford looked a better team from the start of the second period, pinning the visitors back and coming close within seconds of the re-start when Filipe Morais got behind the Reading defence to reach a Hanlon cross only to scuff his effort from a tight angle.

Clarke skewed an effort wide after a neat one-two with Stead on the edge of the box, then Stead himself wriggled through a group of Reading defenders before Stephen Kelly denied him a shooting opportunity with a fine sliding tackle.

Reading were barely in the game as it ticked past the hour mark and they were lucky to stay on level terms in the 71st minute when Hanson fired just wide from point-blank range after a cross from Stead.

Bradford came close again four minutes later when the excellent Morais flung in another cross from wide on the right and found the head of defender Andrew Davies, who powered his shot just over Federici’s bar.

Then came Norwood’s late free-kick which sprang through a crowded box and sparked a mighty goalmouth scramble as the visitors missed their chance to snatch a place in the last four by a lick of paint.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Man Utd face Arsenal in FA Cup quarter-finals

FA Cup holders Arsenal will travel to Manchester United in the quarter-finals next month.

United confirmed their place in the last eight after coming from behind to win 3-1 at Preston North End.

The Gunners, who beat Hull City in last year’s final, defeated Middlesbrough in the fifth round.

Liverpool host Blackburn, League One survivors Bradford City face Reading while West Midlands rivals Aston Villa and West Brom will meet at Villa Park.

Liverpool’s last-eight draw will give Steven Gerrard hope of reaching Wembley in his final season at the Reds, although they will have to overcome a Blackburn side who have knocked out Premier League opposition in Swansea and Stoke already this season.

League One side Bradford are into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time since 1976, and will be confident of progressing further after beating Premier League sides Chelsea and Sunderland in the previous rounds.

The quarter-final draw was made by England boss Roy Hodgson and Brian Finney, son of Preston legend Tom Finney, at Deepdale on Monday before the Preston-Manchester United game.

The draw in full:

Liverpool v Blackburn
Bradford v Reading
Manchester United v Arsenal
Aston Villa v West Brom

Ties to be played on 7 and 8 March.

FA Cup: Bradford 2-0 Sunderland

League One Bradford claimed another Premier League scalp to book their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time in 39 years amid uproarious scenes at Valley Parade on Sunday.

Billy Clarke’s deflected third-minute effort – which goes down as a John O’Shea own goal – and a cool 61st-minute finish from Jon Stead saw the Bantams build on their stunning fourth-round win over Chelsea by dispatching Gus Poyet’s Sunderland with embarrassing ease.

From Clarke’s effort on, the underdogs seized control of the game in front of a sell-out crowd of over 24,000 and heaped more woe on a Black Cats side already reeling from Tuesday night’s dismal top-flight loss to QPR.

At times it seemed like throwback football – a frenetic pace, a muddy pitch cutting up more by the minute, a pair of players swathed in thick white headbands after an early head clash, and a controversial lack of television cameras present to show the action live.

The roar released by the home fans at the final whistle could probably be heard in the offices of TV executives across the land as Phil Parkinson’s men confirmed their richly deserved place in the last eight for the first time since 1976.

The latest chapter in the Bantams’ extraordinary recent tale of cup success began with just three minutes on the clock as a free-kick from Filipe Morais was only half-cleared to Clarke whose lashed effort was deflected by hapless Sunderland captain O’Shea into the net.

The massed ranks of Sunderland fans who were accommodated down one entire side of the ground might have feared the worst when they arrived at the ground to discover recent saviour Jermain Defoe had been left out of the matchday squad.

And while, Defoe apart, the seven changes made by Poyet might have been construed as a team-strengthening exercise in light of their dismal midweek exploits, the hosts were in no mood to be fazed by the big occasion in light of their extraordinary success at Stamford Bridge.

Bradford were simply rampant in the early stages. Clarke had already dug a shot wide before he sent in his effort for the opener, and James Hanson went agonisingly close to connecting with a Stead flick-on to make it 2-0 with barely a quarter of an hour played.

Sunderland belatedly stirred, Adam Johnson bringing the first save out of Bradford keeper Ben Williams and then Steven Fletcher inexplicably hesitating with the goal at his mercy and the bandage-swathed Rory McArdle getting back with a brilliant tackle to preserve the home side’s lead.

Sebastian Larsson had a shot deflected narrowly over the bar in the 21st minute but the danger was mostly coming from Bradford, their sweeping counter-attacks making the Black Cats stars look sluggish and clueless.

Clarke brushed aside Johnson and Billy Jones to bring a save out of visiting keeper Vito Mannone, then Hanson again went inches away from connecting with a Morais cross as the home side ended the first period well on top.

Any home fears the break could work in favour of shell-shocked Sunderland proved unfounded as the end-to-end action continued to swing mostly in Bradford’s favour in the early stages of the second half.

And it was no real surprise when Stead maintained his remarkable record of scoring in every round of this season’s competition as he squeezed an effort under Mannone after being gifted his chance following a mistake by Johnson.

The home side played out the final half-hour of the game with the minimum of fuss, to the extent that by the time referee Kevin Friend blew the final whistle, the home fans had already started celebrating another great achievement.

While Bradford’s players basked in the richly deserved ovation of their fans, Sunderland slunk off to face the music from Poyet after another humiliation in a season which is quickly turning into another one to forget.

Read more at ESPN

FA Cup: Chelsea 2-4 Bradford

Bantams strike back to beat Chelsea

Bradford brilliantly responded from two goals down to win 4-2 at Chelsea and dump the Barclays Premier League leaders out of the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge.

League One City, who were 2-0 down after 38 minutes, claimed the biggest scalp of their recent giant-killing exploits to advance to the fifth round and end Chelsea’s hopes of challenging for an unprecedented quadruple.

Chelsea reject Filipe Morais levelled the fourth-round tie with 15 minutes to go before Jon Stead, the scorer of City’s first, teed up Andy Halliday for the winner eight minutes from time.

And substitute Mark Yeates tucked in a stoppage-time fourth to inflict the Blues’ first home loss this season and spark jubilant celebrations from Phil Parkinson’s visitors.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said it would be a “disgrace” if his side exited the competition to the League One Bantams, who beat Arsenal and Aston Villa en route to the 2013 League Cup final, where they were beaten by Swansea.

But Mourinho’s men were distinctly second best and not even the introduction of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Willian off the substitutes’ bench could rescue the tie.

It was the first time Chelsea have lost to lower-league opposition at home since 1995 against Millwall.

Chelsea made nine changes with Tuesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Liverpool in mind, but still fielded a team full of talent worth an estimated £98million. The fees for Bradford’s starting XI totalled £7,500.

The Blues must now regroup for their midweek clash with the Reds and next Saturday’s Premier League showdown with Manchester City.

FA Cup: Bradford 4-0 Millwall

League One Bradford City secured an FA Cup fourth-round trip to Chelsea after an impressive win over 10-man Millwall.

City, League Cup finalists in 2013, dominated their Championship opponents, scoring three goals in the first half after defender Mark Beevers sent off.

James Hanson headed in the opener before Jon Stead poked in and Andy Halliday tapped home before half-time.

Millwall rarely threatened, with Martyn Woolford shooting wide before Billy Knott lashed in a fourth.

Read more at BBC Sport

FA Cup: Halifax 1-2 Bradford

Bradford City had to come from behind to win their FA Cup first round West Yorkshire derby with Conference high fliers FC Halifax Town at The Shay.

Halifax looked on course for a shock when Lois Maynard stabbed home at the near post past a helpless Ben Williams.

But two goals in three early second-half minutes from Jon Stead and Filipe Morais turned the tie on its head.

Billy Clarke was involved each time, setting up Stead to level before Morais struck the winner on 53 minutes.

The half-time substitute threaded in Stead, who rounded Matt Glennon before slotting home.

Clarke then fed Morais, whose thumping strike across goal gave the keeper no chance, as City ended a five-match winless streak..

Maynard had earlier put the Shaymen in front after just three minutes when he turned in Paul Marshall’s corner – and the same combination almost crafted a second on 34 minutes.

But Maynard’s header from Marshall’s hanging cross was saved superbly at point-blank range by Williams.

An unmarked Scott Boden then missed a great opportunity on 40 minutes, shooting over from Richard Peniket’s low cross.

And the misses proved costly as Clarke’s half-time introduction inspired the Bantams into reaching Monday evening’s televised draw.

Read more on BBC Sport