13th October 1990
Bradford City (home)
BARCLAYS LEAGUE DIVISION THREE- 13.10.90
EXETER CITY 2
BRADFORD CITY 2
An incident packed and entertaining game at St James Park saw City once again find their goalscoring touch, but unfortunately fail to take all the three points. Steve Neville won much praise for his performance, and both he and Gordon Hobson rewarded their manager for giving them an early return to action after being dropped at Preston, with a goal apiece.
However, City got off to a bad start, former Plymouth Argyle front man Sean McCarthy seizing on Robbie James's near post dummy to drill the ball home despite the best efforts of Shaun Taylor on the line.
City could have struck back from this early blow instantly, Mark Cooper's shot breaking to Steve Neville inside the six yard box, but the City assistant manager couldn't connect properly and the ball ran to safety. Both side's looked lively in attack, with City being denied a penalty after Steve Neville's jinking run was brought to a premature halt inside the box.
The penalty finally came our way though, but by a much less orthodox method after 32 minutes. Keeper Tomlinson handled outside his box after the lively Neville had been sent clear, and Mark Cooper quickly took the resultant free-kick which Bradford's Lee Duxbury, thinking the kick had been taken before the referee's whistle, reached up to palm the ball down inside the box. There was little choice for the referee but to award the penalty, which after some delay whilst the visitors protested, Gordon Hobson struck comfortably home.
The remainder of the half saw chances at both ends, Kevin Miller cleared his line well under pressure from Duxbury, and a quick counter attack from City saw Neville once again carve the visitors' defence open, only for Richard Young's cross to be cleared to safety.
Having enjoyed much of the play after the interval, City took the lead eleven minutes into the second half. A strong Mark Cooper challenge saw the ball break luckily for City off a Bradford defender into the path of Steve Neville, who ran through and slipped the ball confidently past the advancing keeper to give City a 2 I lead.
However, the lead didn't last long. After 66 minutes the City defence pushed forward looking for offside, but the linesman's flag stayed down, presumably judging the offending player not to be interfering with play, and Duxbury ran through to square the ball for the other half of the former Argyle duo Mark Stuart to apply the easiest of finishes.
After good efforts from Mark Cooper and Gordon Hobson, some wizardry from Steve Neville resulted in a perfect cross to the far post which Richard Dryden could only direct straight at Bradford keeper Tomlinson. Towards the end. Richard Young was put clean through only to chip his shot straight at the keeper, and having done well to block Danny Bailey' shot, Tomlinson scrambled to his feet to deny Richard Dryden a chance at the far post
So 2-2 the final score, and although City will be disappointed not to have got the win, it certainly makes a pleasant change from those 1-0 defeats!