Match 08
13 September 2008.
Bradford City (a)

Bradford 4 Exeter 1. 
Saturday 13 September 2008.

On the Road with Jim Sheppard 

294 City fans made the long long trip to Bradford to see what 20 would turn out to be a game of two halves. City lined up with a back five of Paul Jones, Steve Tully, Matt Taylor, Danny Seaborne and Dean Moxey. The midfield was changed slightly with Bertie Cozic coming in on the right, Rob Edwards, Matt Gill and Ryan Harley in the middle Marcus Stewart was down the left and Adam Stansfield was up front, down the middle The formation was slightly more defensive than recently with it being more 4-5-1 than 4-3-3. The game got going almost immediately with City continuing to play the same passing game deployed all seasonStansfield was getting a lot of change out of the Bradford back four and was causing havoc. Midway through the first half he found himself through down the left and smashed a shot, saved by the keeper onto the bar and out for a cornerStansfield was a constant threat getting in behind, but hitting a one on one straight at the keeper, however, the linesman indicated it would have been ruled out for offside The threat was not all one way with Bradford having some decent chances on a few occasions they found their way in behind the full backs but Jones made a some excellent saves, as well as there being some good covering defending from Taylor and Seaborne. Omar Daley then went closest for Bradfordwith a good run as he unleashed a wicked shot that cannoned off the joint of post and bar with Jones well beaten. In the 38th minute came the moment the 294 were waiting for. Stansfield got away down the left channel and put a cross in across the 6-yard boxThe defender scuffed the clearance and from just outside the area Matt Gill smashed the ball home in off the post. From this moment an otherwise cautiousbut exciting half opened up. It was end to end for the remaining few minutes and the Bradford fans were starting to get restless. The second half was a completely different story. Bradford clearly had been given a rocket by the manager and they saw a lot more of the ball with Daley giving Tully a torrid time and Joe Colbeck getting in behind Moxey as well. The equaliser was coming and in the 54th minute it came, a long range effort from Colbeck was not caught by Jones and the rebound fell to Thorne who had the easy task of tapping into an empty net. Five minutes later and City were behind, a cross to the far post was met with a splendid header from Boulding who planted it into the top corner leaving Jones no chance. Nine minutes later and Thorne was back on the score sheet. Colbeck again got in down the right and a fierce shot smashed off Jones and was again tapped home. The 18 minute massacre was soon over when Boulding had a shot from the edge of the area and a wicked deflection off Taylor and beat Jones who was already moving in the original direction. During this time Ben Watson, Richard Logan and Liam Sercombe had come on for Stansfield, Edwards and Cozic respectively and City reverted to a standard 4-4-2. Bradford took off Daley who got man of the match and an ovation from the Exeter fans such was his performance. Logan and Watson proved effective and City started to create chances again, the closest was Sercombe who drilled wide from a close angle. All in all this was a lesson dished out to the fans and the players. Bradford were a classy outfit going forward and showed how to be clinical and ruthless. City can take heart that they will not face this quality every week and must treat this as a learning curve. Stansfield showed his worth up front, but needs to start getting on the sheet himself. Harley and Sercombe showed some decent play and with expansive passing and running. The defence coped well in the first half but the second taught everyone a lesson of the standard we need to reach if we are to threaten promotion places in this division. 

BBC match summary and information 

Bradford hit four second-half goals to come from behind against stunned Exeter and go top of the League Two table. Matt Gill put the visitors ahead in the 38th-minute lead when Bradford failed to cut out a Ryan Harley cross. But Peter Thorne pounced on a rebound to draw the home side level and spark a spell of four goals in 19 minutes. Michael Boulding headed the home side ahead and Thorne then converted a Joe Colbeck cross before Boulding grabbed his second goal.

Bradford: Rhys Evans, Arnison, Lee, Clarke, Heckingbottom, Colbeck, McLaren, Bullock (Furman 75), Daley (Nix 82), Thorne (Conlon 75), Michael Boulding.

Subs Not Used: Bower, Moncur.

Goals: Thorne 54, Michael Boulding 59, Thorne 68, Michael Boulding 72.

Exeter: Jones, Tully, Seaborne, Taylor, Moxey, Harley, Cozic (Sercombe 64), Gill, Edwards (Logan 70), Stewart, Stansfield (Watson 70).
Subs Not Used: Marriott, Panther.

Booked: Tully.

Goals: Gill 38.

Attendance 12,683 (294 away fans) 

Referee Colin Webster (Tyne & Wear).



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