Bantams Punished for Lacklustre Second Half Performance at Tranmere

Despite taking a first half lead through Levi Sutton, the Bantams left Merseyside empty handed as two quick goals from Tranmere changed the course of the game. Pressure is mounting for Derek Adams’ side, as the gap between Bradford and the playoffs increased to six points.

There was a fast-paced opening to the game, with Tranmere controlling most of possession. Nine minutes in, Tranmere almost made this pressure count. Calum MacDonald pulled the ball back to Josh Hawkes who had space on the edge of Bradford’s penalty area. Hawkes strook a looping effort towards goal, but Richard O’Donnell was equal to it, parrying the ball behind for a corner.

From the resulting corner, the home side created an even better chance. Hawkes played the corner into the area, which Kieron Morris guided goalward. Morris’ headed effort beat O’Donnell, but Lee Angol headed the effort clear, preventing Tranmere from taking an early lead.

In spite of Tranmere’s early attacking threat, it was Bradford who took the lead. Finn Cousin-Dawson began a fantastic one-touch passing routine, with the ball eventually finding Levi Sutton. Sutton drove at Tranmere’s defence, and after cutting onto his left foot, fired the ball past a helpless Ross Doohan to give City the advantage.

Just before half time, however, Sutton nearly gifted Tranmere an equaliser. Sutton played a loose back pass to Richard O’Donnell, which Nicky Maynard was able to nick from the City ‘keeper. The veteran striker composed himself, but his effort was somehow blocked off the line by Yann Songo’o.

The Bantams were perhaps fortunate to be ahead at the interval, but threw all their hard work away within the first ten minutes of the restart.

Firstly, after winning the ball back inside his own half, a poor pass from Elliot Watt was intercepted by Kieron Morris. Unchallenged, Morris was able to drive forward, before unleashing a driven effort into the bottom right-hand corner to level the scores.

Tranmere were now in the ascendency, and went ahead just minutes later. Cousin-Dawson failed to clear Josh Dacres-Cogley’s cross, which allowed Paul Glatzel to finish from close range.

Bradford never recovered from going behind, but O’Donnell managed to keep the deficit at just one goal. Kieron Morris once again found himself in space, whose half-volley almost caught the City ‘keeper out at his near post, but O’Donnell managed to scramble the ball behind for a corner.

After a flurry of long throws from Cousin-Dawson in injury time, the referee brought proceedings to a close. The defeat was Bradford’s first in over a month, but also means their winless league run has been extended to four. It is now imperative that Bradford claim all three points on Saturday away to bottom of the league Scunthorpe, otherwise fans may really begin to turn against their team.


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