It was a game of two halves as Derek Adams’ side came from behind to draw 1-1 away at Scunthorpe, who remain bottom of the Football League. Despite showing good character to battle the elements and come from behind, it is another disappointing result for the Bantams, as this game was a good opportunity to close the gap to the playoffs.
Scunthorpe had the better of the first half proceedings, dominating possession and creating more goalscoring opportunities. With just nine minutes on the clock, the home side had their first chance. Myles Hippolyte played a through ball to Jake Scrimshaw who fired an effort goalward with his left foot. Paudie O’Connor managed to get in the way of the shot, deflecting the effort just over the bar.
Keith Hill’s side were really using the wind to their advantage, and fashioned an even better chance 12 minutes later. Alfie Beestin sent the ball into the Bradford area from a free kick, which, with the help of the wind, travelled all the way into the six-yard box. Manny Onariase got a foot to the ball, but his effort somehow flew over the bar.
On 37 minutes, the wind played a huge part in another chance for Scunthorpe. Alfie Beestin played a corner into the box, but the wind very nearly blew the ball straight into Richard O’Donnell’s net, but the City ‘keeper managed to scramble across his goal to prevent his side from going behind.
It looked as though City may have been able to hold out until half time, but just two minutes later they went behind. Ross Millen had acres of space on the right flank, and played a perfect cross into Bradford’s penalty area. Aaron Jarvis got above his man, and headed the ball into the far corner of the net, leaving O’Donnell rooted to the spot.
City managed to hold Scunthorpe out for the remainder of the half, and were looking to use the wind themselves going into the second half. Almost immediately after the restart, City should have been level. Following a Callum Cooke free kick, the ball fell to Theo Robinson within the six-yard area, who mishit the ball back across goal. A clean connection from Robinson would have almost certainly led to an equaliser.
Bradford kept on the front foot, however, and in their next attack, should have been awarded a penalty. Levi Sutton looked to get past his man in Scunthorpe’s area, and was blatantly tripped, but the referee wasn’t interested. Sutton and Bradford fans alike were furious.
With little over 20 minutes to go, Bradford finally scored the equaliser they were pushing for. Callum Cooke played a corner ball into the area, which Scunthorpe ‘keeper Kieran O’Hara was unable to claim or punch clear. This allowed Yann Songo’o to head the ball into an empty net, which was his first goal for the club.
Bradford weren’t happy to settle for a point, and five minutes later almost went ahead. Scunthorpe failed to clear the ball from a Liam Ridehalgh long throw. Alex Gilliead managed to control the ball on the edge of the area, before turning and beating his man. He fired a shot towards goal, which bounced back off the post, allowing Scunthorpe to finally clear.
Scunthorpe very nearly punished Bradford for their missed chances with ten minutes remaining. Ross Millen played another good cross into City’s penalty area, which ricocheted between Paudie O’Connor and Aaron Jarvis before hitting the crossbar.
City didn’t let this chance affect their attacking momentum, but they were unable to create another clear opening before the referee blew the full-time whistle. The result means that Derek Adams’ men have gone the whole of November without a league win, but they will be hoping to return to winning ways at home to Sutton on December 11th. First, however, the Bantams must travel back to Exeter for the replay of their FA Cup first round replay.