A spirited Bradford side came from behind twice to draw at home to Sutton, despite playing for over an hour with ten men. Whilst the result means Derek Adams’ side are now winless in seven league games, the character shown by the players provided fans with a sense of belief and optimism.
The opening exchanges were quite even, with both sides having spells of possession. The game was very open, but neither side was able to create a goalscoring opportunity. However, just as the intensity of the game was dropping, Elliot Watt attempted an audacious effort on goal.
Watt collected the ball inside his own half, and spotted Dean Bouzanis off his line, firing the ball towards goal from the half way line. For a brief moment, it looked as if Watt was going to find the back of the net, but Bouzanis recovered to put the ball behind for a corner.
Ten minutes later, City skipper Niall Canavan had a disaster. Canavan received the ball with plenty of time and space, but with Omar Bugiel eventually pressing, Canavan hesitated. Bugiel was able to steal the ball from Canavan, and found himself through on goal. Canavan chased Bugiel back, and pulled him down inside the area, resulting in a red card for preventing a goalscoring opportunity.
Robert Milsom stepped up to take the penalty, and made no mistake from the spot, slotting the ball past Sam Hornby to give to Sutton the lead.
Although, Sutton were not ahead for long. In City’s next attack, they equalised. Elliot Watt played in a free kick from the right, which Theo Robinson flicked past Bouzanis from the middle of the area to bring City back level.
City were looking to see out the rest of the first half, and re-group at half time, but they could have very easily gone behind on 41 minutes. Sutton captain Louis John got on the end of an excellent corner, and tried to scramble the ball into the back of the net. Lee Angol managed to get back onto the line, and appeared to clear the ball using his hands. The referee missed the incident, leaving John furious, who was booked for his protests.
Following this late scare in the first half, City did manage to see out the first half. Half time did provide a perfect opportunity to re-group for the Bantams, and in the second half they looked really dangerous on the counter attack.
However, with less than 15 minutes remaining, Bradford were caught on the counter themselves. Ricky Korboa drove at Oscar Threlkeld, who was unable to make a challenge, allowing Korboa to shoot at goal. Hornby, making just his second league start of the season, was unable to hold onto the effort, parrying the ball back into danger. Alistair Smith was on hand to head home the rebound from inside the six-yard box.
Bradford could have easily felt sorry for themselves, but the ten men still on the pitch kept pushing. Just five minutes later, they were rewarded with another equaliser. After a wonderful passing move, Oscar Threlkeld found Levi Sutton on the overlap. Sutton picked out Lee Angol exquisitely, who was able to finish at the back post it make it 2-2.
The Bantams weren’t happy to settle for a point, with Angol quickly getting the ball from the goal ready to push for a winner. Unfortunately for the Bantams, they couldn’t create another clear opening, and the game finished level. City fans were proud of the character and resilience their side showed after going down to ten men. Should City play with the same determination and intensity as in the second half against Sutton in the coming games, they will soon be back to winning ways.