Bradford began 2022 with three points after defeating Barrow 2-1. Goals from Lee Angol and Andy Cook secured the three points for Derek Adams’s side, in City’s first game back since being hit with a Covid outbreak in mid-December.
After a scrappy opening to the contest, Bradford took the lead with less than ten minutes on the clock. Alex Gilliead drove into Barrow’s half before turning and playing an inch-perfect through ball to Lee Angol. The Bradford frontman controlled the ball, and then managed to prod the ball past Paul Farman to give City an early advantage.
Following the early goal, however, it was Barrow who had the majority of possession. Despite having more of the ball, Barrow were never really able to test Sam Hornby in Bradford’s goal.
The home side’s best chance of the half fell to Josh Gordon five minutes before half time. Gordon managed to get past Paudie O’Connor twice before cutting inside from the right flank. Barrow’s forward then hit the ball goalward, but his effort lacked the venom to beat Hornby.
Almost immediately after the half-time interval, Barrow were punished for not making the most of their possession. Alex Gilliead was able to keep Liam Ridehalgh’s long throw in play. Andy Cook latched onto the ball inside the area, before taking the ball round Farman, and firing into an open net to double City’s lead.
Although, the home side reduced the deficit just three minutes later. Josh Kay was able to dribble round Callum Cooke rather easily before playing a tantalising cross into Bradford’s penalty area. Bradford’s defence was slow to react, and it was Josh Gordon who managed to get onto the end of the cross to head past Hornby to bring Barrow right back into the game.
This gave the home side the momentum, and with Bradford tiring as a result of the Covid outbreak in the squad, Barrow were able to get a strong grip on proceedings.
Just seven minutes later, Barrow had a huge chance to draw level. Patrick Brough fizzed an enticing ball across the face of goal, but the goal scorer Gordon was unable to quite get on the end of it, before Connor Brown saw his effort blocked.
With little over 20 minutes remaining, Barrow did have the ball in the back of the net. Josh Gordon beat Sam Hornby in the air, heading the ball into an empty net, but Gordon was adjudged to have fouled Hornby, and the goal was disallowed.
Barrow kept pushing for a winner, but Bradford were able to see out the game and claim all three points. Derek Adams will be pleased with his side’s game management, which is something that will need to improve if the Bantams are going to push towards the Playoff places. Bradford now sit just six points off the Playoff positions, and have a game in hand against some of the teams above them in the table. Up next for City is another trip to Cumbria on Saturday, when they take on Carlisle.