Bantams Held to Goalless Draw at Rochdale

Bradford failed to build on last week’s come-from-behind victory against Salford, as they were held to a goalless draw away at Rochdale. In a game of few chances, Bradford never expressed the same attacking urgency and intent that they showed in the second half against Salford.

Despite a typically bright start from City, it was the home side who had the first sight of goal. After Elliot Watt lost possession in midfield, Rochdale were quick to break forward. Stephen Dooley played a purposeful ball forward, which was flicked onto Conor Grant. Grant decided to strike the ball goalward first time, but Sam Hornby was equal to this effort, comfortably parrying the ball away.

Ten minutes later, Bradford created their first half-chance on goal. Following a long free kick into Rochdale’s half, Lee Angol cushioned the ball down towards Jamie Walker. The Hearts loanee took a touch, before hitting the ball ferociously on the half volley. For a split moment, it looked as if Walker was going to beat Joel Coleman in Rochdale’s goal, but Coleman comfortably watched the ball fly past his near post.

After a stop-start first half due to a number of injuries, it was Rochdale who started the second half on the front foot. With Rochdale breaking on the counter once again, George Broadbent picked up the ball 30 yards from goal. Broadbent had a few yards of space, and decided to pull the trigger himself, but he dragged his driven effort wide of Hornby’s goal.

For the majority of the second half following Broadbent’s effort on goal, neither ‘keeper was really tested, until there was a small flurry of chances late on.

First, with just two minutes remaining, Callum Cooke played a floated corner into Rochdale’s penalty area.  A Rochdale defender headed clear, but only as far as Jamie Walker on the edge of the area. Walker this time strook the ball on the volley, but Coleman very quickly got down to his right-hand side to deny City a late winner.

Then, four minutes into additional time, Rochdale won a free kick 25 yards from goal. Alex Newby strook the free kick sweetly, and with the ball flying towards the top corner, Sam Hornby got two strong hands to the ball, denying the home side a winner.

Bradford weren’t able to create any more chances after Hornby’s great save, and the draw now sees them eight points away from a Playoff position. Derek Adams’ men haven’t been able to win consecutive games since the opening month of the season, and this inconsistency is really starting to harm their chances of promotion this season. Adams and the City board need to work tirelessly to bring in some new signings, especially following another hamstring injury for Lee Angol.

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