After an impressive first half in which Andy Cook gave City the lead, Bradford threw away the three points in all too familiar fashion at home to Crawley. Second half goals from Tom Nichols and Tony Craig ensured victory for the visitors, which seemed very unlikely based on Bradford’s dominance in the first half.
This ever-increasing pattern of mediocre second half performances and dropping points from winning positions is creating anger towards Derek Adams amongst the Bradford fan base.
In typical City style, Bradford began brightly, but it took 20 minutes to create a sighter on goal. After a short corner routine appeared to have broken down, Paudie O’Connor was able to flick the ball on to Andy Cook. Hoping to add to his goal against Walsall, Cook wriggled past a couple of Crawley defenders, but his left-footed effort flew well above the Crawley net.
Although, just ten minutes later, Cook did get his second goal in as many games. After some neat passing, the ball was played to Charles Vernam on the left flank. Vernam was able to beat his man before playing an inch perfect cross to the far post. Cook found himself unmarked, and was comfortably able to head home to give City the lead.
After failing to put the bed out of sight in the first half, Bradford missed a great chance to seal the three points early in the second half.
Matty Foulds expertly picked out Jamie Walker on the right flank, who drove into Crawley’s penalty area. Walker got to the byline before firing the ball into the danger zone. Cook connected with the ball inside the six yard area, but his effort was straight at Glenn Morris in Crawley’s goal.
From this point onwards, it all went wrong for Bradford.
They began to sit deeper and deeper, as has been the case on many occasions this season. However, City still had an outlet going forward in Charles Vernam who was able to drive his side forward. That was until he was cynically fouled by Archie Davies to stop a dangerous counter attack.
Just a couple of minutes later, Vernam was substituted, leading to a lack of width from the home side, and causing them to continue to sit deep.
And on 71 minutes, they were punished. Former Bantam Mark Marshall was afforded too much space to play a cross into City’s penalty area. Marshall was able to pick out Tom Nichols at the far post, who lost his marker and was able to head in Crawley’s equaliser past Alex Bass.
Adams tried to change the game by bringing on Tom Elliott for his City debut. Unfortunately, with a lack of width, Elliott had a lack of service, and was ineffective in trying to change the course of the game.
Bradford fans were preparing themselves for yet another 1-1 draw after going ahead, when Tony Craig scored a 95th minute winner. Jack Powell crossed the ball in from a free kick, which Craig was able to head towards goal- his header was able to beat Alex Bass rather easily to give Crawley all three points.
Over 14000 City fans were in attendance, but very few of them were still at Valley Parade to witness the final whistle. A small section of the remaining City fans were calling for Adams to be sacked, and his post-match interview only raised the anger towards him. Adams blamed individual errors for the loss, particularly criticising 19-year-old Finn Cousin-Dawson.
This was not well received by the Bradford faithful, with the majority actually blaming Adams’ tactics for defeat.
Adams will be hoping for a positive result against Leyton Orient on Tuesday, who have scored just once since mid-December, otherwise the discontent around City may grow even more.