Harrogate Compile More Misery Onto the Bantams

Derek Adams insisted that the shackles were off for his side earlier this week, but City found themselves on the wrong side of a 2-0 score line away at Harrogate yesterday.  

City’s performance showed signs of improvement in the opening hour of the contest, but a Jack Diamond brace within the space of ten minutes ensured Harrogate were victorious in the Yorkshire derby.

Bradford were looking bright on the counter attack early on, but it took 36 minutes for them to test Harrogate ‘keeper Mark Oxley for the first time.

Alex Bass looked to swiftly release City on the counter attack. Tom Elliott, who was making his full City debut, flicked on Bass’ kick towards Andy Cook. After a good control, Cook laid the ball off for Jamie Walker on the edge of the area, but Oxley was able to beat away Walker’s fierce half volley.

Less than five minutes later, City created another opportunity.

Elliot Watt had acres of space in Harrogate’s half, before picking out Andy Cook with an intricate chipped ball. Cook controlled the ball with his chest, before turning and striking the ball on the volley. Oxley, however, was equal to it once again, quickly getting down to his right to prevent City taking the lead.

With less than a minute before half time, the visitors came so close to breaking the deadlock.

Following more link up play between Tom Elliott and Andy Cook, Jamie Walker drove at Harrogate’s defence. The Hearts loanee strook another fierce shot towards goal, and with Oxley no where near the ball, Walker saw his effort fly centimetres wide of the post.

The half time interval didn’t impact City going forward at all, with the visitors still looking the likeliest to score during the opening of the second half. And just before the hour mark, City almost made their pressure count.

Liam Ridehalgh played a pin-point cross into Harrogate’s area, which Andy Cook attacked intently. Cook’s downward header bounced up off the playing surface, forcing Oxley to pull off his best save of the match, pushing the ball away to his right at full stretch.

Although, in Harrogate’s next attack, they punished City for not taking their chances.

Paudie O’Connor failed to clear Oxley’s goal kick effectively, keeping Harrogate’s attack alive. The ball was eventually played to Jack Diamond in a wide position. Diamond hit a tame effort on goal, but a wicked deflection off Oscar Threlkeld took the ball over Alex Bass and into the back of the net.

After going behind, City never really recovered, and less than ten minutes later, Harrogate doubled their lead.

Bradford’s defence found themselves out of position after failing to deal with a long throw into their half, allowing a three on two scenario to develop. Jack Diamond didn’t need either of his two options, as his composed finish into the bottom right corner beat Alex Bass, confirming victory for the home side.

There was still time for Jamie Walker to have another effort on goal, but City weren’t able to mount a comeback.

The full-time whistle sparked more ugly scenes in the away end, with Adams quickly ushering his players into the dressing room.  The performance for the first hour of the game was better than what the City fans have seen recently, but time is running out for Bradford to climb back into the Playoff places.

Adams called for stability and maturity from those above him at City, with many believing he his starting to feel the pressure from City fans. With 17 games to go, time will tell whether Adams cracks or succeeds under the pressure.

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