Jamie Walker produced a moment of magic in the second half against Stevenage to seal all three points for the Bantams. The Scot’s first goal for the club was a special one, and with the help of a few magnificent saves from Alex Bass, it helped give City a first win in four matches.
After naming four changes to the starting eleven from Saturday’s defeat to Harrogate, Derek Adams was hoping for more improvement to his side’s performance. Adams’ changes appeared to be working, and after 25 minutes, his side created an opening.
Levi Sutton, one of the four changes to the starting eleven, kept Elliot Watt’s free kick alive after Stevenage had initially cleared. Sutton’s touch fell to Paudie O’Connor, who struck the ball first time on the turn. Unfortunately for City, O’Connor’s strike lacked any real conviction, and Christy Pym held onto the effort comfortably.
Just ten minutes later, however, City should have been 1-0 up.
Jamie Walker played a good corner into a dangerous area inside Stevenage’s box. Yann Songo’o found himself unmarked around the penalty spot, but he fluffed his lines, and his header went wide of the far post.
Right on the cusp of half time, the Bantams had another excellent opportunity to take the lead.
Luke Hendrie, who was making his second debut for the club, played a poor cross into Stevenage’s area. Somehow, none of the Stevenage defenders were able to clear, and the ball fell to Jamie Walker at the back post. Walker was caught on his heals a bit, but he managed to divert the ball goalward, before Pym made a good save to deny City a half time advantage.
Bradford fans were fearing that their side would be punished for not taking their chances once again, but ten minutes into the second half, City did take the lead.
Andy Cook flicked on a long kick forward into Stevenage’s area. Despite the ball being slightly behind him, Walker controlled the ball excellently, and in the blink of an eye, he had smashed the ball past Pym to put his side 1-0 up.
As they have done on many occasions this season, the Bantams began to sit back to try preserve their lead. However, this appeared to be a dangerous tactic, as City were very nearly the architects of their own downfall.
With little over two minutes remaining, Elliot Watt gave the ball away just outside City’s area.
The ball was played into City’s area, which they failed to clear. Arthur Read collected the poor clearance before cutting inside. Read then fired a ferocious shot across goal, which Alex Bass got a strong right hand to deny Stevenage equaliser.
Stevenage kept looking for an equaliser, but City managed the game out expertly during additional time.
There were a number of good performances for City apart from Bass and Walker, including fellow January recruits Luke Hendrie and Nathan Delfouneso.
Although with other results going against City, they were unable to close the gap between themselves and the Playoffs. However, City have a great chance to narrow the gap to four points when they take on sixth placed Exeter on Saturday. Should City defeat Exeter, it’ll be their first back-to-back wins since August.