Bantams Outclassed by High-Flying Bristol Rovers

Despite Dion Pereira’s first ever senior goal giving City the lead, Mark Hughes’ men lost 2-1 to Bristol Rovers. The Bantams were outplayed all afternoon, and were second best all over the field. The poor performance and result will act as another example to both City fans and Hughes that a lot of work needs to be done ahead of next season.

The hosts had the better of the opening exchanges, but it took them until the half hour mark to really test City’s defence.

Trevor Clarke played a teasing ball into City’s penalty area, which evaded Aaron Collins as he tried to direct the ball towards goal. The danger wasn’t over yet though, as the ball fell to Harry Anderson at the back post, but the Rovers winger wasn’t able to convert from close range.

Following this chance, Rovers really began to put the pressure on. Newcastle loanee Elliot Anderson breezed past his man before unleashing a ferocious shot on goal. Alex Bass looked beaten, but Anderson’s shot fizzed narrowly over the bar.

After a disappointing first half performance, City needed to improve. Immediately after the restart, City took an undeserved lead.

Matty Foulds lifted the ball into Rovers’ area. After a fortunate deflection, the ball fell into the path of Dion Pereira, who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net, giving City the lead.

However, less than 15 minutes later, the home side were back level.  The hosts played a quick corner, before Sam Finley was picked out 30 yards from goal. Finley fired the ball through a sea of players and past Alex Bass into the back of the net.

Rovers weren’t happy to settle for a point, and continued to push for a winner. Elliot Anderson was played in on goal from a long ball, with Paudie O’Connor pressuring the Rovers winger from behind. Anderson still managed to get a shot away, forcing Bass into a spectacular save.

Ten minutes later though, Rovers went ahead.  Paul Coutts played in a free kick from the left flank. City were unable to clear, and Connor Taylor prodded home from inside the six yard box.

Rovers didn’t sit back, and with keeping control of the game, they comfortably saw out the victory.

After last week’s encouraging performance against Newport, it was disappointing that City weren’t able to follow it up with another good performance or result. Bradford were once again second best against an in-form team, proving the size of the task that Mark Hughes has ahead of him.

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