Bradford Disrupt Northampton’s Promotion Push in Goalless Draw

Northampton’s promotion push was halted by an improved City performance as the game finished 0-0. After a sloppy first half, the Bantams put in a better display than last week’s defeat to Bristol Rovers, and could have even nicked all three points with a flurry of chances towards the end of the 90 minutes. The biggest positive of the afternoon was the return of Lee Angol from injury, who made the whole side look more dangerous going forward.

Northampton had the better of the first half, and just 15 minutes in, they created their first chance of the afternoon. Mitch Pinnock played an excellent ball in behind City’s defence, which Louis George Appéré latched on to. The Scottish striker outmuscled Yann Songo’o, before firing a shot just wide of the goal.

Just five minutes later though, City created an even better opening. After some clever footwork from Dion Pereira, Jamie Walker was able to feed a ball through towards Andy Cook. The City striker looked certain to score, but just as he was about to strike the ball, Joseph Mills heroically stole the ball from Cook’s feet.

Mitch Pinnock was dictating a lot of Northampton’s good attacking play, and after creating their first opportunity, he very nearly opened the scoring himself. Pinnock received the ball 25 yards from goal, and after taking a touch, he looked to wrap the ball into the top left corner of the goal. Alex Bass was scrambling across his goal, and was relieved to see Pinnock’s effort fly centimetres past the post.

Shortly after the half-time interval, there was a huge goalmouth scramble. Pinnock again created a problem for City, playing a tantalising ball across the face of goal. No attacker in claret could get on the end of it, but the attack was kept alive and Bass was forced into a point-blank save. Bass’ save fell straight to Sam Hoskins who volleyed the ball against the crossbar.

City were very fortunate not to be behind, but they didn’t learn their lesson defensively. With eight minutes to go, City failed to prevent another cross from bombarding their defence. This time the ball fell to Hoskins again at the back post, but Alex Bass was once again equal to it from close range.

Bass had kept City in the game, and in the final minute of regulation time, City almost stole the three points. Charles Vernam was bursting forward on the counter attack. Vernam then picked out Callum Cooke on the edge of the area, who unleashed a ferocious effort on goal. The travelling City fans were already on their feet, but somehow Liam Roberts tipped Cooke’s effort onto the bar.

There was still time for City to create another excellent chance. Jamie Walker flicked on a corner ball into the six-yard box. There were City players lining up to prod the ball home, but the ball appeared to just hit Dion Pereira on the thigh, sending it up into the air, before the referee signalled for a Northampton free kick.

Soon after, the referee blew again, this time to signal the end of the game. City did everything but score in the last 20 minutes, with the returning Lee Angol having a good impact off the bench. Whilst this was not City’s greatest performance, it was good to see Angol providing a new dynamic for City going forward. Up next for the Bantams is another tough test against Playoff-hopefuls Tranmere Rovers.

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