Hughes Denied First Home Win by Late Tranmere Equaliser

A resolute Bradford side were agonisingly close to a first three points at Valley Parade under Mark Hughes, but an 89th minute Callum McManaman goal meant the points were shared.

Bradford started the game excellently, and took the lead through a Jamie Walker header. However, Bradford soon found themselves down to 10 men after Elliot Watt received two yellow cards in quick succession.

Despite being a man down, Bradford were still the better side for the remainder of the game, but Tranmere eventually made their extra man count late on. There was still time for another chance, as Lee Angol almost sealed a win, hitting the post in injury time.

Bradford’s bright start ensured Valley Parade was rocking, and 27 minutes in the 15000 City fans erupted as Jamie Walker put his side ahead.

After Luke Hendrie saw a couple of crosses cleared, it was third-time lucky as Jamie Walker got ahead of his man, and headed the ball expertly into the far corner of the goal.

City stayed on the front foot after taking the lead, but less than ten minutes later, Elliot Watt was sent off for a second bookable offence, immediately allowing Tranmere back into the game.

Bradford didn’t allow Watt’s sending off to dishearten them, and instead kept pushing forward when they could.

Jamie Walker had another chance before half time, but his effort from range was well-saved by Joe Murphy.

For a short period in the second half, it looked inevitable that Tranmere would take advantage of having an extra man, although City survived. The visitor’s best chance in this period fell to Lewis Warrington, whose half-volleyed effort flew narrowly over the bar.

The Bantams were soon back on top, and could have put the game to bed from a set piece. Callum Cooke played an excellent free kick to the far post, which Yann Songo’o connected with sweetly. Joe Murphy was equal to it, producing en equally as impressive reaction save.

With little over a minute to go, City were punished for not being more clinical. Callum McManaman managed to get the better of former Tranmere man Liam Ridehalgh, before slotting the ball into the bottom corner of Alex Bass’ net.

The City faithful rallied behind their time, showing their appreciation shown for the determination and endeavour that side had shown. This pushed City on, and very nearly led to a winner.

Lee Angol was played in behind the Tranmere defence, and once the ball had settled, he struck the ball on the half volley. Most of Valley Parade were already on their feet, but Angol’s effort smashed against the post.

At the full-time whistle, a number of City players dropped to their news, showing how much effort they had put in, and how close they were to the three points. If City perform like that consistently next season, it could be a special season.

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