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Harriers 2 Bradford City 1    (LDV Trophy QF)

Date: 20-12-05 Venue: Aggborough att: 1276 away fans: 149
Are the good times coming back
I think we have turned the corner at last.    Tonight in this thrilling 2-1 win against a slick, but no end product, Bradford City we saw a glimpse of what life could be like with a team managed by Martin O'Connor.

Hesitant at first, and not helped by a referee that blew for a foul every time a Harriers player went near the ball, we eventually stamped our authority on the game and showed the kind of passion and teamwork that has been missing from our play for a long, long time now.    We saw it only the once with Stuart Watkiss at the helm and that was away at Notts County last season when we wiped the floor with them in a 3-1 win.

Tonight we had a bit of help from that ref when he sent off Lee Crooks as early as the sixth minute for a vicious two footed tackle on Lee Thompson that sent the little one flying ten yards away and could so easily have broken a leg.    After that episode we started to gel and proceeded to rip the League One side apart.

Our first goal came from, who else but, Iyseden Christie when he for once beat the offside trap to steer the ball into the top corner of the Bradford net.    Christie was to be a thorn in City's side all evening with his runs into the area but his usual failing of keeping the ball for too long instead of releasing it was his downfall.

Lee Thompson was the real hero of the night and recovered well after that awful tackle to terrorise the City defence with some non-stop running and skillful ball play.    His efforts deserved him a goal but it wasn't to be.    He did play a hand in the winning goal though.
HT: 1 - 0
Within minutes of the re-start the City manager, Colin Todd, changed the look of his team to a more attack minded one when he bought on Joe Brown and Ben Muirhead to add that bit of pace that had been absent from their play.    It worked at first and for the first time in the game it looked as if Bradford might be able to get something out of the game.

They were to ignore the threat of Lee Thompson to their cost.

It was a short pass from Tich that played in Russell Penn for a marvelous one two for our second goal and Russ's first for the club.    Penn picked up the ball on the edge of the area passed it to Lee who then passed it back and with the City defenders calling for offside Penn slipped it past the man Mountain of a keeper for a cracking goal.

Twenty minutes from the end and City got themselves back into the game after a period of intense pressure on the Harriers goal.    The two subs combined for a corner kick with Muirhead taking the set piece and Brown getting the highest to nod the ball home.

City made another change and we bought on Gareth Sheldon in place of Michael Blackwood and for the last ten minutes of the game we had to withstand some more pressure from City that almost culminated in an undeserved equaliser when the ex Leeds pro, David Wetherall, struck the foot of the post with an effort from outside the area and Brown almost scored again with a drive that went into the side netting.

With three minutes added time it was getting nerve wracking for the home fans but eventually the final whistle blew and the lads got the first standing ovation heard at Aggborough for a long time.

O'Connor has got this team playing really well now and, with luck and the wind in the right direction, I think he could be the man to take us to Cardiff.
FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Harriers: Christie 16, Penn 60.
 Goal for Bradford: Brown 70.

The Harriers Online MotM is:

Lee Thompson
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Harriers  subs   cards      Bradford City  subs   cards 
Lewis     Ricketts  
Flynn     Wetherall  
Hatswell     Bower  
Jackson     Kearney  
Mullins gif   Crooks gif
Penn     Petta  
Fleming     Emanuel  
Heslop     Taylor gif
Christie     Cooke  
Thompson     Cadamarteri gif
Blackwood     Edghill  
SUBS:       SUBS:    
Danby     Stewart  
Burgess     Penford  
Sheldon gif   Schumacher  
Hurren     Brown  
Atieno     Muirhead  

REFEREE:
Mr A Bates
Stoke on Trent




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