Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Bradford City 1 Burton Albion 1

Bradford City 1

Speight 75

Burton Albion 1

McGrath 42

A result that should ensure these sides are again members of the Football League next season. Reduced ticket prices meant there was a healthy 13,814 inside Valley Parade at kick-off and they saw the away side start the brighter. Paul Peschisolido’s side should have taken the lead on 17 minutes but Calvin Zola totally missed the ball when Jacques Maghoma’s pass left the former Crewe man with just keeper Lenny Pidgeley to beat. Jimmy Phillips then fired over from the edge of the area as Burton sought to build on Saturday’s home victory against Cheltenham Town.

The away side though were grateful to Adam Legzdins on 27 minutes, the keeper sticking out a long arm to prevent Steve Williams header opening the scoring although when the ball then ran loose David Syers might have done better than fire narrowly wide.

Phillips then saw his effort blocked by Luke Oliver but on 42 minutes the little winger floated over a cross that cut out the Bradford back four and ended with his captain John McGrath powerfully heading the ball into the net before running off to celebrate with the 164 away fans in the crowd. Gareth Evans was unfortunate not to level the score on the stroke of half time, his shot beating Legzdins but flashing just outside the post.

The second half began with Burton seeking what would surely have proved the decisive second goal. Twice McGrath might have added to his first half effort before the introduction as substitute of Jake Speight changed the direction of the game. Previously impregnable, the former City man Darren Moore was now put on the back foot as the new man began by hitting a shot from the edge of the area narrowly wide. Then on 75 minutes Speight grabbed a precious equaliser, bundling the ball home after James Hanson had headed the ball down.

The scorer might even have won the game when ten minutes later he was again on the end of a Hansen header. That said it was Burton who created the better chances in the final quarter of an hour, and Pidgeley did brilliantly to push a Phillips close range shot onto the bar before the impressive Greg Pearson had his follow up shot blocked by Oliver. As the game moved towards its conclusion Pearson then cut inside to curl a shot just over. Despite the miss Burton ran off four points clear of 23rd placed Barnet, who with just four games left are favourites to join Stockport County in dropping out of the league in two weeks time.

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