Match Report vs Bradford City

27 January 1998 (League)
Bradford City 4 READING 1


Team: Hammond, Booty, Bernal, Bodin, Swales, Hodges, Caskey, Lambert, Morley, Lovell, Bowen.

Man Of The Match: Hammond.

Could things get any worse? Probably,but it would have to be pretty bad to eclipse this display. Only Nicky Hammond can hold his head up after this performance.

As one of a largish number(for our group)of Yorkshire Royals who made the relatively short journey to the Pulse stadium,or Valley Parade,or whatever the hell its called this season,we had hopes of a result oop north, something we have not seen to often of late.But with 5 central defenders out through injury,and Paul Bodin filling in,at the expense of giving Michael Thorp a chance,perhaps we should have taken a more realistic stance on the evenings events.Having said that,we were a goal up inside 2 minutes,when Nicky Hammonds 1st save of the night,help set up Carl Asaba,who netted at the second stab.His first away goal in the league,I think,and it warmed us up.

But we were soon feeling the cold again,as Lawrence looked like running wild on the right.He soon evened things up,with what you have to admit was a peach of a goal.Before long Edinho,unmarked at the near post had headed Bradford in front.I cannot remember the details of the saves Hammond made,they were so numerous,and in most cases of the highest quality.

It was farly evident that Bodin,whilst able to cope with the task of clearing his lines,was unable to cope with the pace of the Bradford forwards,and as a result was too often under pressure.His inability to distribute the ball with any accuracy,when in possesion,all too often led to more Bradford attacks.I am not trying to have a go at him;he was playing out of position,but when Thorp came on for the last 20 minutes we did look a little better balanced. We were though, as a team,apart from the opening 10 minutes or so,dreadful.

In short,we were lucky only to lose 4-1. Early in the second half,Hammond flung himself to his left,and kept out a header which really had every right to hit the back of net.An outstanding save.He was to make many more. As for the rest of the side,Phil Parkinson ran and ran,but you can't do that for 90 minutes on your own.There was no spark,no one able to dictate.Oh for a Simon Osborne!!

The final indignity,was Jason Bowen through on goal with only the goalie to beat,putting his shot 20 yards over the top.Quite close then eh!! In the words of the song,things can only get better.

Simon Grundy
of the Yorkshire Royals(Yes we really exist!!!)

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