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Bradford survive

Pre-season tour
Gallen signs
Hornets sting Town
Owls shot down
Gray returns
Wijnhard crashes out
Worthington woe
Ayre departs
First home point
Bye Bye Brucie
New manager announced
Fans show anger
9 points to safety
First home win
Ndlovu at first sight
Town leap to safety
Macari wins award
More cup woe
Ndlovu joins Blades
Jamie jumps ship
Town hit rock bottom again
Morris' McApline move
Prodigal son returns
Biggest win
QPR doomed
Nearly there
The bitter end

Saturday 6th January.

Oh well, at least we can concentrate on the league now. For the second time this season we have been out-fought and out-thought by a team from the second division. Right from the off it was obvious that Bristol City wanted to win this game far more than Town did. They looked far better organised and hungrier for the ball than Town, and our midfield seemed to be second to almost every ball and Town struggled to try to get a toehold in the game.

A month ago teams were coming to the McAlpine almost expecting to win and playing a more expansive game which allowed us to counter attack more readily, however, following the upturn in form teams are coming to defend and we are struggling to unlock these well organised defences. Tranmere tried and failed because they were poor, but Sheffield Wednesday and now Bristol City have succeeded because we don’t have the killer touch to break down stubborn defences. We struggled to get any decent possession in midfield, and they enjoyed most of the game in the first half without actually creating many clear-cut chances. Town too failed to create much in front of goal and never looked like scoring.

The half-time interval came as a welcome relief as I thought there might be some lockers kicked and tea cups thrown as Macari wound us up for a second half onslaught, but it never materialised. The second period began much as the first had finished with Bristol City enjoying the better of the possession but not looking particularly dangerous until the 54th minute that is. I can’t remember too much about the actual build up except that the Town defence looked like statues as the ball was played through to Clist who tucked the ball into the net. Vaesen looked to get a hand on the ball and it seemed to take an age to cross the line, but cross the line it did.

The deficit seemed to rouse Town from their slumbers for a while as they foraged forward for an equaliser and Facey was close but not close enough to a Simon Baldry cross from the right. You started to get the feeling that it wasn’t going to be our day when Craig Armstrong hit the post from close range when he looked certain to score. A goal then would have lifted the crowd and the players, but as it was Bristol City fought harder for the ball and began to regain their midfield dominance.

The visitors began to create more chances as the game progressed, and Vaesen needed to be alert to keep the deficit down to one. Following one clearance near the edge of his area he seemed to be caught by an unnecessary follow-through that required some lengthy treatment but the foul evaded the attention of the referee. The referee was found wanting again about 10 minutes from time when (Jeremy?) Peter Beadle seemed to handle the ball before being given the freedom of the penalty area to volley home the visitors’ second goal.

Once again Town woke up but it was too late now, and when Simon Baldry hit the post again we knew it wasn’t going to be our day. At least it wasn’t seen as too much of a giant killing by the media, and went largely unreported.

The defeat cannot be attributed entirely to the absence of Peter Ndlovu, but we did miss his industry on the left flank. The defence gave the opposition far too much time for both goals, and I would imagine that Thomas Heary might well make way for Adie Moses when Stockport visit the McAlpine next Saturday. We always joke about the old ‘concentrate on the league’ cliché, but hopefully this game has provided Town with a wake up call because there is still much to do this season if we are to avoid playing the likes of Bristol City and Oldham next season. Stockport seem to have discovered a little bit of form recently and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them. If it means that we have got the post ‘Manager of the Month’ defeat out of the way then perhaps I can take some consolation from this result.


Bristol City 2 (Clist 51, Beadle 81)

Town – Vaesen; Heary (Gorré 76); Gray; Dyson; Vincent; Armstrong (Sellars 63); Baldry; Holland; Gallen; Facey; Thornley. Subs not used – Margetson; Irons; Moses.

Bristol City – Phillips; Carey; Bell (Burnell 53); Millen; Murray; Hill; Tinnion; Brown (A); Beadle; Thorpe; Clist. Subs not used – Amankwaah; Brown (M); Spencer; Malessa.

Referee – Bill Burns (Scarborough). Attendance 9,192




All words and thoughts by Chris except where stated.

A big thank you to Machala for putting up with me doing this and Ian for his support and my Mum for her proof reading.

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