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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

Friday 6th October.

As Town prepared to take on Barnsley tonight, Barry Rubery appointed a new club chairman – Barry Rubery! Yes you heard it right folks. Perhaps we are going to follow the Lincoln City and Brentford route where the Chairman gets a little carried away and puts himself in charge of the team selection as well. I think Bradford City have also followed this route with Geoffrey Richmond telling Chris Hutchings which side to field, and then blaming him when they lose.

Anyway I digress. Rubery’s explanation is that he has invested about £10 million into the club and wishes to have day-to-day control of matters financial. My explanation is that he doesn’t wish to put his hand in his pocket and that he has gone for the cheap option. Perhaps if Mavis the laundry lady quits then Barry Rubery could be seen putting the dirty kits on a short spin cycle.

Any road up, onto matters football. Jamie Vincent sporting the plaster cast that seems to have spoiled his game since his curious DIY misadventure replaced illness victim Jon Dyson, but apart from that the team was very much as predicted. Games with Barnsley are rarely dull and there is usually a good derby atmosphere for these encounters. In addition to wanting the 3 points to move us in the right direction up the table, the landlord of my local is a Barnsley fan and his smug expression this season is causing my beer to taste strangely bitter (although this is probably because it is bitter!).

Having lost 6 out of 6 home fixtures so far this season Town started brightly and seemed determined to put the miserable run behind them. Whether it was the derby atmosphere or whether Steve Bruce had threatened to put his size whatever’s up their backsides if they didn’t perform, they had a determined look about them and scrapped for everything. Ben Thornley had an early opportunity in the 10th minute after some good work by Kenny Irons but unfortunately Thornley's effort went over the bar once again.

The winger was again involved just before the half hour mark and although his shot was on target for once it was straight at Barnsley keeper Kevin Miller who collected easily. Town were enjoying one of their most convincing spells of the campaign at this stage and Chris Beech was unlucky when he headed just wide of the target and minutes later Kevin Gallen raced onto Dean Gorré’s through ball only to see the chance deflected for a corner. From the resulting corner Chris Lucketti managed to get to the ball but his header went wide when Miller was left high and dry. Barnsley were allowed to create little at this stage and with Town pressing there was some genuine hope that the corner had now been turned in this miserable start to the season. For the most part though, Barnsley’s defence coped well and we were unable to convert our possession into to many guilt edged chances.

It was a shame that the first half had to come to an end, because from the restart it was clear that Barnsley must had felt the vitriol of manager Dave Bassett for their first half performance, and in the first few minutes of the second half Town had to fight more of a rearguard action with Barnsley showing much more fight. We were lucky not to fall behind during this spell of pressure particularly when Robbie van der Laan headed narrowly wide following a Barnsley free kick. Having weathered the early storm Town began to re-establish themselves and Dean Gorré headed narrowly over with an hour on the clock and within a minute or so was unceremoniously brought down as he raced towards goal. It was always my understanding that players should ‘walk’ for these indiscretions but the referee to the disgust of the home fans only awarded a yellow card to the Barnsley defender.

When you are at the wrong end of the table these sorts of decisions always seem to go against you and less than 5 minutes later we were cursing our luck further when Barnsley took a lucky lead. Visiting defender Brian O’Callaghan found himself in space on the right wing and played a low hopeful cross into the Town penalty area, unfortunately the ball bounced awkwardly and Rob Kozluk only succeeded in deflecting the ball into the back of the net of his stomach. It’s just the way that our fortunes are going this season and it was not a deserved strike for Toby Tyke and Co.

For once Town didn’t let their heads drop and continued to search for a goal and once again referee Jones courted controversy when he denied Town a penalty when Dean Gorré was again brought down when he looked from my position (and most of the rest of the Kilner Bank) to be inside the area. Mr Jones though otherwise and a free kick was awarded right on the edge of the 18-yard box and Kevin Miller somehow saved Vincent’s powerfully struck shot with his legs. Despite this setback Town continued to press forward and finally received their reward on 80 minutes. Making amends for his earlier faux pas, Rob Kozluk supplied a chipped ball towards the Barnsley area that was deftly flicked on by Martin Smith past the stranded Kevin Miller and into the back of the net. It was no less than we deserved for the battling performance, although Nico Vaesen still had to be on his mettle in the last minute of stoppage time tipping over a fierce drive from Matt Appleby to ensure we didn’t record yet another home blank.

There were a number of things to feel positive about from the performance and my post match beer in the Albert didn’t taste too bitter even though we still haven’t won at home in 7 attempts this season. Although the standard of play if getting better, we cannot afford to let too many more home games pass without recording some maximum point returns. We can’t be chopping and changing managers every other season, but how long can things be allowed to slide before Mr Rubery wields the axe? Grimsby and Sheffield Wednesday are only a point behind and now have a game in hand, whilst at the other end of the table Fulham have a perfect 100% record.

TOWN 1 (Smith 80)

Barnsley 1 (Kozluk o.g 66)

Position in table – 23rd

Town – Vaesen; Kozluk; Vincent; Armstrong; Lucketti; Gorré; Beech; Irons; Gallen; Smith; Thornley (Baldry 90). Subs not used – Margetson; Sellars; Facey; Gray.

Barnsley – Miller; O’Callaghan; Barker; Morgan; Moses; Woan; McClare (Appleby 76); Van der Laan; Ward; Shipperley; Dyer (Sheron 54); Subs not used – Walker; Jones; Corbo.

Referee – Mike Jones (Chester). Attendance 13,556



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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