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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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22 December 2023 Venue The Eco-Power Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Reports

REPORT | Rovers 1 Bradford City 3

22 December 2023

Rovers lost a lead and fell to a 3-1 defeat to Yorkshire rivals Bradford City at the Eco-Power Stadium.

Joe Ironside gave Rovers an early advantage but the visitors roared back with Andy Cook bagging a brace and Tyler Smith also finding the net.

Rovers struggled to get going throughout the evening with a lack of fluidity in possession, particularly after falling behind just before the break.

Grant McCann made three changes from the side that started the previous game against Morecambe with Ian Lawlor, Tommy Rowe and Ben Close returning to the XI.

Rovers took the lead on seven minutes with some fantastic industry from Ironside. He chased down back pass from former Rovers full back Brad Halliday, blocked the attempted clearance from goalkeeper Harry Lewis and curled the ball home from a tight angle.

Tom Anderson produced a timely block to deny Alex Gilliead a shot on goal after he was played into the box by the lively Jamie Walker.

Matty Platt headed over the bar from a free kick as the visitors responded strongly to falling behind.

Bradford continued to push and it took a timely intervention from Owen Bailey after ex-Rovers loanee Smith was played into the box while Lawlor held a dipping header from Cook.

But the visitors found the equaliser on 27 minutes when Cook rose highest to meet a corner and headed home.

Lawlor produced a good save to push away a drive from Gilliead from the corner of the box before Bradford edged in front two minutes from the break.

Cook slid a low pass forward to put Smith clear in the box with the striker curling in a fine effort from 15 yards.

Bradford continued to have the better of the possession play after the break, without threatening the Rovers goal.

Walker drilled wide from the edge of the box just after the hour mark while Close swiped a volley off target at the other end moments later but real chance were scant.

Bradford cemented the win five minutes from time. Smith robbed the ball on half way, surged forward and found Gilliead who squared for Cook to fire in from ten yards.

Rovers: Lawlor, Bailey, Anderson, Olowu, Nixon (Sterry 60), Rowe (Goodman 84), Close, Biggins (Molyneux 60), Senior (Flint 84), Faal, Ironside. Subs not used: Jones, Kuleya, Hurst.

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