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Match Reports

REPORT | Bradford City 1 Rovers 1

5 March 2024

Match Reports

REPORT | Bradford City 1 Rovers 1

5 March 2024

Luke Molyneux’s first half strike helped Rovers to a 1-1 draw at Bradford City.

A point was nothing less than Rovers deserved from an excellent performance at the University of Bradford Stadium where great movement of the ball was matched with excellent work out of possession.

Molyneux struck on the stroke of half time to give Rovers a deserved lead.

And it looked as they had done enough to take the win with a valiant showing after the break, only for Tyler Smith to equalise six minutes from time.

Grant McCann made one change from the side that started at Walsall four days earlier with Luke Molyneux returning from injury in place of Kyle Hurst, who dropped on the bench.

Rovers started the brighter and moved the ball forward with real intent from the off. Owen Bailey fired over the bar from the edge of the area when meeting a Joe Ironside knock-back in the best of the early opportunities.

The hosts settled into the game and showed threat when Tyreik Wright flashed the ball across the box, but just out of reach of his teammates.

Rovers were inches away from taking the lead when Ironside met a knockdown from Bailey and hooked a shot which deflected narrowly wide.

Bradford had their first real opportunity midway through the half when Alex Gilliead found space and drilled the ball across the box with Wright racing in and stabbing a shot just off target.

Thimothée Lo-Tutala produced a strong save to deny a powerful Andy Cook drive after the Bradford striker broke away from half way.

But Rovers continued to enjoy the better of the attacking play and Matthew Craig was unfortunate not to find a teammate in the middle after a smart move put him in space on the byline.

Rovers took the lead on the stroke of half time. Ironside rose to flick on Lo-Tutala’s goal kick into the path of Harrison Biggins who released Molyneux clean through and the forward calmly slotted past Sam Walker.

Biggins fired on goal from 20 yards mere seconds into the second half but Walker proved equal to it.

Bradford emerged with renewed vigour and enjoyed sustained possession in the Rovers half for the first time in the game.

But Rovers’ work off the ball continued to be excellent, denying the hosts real sight of goal for long periods.

Lo-Tutala produced an important save as Wright flashed the ball across goal while Biggins met a clearance from a corner and struck a volley which bounced off target.

Chances were hard to come by as the game wore on with Rovers showing great resolve.

Adelakun turned superbly 25 yards out but could only send a tame shot at Walker before the Bradford keeper was more sternly tested moments later when James Maxwell caught a volley with real venom.

Lo-Tutala scrambled to block a header from Andy Cook on his line.

But Bradford found the equaliser on 84 minutes when substitute Smith raced in at the near post to meet a low cross and fired first time past Lo-Tutala.

Neither side could find the breakthrough in the final few minutes as the spoils were shared.

Rovers: Lo-Tutala, Sterry, Anderson, Wood, Maxwell, Bailey, Craig (Rowe 87), Adelakun, Biggins (Westbrooke 72), Molyneux, Ironside. Subs not used: Jones, Olowu, Hurst, Waters, Biamou.

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