Remember us in Cups full-crowned,
And let our City-health go round
A trip to the wilderness that is Yorkshire, as we face Stuart McCall’s Bantams who are currently in 13th place in the League 2 table, 2 points behind us but with a game in hand. McCall has a long association with Bradford City, having been a player (and captain for 4 years 1998-2002) and now in his 4th stint as Manager, appointed in February this year. A few familiar names crop up in the list of players who connect the clubs - City’s present captain is Richard O’Donnell, and Zeli Ismail is also on their books. Going back a few years we mustn’t forget Bernie (“The Bolt”) Wright. One of the “Legends of Bradford City” (a book written in 2003 to co-incide with the centenary of the club) is Lee Sinnott, and in the list of former Managers the name of Chris Hutchings also appears - another club who sacked him…
City’s current League 2 form looks like this:-
September 12th Colchester United (H) Drew 0-0
September 19th Forest Green Rovers (A) Drew 2-2
September 26th Stevenage (H) Won 2-1
October 12th Harrogate Town (H) Lost 0-1
October 17th Mansfield Town (A) Won 1-3
Despite our seeming propensity to draw rather than win (our recent 3 home games in a row produced DWD) we are still only 3 points behind the leaders Cambridge United, who have the highly respectable goal difference of +12 (15 for, 3 against), so a win at Valley Parade could well see us somewhere near the head of the pack. Unfortunately Darrell Clarke will have to do without “Flash” Gordon for this game and the forseeable future, and it will be interesting to see how highly he rates the two striker lads recently signed on loan. Assuming they are match-fit they could at least be bench fodder.
Prediction? Strangely enough Bradford City’s goal statistics are identical to ours … scored 7, conceded 5, so a high-scoring game should be out of the question. Additionally, we managed to keep a clean sheet against the higher-scoring Exeter City side. So although it’s tempting to go for another 0-0 result the spirit of optimism that pervades these previews points to a streaky 0-1 away win, with Elijah demonstrating the strength of his improvements yet again.