Report: Bradford 1 Blackpool 0
A thumping James Hanson header settled an uninspiring content at a chilly Valley Parade, as Bradford City edged past Blackpool. The striker headed home a corner on the stroke of half-time and Pool couldn't recover.
The likes of Mark Cullen and David Norris both came close to an equaliser after the break, but City’s goalkeeper Ben Williams was never truly tested throughout the 90 minutes, and Pool suffered a second successive defeat on the road.
Bradford settled the quickest on a misty Yorkshire evening, and Hanson’s firm header was deflected away, but provided the first warning sign of his aerial threat. As for Pool, on the back of his first league goal at the weekend, Clark Robertson had a goal-bound volley blocked by the hosts.
Donning a mix and match of kits, Blackpool began to settle and Jim McAlister’s fierce drive sprung Williams into action. However, his save was nothing compared to the one Colin Doyle produced soon after, with the goalkeeper showing great reflexes to turn Devante Cole’s effort over the bar.
Once Pool had quietened the home crowd they began to play some eye-catching football, and Cullen flicked Jarrett Rivers’ cross-shot inches wide of the post. However, 11 minutes before the break they were dealt a blow, with Hayden White being forced off the field through injury and Emmerson Boyce taking his place.
After conceding from three set pieces at the weekend, Blackpool will have been disappointed to let their foothold in the game slip from a dead ball moments before the break, as Tony McMahon’s corner was met by a thumping header from Hanson.
Half-Time: Bradford 1 Blackpool 0
After the interval both sides looked to claim the crucial second goal. First Lee Evans blazed over for the hosts, before Norris was denied by a vital block from City’s Rory McArdle.
Blackpool were huffing and puffing, but Norris’ long-range drive flew just wide of the post, moments after Henry Cameron had replaced McAlister.
The half chances were continuing to fall to the visitors, next Cullen glanced Rivers’ cross narrowly wide. At the other end former Pool man McMahon curled into the arms of Doyle, while Billy Clarke also came off the bench to get a run out against Blackpool.
With seven minutes remaining Neil McDonald gambled, taking off Norris for Kwame Thomas, however it would be another frustrating ending for Pool, who saw their final chance leave Jack Redshaw’s boot and fly over the bar.
Full-Time: Bradford 1 Blackpool 0