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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-2 Bradford City

25 January 2022

The Saddlers suffered a cruel defeat at home as a late penalty from former striker Andy Cook gave the visitors Bradford City all three points.

Matt Taylor’s side began the game with all guns blazing and nearly opened the scoring after just three minutes. Great work from Jack Earing allowed him to enter the box on the right hand side and his low cross was met by George Miller but his miscued effort was cleared by the Bradford defence. 

Moments after that Miller chance, Carl Rushworth made two outstanding saves within seconds of each other to deny the Bantams.

The ball was played across the box and Liam Ridehalgh drove a shot towards the bottom corner but Rushworth got down well to make a fine save before picking himself back up to make another superb save with his foot from Alex Gilliead. 

With just shy of a third of the first half played, Miller went on another surging run beating two Bradford men but his left-footed effort unfortunately flew over the bar. 

As the game approached the half an hour mark, the Saddlers went close again as Brendan Kiernan burst forward pinching the ball off Oscar Threlkeld before playing it back to Joss Labadie but his looping effort was tipped over the bar by Alex Bass. 

Despite all the early pressure coming from the Saddlers, they found themselves behind with eight minutes of the first half left to play. A cutback found Daly free on the edge of the box and his shot took a deflection to wrong-foot Rushworth and it found the bottom corner. 

On the stroke of half time, Conor Wilkinson had a golden opportunity to send the teams in level at the break. Debutant Donervon Daniels headed the ball back across goal and Wilkinson, practically on the goal line, saw his effort outstandingly saved by Bass. 

Into the second half and the Saddlers got their just rewards, albeit via a slice of luck. A corner was cleared to the edge of the area and Zak Mills hit it on the volley and his effort hit Miller inadvertently and Bass was sent the wrong way and Matt Taylor’s side found themselves level. 

With 20 minutes left to play, Walsall went in search of a winner and came close through Wilkinson. Kiernan did well again down the left and his cross was met by Wilkinson but his header back across goal was narrowly wide of the far post. 

As the clock ticked down, Bradford produced the sucker punch. Following a free-kick that was delivered into the box, it appeared to strike a Saddlers hand and the referee awarded the Bantams a penalty.

31-year-old Cook stepped up in front of the Homeserve stand and smashed the ball down the middle of Rushworth’s goal to secure the points for the visitors.


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