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Harrogate Town 2-0 Bradford City Match Report – Danny Pugsley

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A pair of second-half goals from Jack Diamond proved enough for Town to seal a Yorkshire derby against Bradford City this lunchtime at The Envirovent Stadium.

After an even first-half Diamond made the difference after the break, taking his goal tally to nine on the season, as Town made it back to back home wins in the league, as well as recording a third consecutive victory over the Bantams.

Town were forced into two changes from the side that held Mansfield to a goalless draw in midweek, with Leon Legge and Warren Burrell replacing the injured Rory McArdle and Lewis Richards – both of whom are expected to be sidelined for the next three weeks.

For the visitors, Derek Adams made two changes with January loan signing Tom Elliott coming into the attack for his first start and Liam Ridehalgh returning to the defence in place of Levi Sutton. New signings Luke Hendrie and Nathan Delfouneso were named on the bench.

With strong wind and rain swirling around The Enivrovent Stadium both teams had a challenge ahead of them to get a passing game going.

With Diamond and Brahima Diarra in the line-up Town were looking to get the ball out wide and on ten minutes Diarra released Alex Pattison who played in Diamond to win the first corner of the game

Town were enjoying the lions share of possession in the opening stages with Lewis Page also joining in the attack. His left foot deliveries were causing trouble and twice in succession he forced corners from the City defence.

On the half-hour mark a slip from Yann Songo’o allowed Luke Armstrong a run at the defence but his low cross was smothered by Alex Bass at the near post.

This stung City into action as they immediately broke forward and Jamie Walker unleashed a fierce effort that Mark Oxley smartly parried to safety.

Oxley pulled off an even better stop in the fortieth minute when, off balance, he reacted quickly to keep out a fierce Andy Cook snapshot.

If Town were on balance having the better of the play then it was the visitors who managed to carve out the more clear cut opportunities and on the stroke of half-time they had perhaps the best of the half. Walker found space in front of him and drove forward before letting fly with a drive that whistle inches past Oxley’s far post.

Simon Weaver was the first manager to make a change when five minutes into the second half he introduced Jack Muldoon for Callum Kavanagh.

Shortly after Adams responded when he handed Delfouneso a debut when replaced Elliot in attack.
Oxley was again called into action o the hour mark when he dove low to his left to turn Cook’s header away from danger. Despite the wind being against them City began the half the sharper of the two sides.

It was Town who grabbed the lead though. A trademark driving run from Pattison released Diamond, who had space in front of him and the winger attacked with purpose and his low effort took a deflection that deceived Bass and put Town ahead.

With the Bantams on the back foot and Town seeking a second the visitors made a second change, Theo Robinson coming on for Callum Cooke.

It was to no avail though as Diamond, growing more and more into the game, again found space and this time went through unchallenged to slot home low past Bass and spark an exodus of fans from the away end.

City’s hopes were fading but they almost had a lifeline when Cook’s long range effort went narrowly wide.
Adams’s final change saw the dangerous Cook replaced by Alex Gilliead before Armstrong made way for Mark Beck in what was Town’s second change.

With a comfortable lead Town could be content to wind down the final minutes with little danger posed to Oxley’s goal.

The victory extended Town’s unbeaten run to four games in all competition, with the side having not conceded in each of the games.

TOWN: Oxley, Thomson, Legge, Burrell, Page, Diarra, Falkingham, Pattison, Diamond, Kavanagh (Muldoon, 52), Armstrong (Beck, 83).

Subs not used: Cracknell, Sheron, Smith, Austerfield, Beck.

Goals: Diamond (62, 71)

Bradford City: Bass, Threlkeld, Ridehalgh, O’Connor, Songo’o, Cooke (Robinson, 69), Cook (Gilliead, 78), Walker, Foulds, Watt, Elliott (Delfouneso, 56).

Subs not used:  O’Donnell. Sutton, Daly, Hendrie.

Booked: Walker (45), Gilliead (89)

Referee: Rebecca Welch.

Attendance: 2,770 (585 away)

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