CLARKE SAVES POINT
day of heroics by City keeper Matt Clarke helped the
Bantams earn a draw against new manager Peter Taylor's
Leicester City at Valley Parade.
Carling Opta top stopper put on another fine show for
the Bantams as he denied several goal scoring opportunities
for the visitors as City failed to capitalise on their
blistering performance over midweek opponents Chelsea.
The moment every City fan had waited for throughout
the close season, the cropping of TV pundit Rodney Marsh's
hair, wasn't the only close shave of the afternoon and
Clarke's first stop came in only the second minute when
a David Wetherall error allowed the nippy Darren Eadie
into the home area.
last signing under Martin O'Neill saw the big centre-back
miss his back header and then pounced to fire in a low
shot which Clarke turned away for a corner.
The game was marred for City fans as 20 year old Andy
O'Brien, the Republic of Ireland's up and coming central
defender, was stretchered off with a broken collar bone.
Leicester's big striker Ade Akinbiyi jumped for a header
and O'Brien fell to the floor in a heap as the two clashed
in mid-air. City's number 14, replaced by Andy Myers,
is expected to be out for at least 6 weeks.
Leicester punished the home side for their lack of an
experienced centre-back and Myers was continuously run
ragged by Eadie and Akinbiyi. Clarke was forced into
a fine save from a well struck free-kick before holding
onto a low drive from Akinbiyi and denying Eadie's tame
shot on the stroke of half-time.
City's best chance of the half fell to Benito Carbone
who, after good work with Petrescu down the right, found
himself with a free shot at goal from the Romanian's
pullback. Unfortunately, the star of the previous game
could not emulate the same feats and shot feebly at
goal for Tim Flowers to gather.
The second half was much the same story as Bradford
failed to create any gilt-edged openings and Clarke
again denied the two visiting strikers.
Akinbiyi headed wide on 53 minutes and then had a shot
parried five minutes later before City's keeper pulled
off his best save of the game so far when he turned
away Darren Eadie's cross-shot. The darting striker
had turned Myers and sprinted towards the area on the
hour, only to waste his best chance.
For Bradford, Benito Carbone was always likely to inspire
his team-mates in to action and it was his effort that
troubled Tim Flowers in the Leicester goal the most.
little Italian picked up the ball wide right, cut inside
and hit a dipping curling shot to the far post with
his left boot. Flowers appeared to make a meal of it
as he scrambled to his right but Carbone obviously knew
the keeper was unsighted and was unlucky not to beat
Matt Clarke, on the other hand, never deserved to be
beaten as he put in a performance to turn even Kevin
Keegan's head. His piece de resistance coming at the
death as Steve Guppy picked out Akinbiyi in the centre.
The ex-Wolves man headed down as all good goalscorers
should but was amazed to see Clarke stick out a right
glove and ricochet the ball to safety.
City boss Chris Hutchings was no doubt relieved with
his point and will surely be encouraged by the form
of the bargain buy goalkeeper who could surely answer
a few of England's future problems between the posts.
BRADFORD CITY 0
CITY 0 (0)
Stuart McCall (c)
Carbone - 1
Windass - 1