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Bradford City v Leicester CitySUPER CLARKE SAVES POINT

A 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.

The 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.

Rodney MarshLeicester's 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.

Dean WindassThe 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 him.

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.

© WW/dw 2000

FA Premiership 00/01



Att: 16,766

Other Results...

Bradford City
Matt Clarke
Peter Atherton
Ian Nolan
Andy O'Brien
David Wetherall
Dan Petrescu

Stuart McCall (c)
David Hopkin

Lee Sharpe
Dean Windass
Benito Carbone

Aidan Davison
Andy Myers 10
Jamie Lawrence

Gareth Whalley 70
Ashley Ward

Leicester City
Tim Flowers
Gary Rowett
Andrew Impey
Matt Elliott
Gerry Taggart

Robbie Savage
Muzzy Izzet
Neil Lennon
Steve Guppy
Darren Eadie
Ade Akinbiyi

Simon Royce
Callum Davidson
Phil Gilchrist 90
Tony Cottee 75
Stan Collymore

Referee: S Bennett

League Position

Worthington Cup

FA Cup

Leading Scorer
Carbone - 1
Windass - 1


More Statistics...

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