Match Report 2002-2003

Tuesday 25 March, 2003, Division One

Burnley away

Luck levels out

Burnley 0
Bradford City 2
Claus Jorgensen 0-1
Andy Gray 0-2

After Two off to Burnley at VP, the goal that was not at home to Brighton and no red card at Rotherham City finally got a stroke of luck from a referee that put the Bantams on the way to First Division safety and left the club looking upwards for the first time in over a year.

The luck came when Claus Jorgensen rose at the far left post to head a Gus Uhlenbeek cross at goal only to see Drissa Diallo headed the ball away. The linesman flagged a goal, Burnley did not agree but from the far end and again on television it's impossible to see. Was it in? Does it matter?

Not to City who took the lead and turned the screw on a home crowd running out of patience with it's own side. The natives were restless. Glen Little prompted looking something like the player he was but as with City on Saturday Burnley seemed to be trying to swim through treacle to get to goal.

City on the other hand are growing to love these away games. Wolves, Grimsby, Derby County and Coventry City all suffered at the hands of the breakaway Bantams. So speedy on the break City sit back away from home, inviting home teams on and then picking them off at the back. Ben Muirhead, making his City full debut in the place of Jamie Lawrence, off with his country, was typical of this motoring up and down the right flank.

The mind wandered forward to next season and Nicky Law doing for Ashley Ward what Sir Bobby Robson did for Alan Shearer. Ward as the hold up man surrounded with the pace of young legs like Danny Forrest, Muirhead, Jorgensen et al. This was City's seventh home with of the season, more than Nottingham Forest and Ipswich Town both of whom are having a tilt at the Premiership. Sort out the home form and Nicky Law will be able to point to good progress next season.

That minds could wander was down to a second goal two minutes from time that came after Muirhead had played a peach of a ball to Andy Gray who skipped around Marlon Beresford to slot in his 13th of the season. Burnley were stretched, Arthur Gnohere having been send off for a reckless challenged on a sprightly Danny Forrest, but the score did not flatter City.

So the Bantams sit in 15th in this division table that it is best not to look at when considering the easy points thrown away this year to the likes of Walsall and Brighton and when 50 points is broken Law's next target is the 55 points the club amassed last season.

Not that that should bother him tonight. BfB said in the summer that City had been condemned to relegation, pundits called the odds on City going down too good to miss and yet Law has got the team to within sight of the top half of division.

They say Derby County want him to be manager but for now, Law will stay where the luck is.

Man of the Match
Mark Bower

Could have been Ben Muirhead, cause some may say that not being able to get into the team as a right hand side midfielder at Manchester United is not a great disgrace, but Bower's steady progress from guy on his way out to rock at the back started at Burnley last season and carried on here tonight.

Bradford City Team