Match Report 2002-2003

Saturday 22 February, 2003, Division One

Coventry City away

Bradford's bouncing back

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

Nicky Law is doing something right. Losing 1-0 at home to Brighton saw blame put at his door for his selection. We suggested that Nicky could learn from Saturday's mistakes, he did.

Today's team lacked Peter Atherton, who has been the backbone of some of City's better displays, but included a fit again if rusty David Wetherall. City's results and their resolution is always boosted when the skipper makes an appearence but you'd have to put this win down to something more than the return of the quality defender.

Law's built a team with resolution. City were dubbed the team that doesn't know how to lose earlier in the season. The seven game losing run killed the name but not the spirit.

This win, and the one at Wolves earlier in the season, are the very type of games that City of recent years lost. These away wins: Wolves, Ipswich Town, today, are the way that retaining First Division status will be achieved. City, on 39 points, need only to carry on purring away and will pass the 50 points mark with time to spare.

Today was a good win and, that rarest of things, a man of the match display from Ashley Ward. The striker had a hand in both goals and showed more that excellent approach play we hear about. It was Ward's lively pass back in a one-two with Andy Gray that gave City the opening goal but the striker looked like "The man who other managers want" today.

Interestingly of today's side all but four are contracted to the club next season. Of those who could leave Aidan Davison could be swapped out for Alan Combe, Gus Uhlenbeek would not be missed, Claus Jorgensen would and Jamie Lawrence might be. The point being that even if only two of those players are in the Bantam line up next season the team that is in the play off positions for post Christmas form will be at City in August 2003.

And I'll be the first to say it. If they play like this, if Ashley Ward and David Wetherall show leadership and Danny Forrest and Simon Francis continue to improve, then they will be in the play offs of the actual table.

Claus Jorgensen, getting his seventh goal in nine league and cup games, made it sure for City after linking up with Ward again as the number nine pushed the ball down to the touchline for Andy Gray to square to the Dane. Jorgi had previously rattled the Sky Blue's bar in a perfect illustration of the game the Bantams played. Coventry enjoyed the ball at home but we picked off the chances when they came.

Not that you would expect much of a fanfare should City finish lower mid-table in the First Division. It should be noted that Law's side will probably finish lower than Jim Jefferies boys did, but it will be progress.

It will be doing something right.

Man of the Match
Ashley Ward

I know! Made me feel a bit odd too but the 18,000 a week front man look like a 18,000 a week front man today.

Bradford City Team
Davison
Francis
Uhlenbeek
Wetherall
Bower
Emanuel
Gray
Jorgensen
Lawrence
Forrest
Ward