Match Report 2002-2003

Saturday 15 March, 2003, Division One

Derby County away

Don't mind doing it for the kids

Derby County 1
Lee Morris 1-1
Bradford City 2
Claus Jorgensen 0-1
Pablo Mills og 1-2

The kids, the kids. That's all we heard about at City. This week Gordon Gibb set Nicky Law a 2.5m wage budget for next season, a damn fine idea but not the kind of money that will attract senior pros from the Premiership to Valley Parade.

The merit of senior pros at this level is debateable but today it was one such player, the outward bound Jamie Lawrence, who turned the game around and made a game that the kids couldn't do.

Simon Francis is a cracking prospect but he never looked good for the game today. He was booked to a mistimed tackle on Derby's Lee Morris and hauled off after 12 minutes for Lawrence by Nicky Law as the Bantam boss bravely changed things around early as the Bantams got overrun.

Law's reward was instant as Claus Jorgensen moved to the right flank to allow Lawrence to add his buzzing aggression to the centre of the midfield, drilled home from twenty five yards to give City a one goal lead. Against the run of play by as with the visit to Wolves or Walsall's trip to Valley Parade winning games at this level is about taking breakaway chances to break the back of the home club.

Derby's Pride Park crowd were obviously upset. Manager John Gregory too much of the flack but his team had little heart. The curiosity of this game was perhaps not that it was being contested at the foot of this division when a few years ago it was a Premiership game but rather the general feeling that it was a miracle that the game was taking place at all.

Both these club could have gone out of business this season. The presence of Giorgi Kinkladze for them and Ashley Ward for us next to the local lads that both sides have drafted in shows the way that these teams are going.

Take for an example Lee Morris. A year ago he was offered to City s the payment for borrowing Benito Carbone. Why Jim Jefferies turned down the offer of thorn in the side Morris for three months of the Italian is anyone's guess but now all either of these teams can do is dream of trading at such levels. Football is more about getting by for both club's these days.

Lee Morris got the equaliser and along with striker partner Nick Chadwick, the guy who Wayne Rooney charged past at Goodison Park looked for a long time like they would get the breakthrough to give the Rams the points.

City played on the counter and looked good doing so. Derby seemed to nervous to force the play. Andy Gray used the room at the far post well and should have done better when picked out by Gus Uhlenbeek with fifteen minutes to go.

One one would perhaps have been a good result an enough to keep Gregory in his job until next week but the chorus of disapproval that greeted Pablo Mills' final in the face touch in the Ashley Ward/Jamie Lawrence's goalmouth scramble deep into injury suggested that the senior pro Bantams reeling away after the goal they both claimed goal could be the last bit of football Gregory sees as boss at Pride Park. If Derby can afford to sack him then one suspects they will.

Of the winner which both Jamie Lawrence and Ashley Ward had a hand in one would say that it was credit to the seniors. Ward set it up with a charging break that capped a decent display by the expensive forward. Lawrence, Ward et al brought their game today and even though Lewis Emanuel impressed through out, the old guys made it work today.

They did it for the kids.

Man of the Match
Jamie Lawrence

Cometh the hour... Great game from a guy who will be missed next season.

Bradford City Team
Davison
Uhlenbeek
Wetherall
Bower
Myers
Francis
Atherton
Jorgensen
Emanuel
Gray
Ward
Jamie Lawrence, Wayne Jacobs