Match Report 2002-2003

Saturday 01 March, 2003, Division One

Walsall At Valley Parade

City come back with nothing

Bradford City 1
Forrest 1-1
Walsall 2
Robinson 0-1
Mathis 1-2

The one consistent thing about this City team is it's inconsistency.

We have seen this before. Great wins one week then poor losses the next. I would love to beat the drum about what went wrong today but in all honesty this game was the learning process in action.

Nicky Law is always learning. Today he learned that after the injury to left back Wayne Jacobs moving Lewis Emanuel out of the midfield and adding Danny Forrest moved too many players out of position. City have purred best when Claus Jorgensen played through the middle, after the Jacobs injury he was wide left and never stamped his authority on the game.

We've seen Nicky Law get this lesson before, hopefully he will get it again. The team was playing well and although Emanuel looked to be the most simple replacement for Jacobs the shifting of the team cost City too much today.

That is not to say that Walsall did well. They turned up to snatch goals and got two from their two forays into our half. Not criticising that, that is how we beat Coventry, but these were an easy three points we let go.

Danny Forrest learned something today too. He learned that when you are playing right midfield, as he did after coming off the bench, you cannot let a man run forty five yards with the ball to shoot. Forrest tracked but never tackled Darren Wrack as he meandered forward just after half time. Wrack shot hit Chris Shuker on the backside before falling into the path of Carl Robinson who scored. It was harsh.

Lesson two for Danny Forrest. It's gets better second time. His first goal was wondrous, his second was sublime. Drifting in from the wing after Gus Uhlenbeek stormed down the right to cross Forrest scissor kicked with power past Jimmy Walker in the Walsall goal. Celebrate? No one deserves it more.

Of course that should have been the set up for a big win but when the line came, a cross low to Ashley Ward who got a firm stab on the ball, Walker spoilt the show with a superb save and later when Walsall nicked the goal though Pedro Matias they had Walker to thank for the win. Best goalkeeper in the division and, it's nice to know, one who has appeared on Nicky Law's wanted lists form time to time. Another lesson learned. He was right to want Walker.

So how much should this defeat worry? Not much.

Mark Bower excelled alongside rusty David Wetherall. Uhlenbeek had his first good game in weeks. Lewis Emanuel, Simon Francis, Danny Forrest et al all got another game under the belt and even with this win you would fancy City to finish above the Saddlers this season.

Man of the Match
Mark Bower

Growing into a quality player.

Bradford City Team
Danny Forrest, Michael Standing and Danny Cadamarteri.