Match Report 2002-2003

Saturday 21 December, 2002, Division One

Watford away

In City's defence

Watford 1
Cox 1-0 pen
Bradford City 0

There is something depressing about Watford. I'm not going to get all personal enough to say that we never, ever do well at Watford. 1-0 defeat in the Premiership to the worst side to grace the Premiership, 7-2 mauling years ago. Issy Rankin's should have been debut. It's a Watford thing.

Today will go on that list. As a game it was uneventful to the point of boredom at times but City had done enough to get a much valued point away in what has most definitely become a relegation fight.

City's point went when Lewis Emanuel was adjudged to have pushed Jermain Pennant, the Arsenal winger slumming it in the Hornet's side, in the final minute of the game. Neil Cox gave the home side the win.

It was never, ever a penalty of course. Even the Watford player's looked surprised to get it and keeper Alec Chamberlain had looked embarrassed as he watched the winner from the far end. Pennant dived but I'm not holding that against him, it was a poor decision by the man in black who ironically had had a pretty good game up to that point.

City had had a decent game too. We were never impressive but had a solidity that we were dying for in the past few months. We had a work ethic that I don't know how it exists. I've put enough criticism to Andy Tod for all Bradford City fans but today I give him man of the match for his effort. Lacking match fitness he never tired or slacked. Impressive.

Tod had a good chance to win the game which would have been harsh on the hosts who had more of the ball without really doing anything with it. For an Arsenal player Pennant is a pretty good example of Watford's problem. Looks good, keeps the ball, no end product.

If Tod could have won the game, Claus Jorgensen should have if goals were given for style. He hit a would be goal of the season shot which the Watford keeper tipped over. That was City's game plan, the smash and grab of a win with the odd bit of attacking skill. It's not a great game plan but when you have no strikers to speak of, it will do.

Of course the smash came in the last minute and the grab was Cox's late penalty. City are getting better, but not luckier.

Man of the Match
Andy Tod

Redemption through hard work.

Bradford City Team