Bradford City 4 - 3 Rochdale
Date published: 09 December 2017
Bradford City v Rochdale
A pulsating game saw Rochdale go down to another away day defeat as Bradford City edged a seven goal thriller at Valley Parade.
Matt Kilgannon edged Bradford in front after nine minutes. Ian Henderson saw his penalty saved by Sattelmaier four minutes later after the keeper had tripped Dale’s Olly Rathbone. Four goals in five minutes as the first half ended in frantic style saw Bradford go in at half time 3-2 up.
Former Bradford striker Steven Davies came off the bench in the second half to draw Dale level but they could not hang on. Tyrell Robinson raced clear to earn Bradford maximum points with eleven minutes left on the clock.
Keith Hill made three changes from the FA Cup game earlier in the week. Jim McNulty, Kgosi Ntlhe and Matt Done were given starts.
Looking for their first away win in the league, Rochdale got off to a bad start when they went behind from another set play. A deep free kick from McMahon was headed back across goal and defender Kilgannon was quickest to react, and he slotted his side in front.
Dale were given a glorious chance to level minutes later when Rathbone was hauled down inside the area. Henderson forced a save from Sattelmaier and as the keeper was trying to get to the loose ball; Rathbone nipped in and was tripped by the keeper. The Dale captain stepped up but saw his penalty kick well saved before being cleared.
Bradford were the better side for the next 25 minutes with Dale keeper Lillis being called upon a couple of times to sweep away any danger. Alex Gilliead, Dom Poleon and Paul Taylor all kept out by the Dale number one.
As the half wore on, Rochdale grew in confidence; Camps and then Rafferty having a sight at goal.
Then came the mad few minutes that would see four goals in just over five minutes.
Dale’s inability to defend free kicks has cost them dear this season and again their frailties came back when McMahon’s dead ball was headed back across to Charlie Wyke; the striker's looping header catching Lillis off his line and the ball nestled in the net off the underside of the bar.
There was barely any time to catch breath before Henderson dragged Dale back into the game with a well taken goal. Camps’ weak shot from outside the box fell at the feet of Henderson who took one touch to go past a defender before slotting into the bottom corner.
The Dale fans were still celebrating when Poleon restored Bradford’s two goal advantage with a close-range finish after a right wing cross was not dealt with. Gilliead’s quick feet made space for the cross, which Poleon made sure of from six yards out.
The goal scoring was not finished for the half; Henderson scored his second minutes later. A long punt by Lillis was flicked on by Andrew and Henderson controlled well before unleashing an unstoppable volley to make it 3-2.
The second half was not as end-to-end as the first but the introduction of Davies from the bench saw him score with almost his first touch. He bundled his way into the box on the left before drilling a low shot inside the near post for his fifth of the season.
Bradford re-took the lead with a classic breakaway goal. The pace of Robinson had caused problems all game and when he was sent through, Lillis came racing out of his box but could not beat him for pace. The full back rounded the stricken keeper before slotting into the unguarded net.
It was a disappointing end to an exciting game for the travelling fans who will feel Dale should have got something it.
Bradford: Sattelmaier, McMahon, Kilgannon, Knight-Percival, Robinson (Hanson 87), Gilliead, VIincelot (c), Law (Thompson 77), Taylor, Poleon (Hendrie 67), Wyke
Subs (not used) Raeder, McCartan, Gibson, Patrick
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty (Cannon 59), McGahey, Daniels, McNulty (Williams 46), Ntlhe, Camps, Rathbone, Henderson (c), Andrew, Done (Davies 74)
Subs: (not used) Moore, Slew, Inman, Gillam
Referee: Mr D Bond
Assistants: Mr S Meredith and Mr S Hudson
Fourth Official: Mr R Wootton
Attendance: 19,621 (501 from Rochdale)