Football: Rochdale 0 - 4 Bradford City

Date published: 30 December 2018

Rochdale ended 2018 with a heavy home defeat after being brushed aside by a resurgent Bradford City side.

A dominant first saw Bradford City go in at the interval 1-0 up Nathanial Knight-Percival tapped in after Brendan Moore saved Eoin Doyle’s header.

Bradford City doubled their lead at the start of the second half; central defender Anthony O’Connor’s clever backheal slipping under Moore. Doyle won his side a penalty on the hour mark and dusted himself down to convert from 12 yards whilst the goal of the game came in the final minute when substitute George Miller volleyed in from 25 yards.

After back-to-back wins over the festive period, Keith Hill made just one change for the visit of Bradford City. Bradden Inman was preferred to Matty Gillam.

Bradford City, who started the day in the bottom four, were buoyed by a very vocal travelling support of 2,500 fans and they powered past Rochdale almost from the first minute.

Huddersfield Town loanee Jack Payne brought about an uncomfortable save from Moore in the Dale goal with the American stopper just about pushing the ball over the bar.

The only goal of the first half came on 23 minutes. A left wing corner was met by Doyle; Moore getting down well to push his header away only for Knight-Percival to follow up with a simple tap in from close range.

Bradford threatened throughout the first period but couldn’t find a second. Former Rochdale loanee David Ball fired straight at Moore when he should have done better whilst Doyle headed narrowly over from 10 yards out. Payne once again tried his luck from distance; Moore equal to his efforts.

After riding the storm of the first half, it was a bitter blow when Bradford doubled their lead three minutes into the second half. Another corner, this time taken short to Payne, was eventually played into the box and with his back to goal, O’Connor tried a speculative backheal that went under Moore.

The third goal came on the hour mark when Doyle and Delaney got into a tangle inside the box; referee Woolmer taking his time before awarding a penalty. Doyle dusted himself down to slam the ball down the middle of the net to end the game as a contest.

Rochdale rarely threatened; Callum Camps mis hit a free kick and also saw a powerful strike flash over the bar whilst Rathbone hit straight at O’Donnell who had a fairly quiet afternoon.

The final goal was a spectacular dipping volley from Miller. The substitute, who had only been on the field for three minutes, saw the ball drop for him outside the area and he unleashed a dipping volley that flew past Moore.

Bradford were worthy of their heavy win as they quite simply blew Dale away with their pace and power. It’s now upto Keith Hill and his backroom staff to lift the players for a New Year’s Day trip to the Keepmoat Stadium to take on Doncaster Rovers.

Rochdale: Moore, Rafferty, MJ Williams, Delaney, Done, Camps (Perkins 72), Rathbone, Adshead (Ntlhe 35), Henderson ©, J Williams (Andrew 49), Inman
Subs: (not used) Lillis, McNulty, McGahey, Gillam

Bradford: O’Donnell, McGowan, O’Connor, Knight-Percival, Caddis, Chicksen, J O’Brien, L O’Brien, Payne (Miller 87), Ball, Doyle (Bruenker 81)
Subs: (not used) Wilson, Wood, Devine, Isherwood, Goldthorp

Referee: Mr A Woolmer
Assistants: Mr M Jones & Mr P Dermott
Fourth Official: Mr B Toner

Attendance: 5,673 (2507 from Bradford

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