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02 April 2022 Venue Memorial Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match Preview - Rovers v Bradford City

1 April 2022

Rovers welcome Mark Hughes' Bradford City to BS7 this weekend!

Rovers are back at The Mem on Saturday after a frustrating loss against Carlisle United last weekend. Making the 207-mile journey to Bristol is Bradford City who are now being led by former Manchester City, Blackburn and Stoke boss Mark Hughes who took over from Derek Adams in late February. Check out all the essential info ahead of the game below!

Manager's Preview

Opposition View 

Mark Hughes has said to Bradford City that he is looking forward to the test that the Gas will put to his side who boast a 100% win record on their travels since the Welshman took charge.

“They are a good footballing side. Joey has gone there and clearly made an impression on the way they play. It is not going to be easy, by any stretch of the imagination. The confidence they have got comes from winning games which will make it doubly difficult. I still feel excited by it. I feel it is another test to measure where we are up to at the moment and we will take it for that.”

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Last Meeting

Form Guide

Saturday's visitors have had a mixed bag of results in their last six league fixtures. Winning two, drawing one and losing three. On their travels, Bradford have beaten league leaders Forest Green Rovers and Hartlepool but have been set back by some disappointing home results at Valley Parade where they lost three successive home games against Mansfield, Swindon Town and Port Vale before drawing against Newport County in their last fixture. Mark Hughes' side currently find themselves in 14th place in the Sky Bet League Two standings with 47 points from 37 games.

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Danger Men

Andy Cook is the leading marksman for the Bantams this season with 11 goals to his name in the league. Cook has also set up two goals for his teammates this campaign. Closest to Cook on the goalscoring charts for Bradford is attacking midfielder Charles Vernam who has found the back of the net on five occasions this season and also has two assists to his name.

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Ref Watch

Neil Hair is the match official for Saturday's clash at The Mem. This season in League Two, referee Hair has officiated seven games in which he has produced 26 yellow cards and is yet to give a player their marching orders. Hair averages 21.43 fouls per 90 minutes in League Two this season and hands out an average of 3.71 yellow cards a game. Hair last took charge of a Rovers game in our thrilling 4-3 victory over Oxford United in the First Round of this season's Emirates FA Cup.

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Betting Preview

EFL sponsors, Sky Bet have priced Rovers at 1/1 for the win on Saturday afternoon, with the visitors priced at 13/5. Rovers can also be backed at 14/1 to win the game 3-1. On the goalscorer markets, Luca Hoole is priced at 22/1 to open the scoring.

Odds correct at the time of writing. To bet with Sky Bet please click HERE. Please bet responsibly.

How to Follow

Supporters based in the UK can purchase an audio match pass for £2.50. To find out more about iFollow, please click HERE.

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Match Reports

Match Report - Rovers 2-1 Bradford

Taylor makes the difference in a tight affair at The Mem.

2 April 2022

Goals from Sam Finley and Connor Taylor got Rovers back to winning ways.

Rovers made one change to the line-up for the visit of the Bantams. Trevor Clarke came in at left-back, with Glenn Whelan dropping to the bench. 

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Harry Anderson won a free kick in the third minute. In the absence of usual dead-ball specialist Evans, it was whipped in by Coutts and Hoole flashed a header narrowly wide. Anderson was haring down the wing again a minute later as the Gas looked to make a quick start.

The ball was in the Bradford half for the majority of the first five minutes. Another free-kick came Rovers' way when Collins was hacked down on the edge of the area. A well-worked move saw Finley's shot blocked and the ball eventually cleared.

Trademark trickery from Elliot Anderson saw him evade two challenges before firing a shot wide of Bass' left-hand post.

Bradford's first foray into Rovers territory saw a tame Gareth Evans header easily gathered by Belshaw. Referee Hair awarded a corner to Rovers after 12 minutes as Finley's shot took a slight deflection, but it came to nothing after fouling in the area.

More wing wizardry from Harry Anderson won another corner in the 14th minute, but again Mark Hughes' men were able to clear their lines. Bradford won a corner of their own after 17 minutes. Watt's inswinger was claimed by Belshaw.

With Elliot Anderson pulling the strings in midfield, Rovers came agonisingly close to opening the scoring in the 22nd minute. A sumptuous diagonal from Coutts to Nicholson was laid back to Finley, but the midfielder's drive flew inches wide with Bass well beaten.

Aaron Collins went to ground in the area in the 24th minute, but the referee was non-plussed.  Bradford threatened in the 26th minute after a well-worked corner routine saw Walker's effort from the edge of the area fly ten yards over Belshaw's bar. A minute later, Cook's header sailed wide as the visitors looked to find a way into a game that, up to this point, had been largely one-way Gas traffic. 

Paul Coutts required treatment in the 30th minute after a foul by Hendrie, which saw the Bradford player booked. Thankfully, the skipper could continue. Rovers again came close to scoring, as Trevor Clarke's cross was left by Collins and Harry Anderson arrived at the back post, but slid his effort wide.

In the 33rd minute, Rovers had strong shouts for a penalty after Finley was dragged to the ground, but play was waved on. Collins then spun beautifully in the area before lashing wide. Despite Rovers' utter dominance, they had nothing to show for it. The striker then scooped over a tricky chance from a Hoole cross. 

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Harry Anderson was upended in the 39th minute but referee Hair was having none of it. A foul on Nicholson did, finally, bring a free-kick. Elliot Anderson fired straight into the wall, before firing the rebound narrowly over. Fifteen shots, none on target, told the story of the first half.

Bradford made a switch at half-time with Vernam replacing Walker, but it was Rovers who switched off with the half barely a minute old as Pereira fired home to put Bradford 1-0 up. Rovers were stung into action and Harry Anderson forced Bass into a stop, before Collins fired over the bar and out of the ground from distance.

Trevor Clarke saw yellow after 51 minutes for a late challenge, before Rovers again set up camp in the Bradford half for a long spell of possession. Nicholson again found some room down the left, but his shot was charged down. Elliot Anderson then delayed a shot for too long as Rovers continued to press for the equaliser.

A dangerous Clarke cross was deflected behind for a corner, which led to Rovers getting back in the game. Coutts' delivery found Finley and his fierce strike from 30 yards flew past a flailing Bass.

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Bass was then called upon to make a brilliant save to stop Nicholson from putting the Gas ahead, diving at his feet. It was all Rovers again, cutting through Bradford at will, but unable to find a killer pass.

Rovers were again appealing for a penalty after 65 minutes, but the referee waved play on before Elliot Anderson's strike was saved by Bass. Luke Thomas replaced Trevor Clarke in the 68th minute. He was immediately in the action, with his cross deflected by a Bradford into the hands of Bass.

Bass was again forced into action, intercepting Harry Anderson's ball with Collins waiting to pounce. Collins was then clear through before O'Connor cynically brought him down, receiving a yellow when a red wouldn't have looked out of place.

Harry Anderson was next to be fouled by an increasingly desperate Bradford rearguard. From the free-kick, Rovers went ahead in the 75th minute. Coutts swung it in, the visitors failed to clear, and Taylor was on hand to bundle the ball home. The goalscorer then received treatment but was fine to continue.

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Leon Clarke very nearly put the game to bed in the 89th minute, firing straight at Bass from close range. Bradford won a corner in the 90th minute, with six additional minutes signalled, but James Belshaw calmed Gasheads nerves with a high take.

'Goodnight Irene' could be heard across the city at full-time as Rovers secured the victory.

Rovers' next challenge comes in the form of Tranmere Rovers on Saturday, 9th April (3pm KO).

ROVERS: Belshaw, Hoole, Connolly, Taylor, T Clarke, Coutts (c), Finley, E Anderson, H Anderson, Collins, Nicholson.

Subs: Ward, Saunders, Harries, L Clarke, Loft, Thomas, Whelan.

BRADFORD: Bass, O'Connor (c), Songo'o, Cook, Walker, Gilliead, Foulds, Evans, Watt, Hendrie, Pereira.

Subs: O'Donnell, Ridehalgh, Cooke, Vernam, Kelleher, Lavery, Delfouneso.

REFEREE: Neil Hair

ATTENDANCE: 9,186.

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