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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

16 October 2021 Venue The Utilita Energy Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match Preview - Bradford City v Rovers

15 October 2021

Rovers return to league action this weekend as they prepare to face Bradford City at Valley Parade on Saturday afternoon. Below is all the info you need ahead of the fixture.

Rovers head into the match against Bradford City off the back of a 1-2 home defeat against Chelsea U21s in the Papa Johns Trophy on Wednesday evening where Niall Lovelock and Tyron Mbuenimo made their Rovers debuts.

Manager's Preview

The Rovers boss spoke to local press on Friday morning at the Quarters training ground ahead of tomorrow's visit to Bradford. Barton said that he expects a really tough game on Saturday afternoon.

"If you're not on your game they can cause you lots and lots of problems. They had a great start to the season, it's maybe not been the best period for them recently but they are one of the bigger sides in the division.

'It'll be a tough place to go and certainly, they will be testing us in our defensive departments and it is important that we continue the good work from Carlisle last week and look to build on a positive away performance at Walsall the last time we were away from home.

'We will have to be the best version of ourselves that we possibly can be."

Opposition View

In his weekly press conference, Bantams boss Derek Adams alluded to the strength in depth Rovers have in their ranks, saying, "Bristol Rovers come in off a great victory last weekend.

“They have got one of the best squads in the league, with a vast number of experienced players.

“We have to be on our game to get three points.

“We want to treat every match as a cup final, and I do not see this being any different to any other fixture.”


Form Guide

Saturday's opponents started the season brightly, recording 3 wins in their opening 5 games. Since the end of August, Bradford have recorded just one win in 9 games, which came thanks to a 2-0 win at home against Rochdale.

Last Saturday, Derek Adams' side picked up a point away at Newport and in total, the Bantams have collected 16 points from 11 games so far in the Sky Bet League Two this season. 


Stat Attack

The Bantams so far this season have picked up 11 points at home, the 5th highest point tally in the league this season for points registered at home.

Both teams have scored in 9 out of the last 10 encounters between Rovers and Bradford, with Bradford scoring the first goal in 5 out of the last seven head-to-head encounters.

Andy Cook leads the scoring charts for Bradford this season to date, with five goals to his name. Four of those goals have come at Valley Parade, with all of those goals at home coming from inside the penalty area.

Goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell and defender Liam Ridehalgh have featured for every minute of league action so far this season for Bradford.

Rovers are currently on a three-game unbeaten streak against the Bantams.


Ref Watch

Andy Haines is the man in charge of Saturday's contest. Haines has officiated 11 games this term, handing out 25 yellow cards. In total, Haines has taken control of 29 Sky Bet League Two games, averaging 23.86 fouls per game and 2.86 yellow cards per fixture. His last game in charge of Rovers was our 1-1 draw at Bolton back in January 2018.


Betting Preview

EFL sponsors Sky Bet have Rovers priced at 10/1 to record a 0-1 away victory on Saturday afternoon. 

On the goalscorer markets, Antony Evans is priced at 7/2 to score at any time in the game against Bradford City.

To bet with Sky Bet please click HERE. Please bet responsibly. 

How to Follow the Match

Overseas fans can watch Saturday’s game live on iFollow – with a match pass costing the equivalent of £10. 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 - Bradford City 2-2 Rovers

16 October 2021

Rovers earn a point on the road thanks to a late Brett Pitman equaliser.

Charles Vernman's tap in from a corner had given Bradford City the lead a the halfway stage.

Rovers responded early in the second half, as Alfie Kilgour headed home an equalising goal just minutes into the second half, but the parity was short-lived, as Andy Cook restored Bradford's lead just moments later with a close-range finish. 

In stoppage, a looping Brett Pitman header saw Rovers draw level and take a point back south to Bristol. 

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Ahead of the encounter, Rovers made two enforced changes to the side that faced Carlisle United. The suspended Cian Harries was replaced by Alfie Kilgour, while the injured Junior Brown made way for Nick Anderton in the starting XI. 

The opening stages of the game were lively. The home side had an early appeal for a penalty dismissed when Andy Cook's shot struck Alfie Kilgour. At the other, Harvey Saunders looked to pounce on a loose ball in the area and in the process caught Bantams 'keeper Richard O'Donnell, which resulted in a yellow card for the Rovers forward.

On his return to the lineup following a one-game suspension, Kilgour looked composed in the early stages, alongside his counterparts, Anderton, Taylor and Hoole. A mazy run into the Rovers area by Charles Vernam resulted in a low effort being launched towards the target that Kilgour flung himself at to thwart. 


Midway into the first half Rovers were forced into a change, with Harvey Saunders struggling with an injury picked up in an aerial challenge. The forward was replaced like-for-like by Pitman, who took on the responsibility for the leading Rovers' attacking line. 

Bradford looked direct in their approach and looked to use the aerial approach to spark attacks. A lofted delivery into the Rovers area from Charles Vernam fell into the path of Callum Cooke, who on the turn directed a forceful volley high over the target. 

As the interval approached, it was the hosts that found the game's opening goal. Belshaw was called into action to beat away Levi Sutton's effort at the near post. The resulting corner saw Yann Songo'o plant a header towards the target that Belshaw kept out with an impressive stop, only fall the rebound to fall at the feet of Charles Vernam, who made no mistake with his finish from yards out. 

At the break, Rovers made a tactical change with Luke Thomas replacing Luca Hoole. 

The switch saw a shift in intensity for Rovers, who levelled the game just two minutes after the break when Alfie Kilgour climbed high inside the Bradford area to direct a header beyond O'Donnell from Whelan's corner. 


Bradford restored the lead moments later, in a move that saw Callum Cooke feed the ball over wide to the scorer of the Bantams' first goal, Charles Vernam. The scorer turned provider, as Vernam darted a low delivery across the face of goal that Andy Cook blasted into the roof of the net. 

The home side has the ball in the ball in the Rovers net again on the hour mark, as Andy Cook glanced Callum Cooke's free-kick into the bottom corner, only for the linesman's to quickly ruled out the effort for offside.

As the final twenty minutes approached, Rovers asked questions of the home side in their quest for a leveller. Antony Evans swung a free-kick from 25-yards out narrowly off target and then saw another set-piece pushed away by O'Donnell.

Rovers had a late chance when Aaron Collins sprinted into the Bradford area and found a spot of space to get a shot away - only for his effort to be blocked by the lunging Paudie O'Connor. 

Just as three minutes stoppage time was announced, an inviting cross from Evans flew deep into the host's area. The delivery found Pitman, who readjusted to loop a header into the top corner for a late Gas leveller.


Rovers travel to Colchester United on Tuesday evening. (7:45PM KO)

Bradford City: Richard O'Donnell, Oscar Threlkeld, Liam Ridehalgh (28' Foulds), Paudie O'Connor (C), Yann Songo'o, Callum Cooke, Andy Cook, Alex Gilliead, Charles Vernam, Elliot Watt (80' Scales), Levi Sutton.

Subs: Niall Canavan, Fiacre Kelleher, Theo Robinson, Finn Cousin-Dawson, Caolan Lavery.

Rovers: James Belshaw, Alfie Kilgour, Aaron Collins, Paul Coutts (58' Sam Nicholson), Connor Taylor, Nick Anderton, Harry Anderson, Antony Evans, Harvey Saunders (20' Pitman), Glenn Whelan, Luca Hoole (45' Thomas).

Subs: Jed Ward, Zain Westbrooke, Pablo Martinez, Trevor Clarke. 

Attendance: 16,663 (445 away)






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Ticket News

Ticket Update - Bradford City

14 October 2021

Supporters will have a final opportunity to purchase tickets for Saturday's trip to Valley Parade.

Rovers fans can purchase away tickets for this weekend's fixture over the phone, by calling 01274 770012 before 5pm on Friday, 15th October

Tickets purchased over the phone can then be collected on the day of the game from the player's entrance on South Parade.

There will be no away tickets available on the day. 

To date, we have sold around 450 tickets for this fixture. shutterstock_editorial_12446053e.jpg

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