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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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