Cobblers pick up positive away point after Bradford cancel out Pinnock's superb opener

Bradford City 1 Northampton Town 1

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 5:05 pm
Updated Saturday, 20th November 2021, 5:46 pm
Kion Etete had to be replaced by Danny Rose in first-half stoppage-time after taking a nasty elbow to his face. Picture: Pete Norton.

Cobblers stopped their mini-rot with an admirable but controversial away point when drawing 1-1 with Bradford City at Valley Parade on Saturday.

Town might have come away with all three points if not for an individual error after Mitch Pinnock's excellent opener but this was still a positive result following back-to-back defeats.

Cobblers were the better team in the first 45 minutes and they then went ahead on the hour when Pinnock embarked on a mammoth solo run before drilling into the net.

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Bradford created little and only got back into the game through a mistake in Town's defence as Charles Vernam levelled, and that's how it stayed until full-time.

Jon Brady will be satisfied with the result and performance, but he might feel aggrieved that Bradford ended the game with 11 men. There was a nasty elbow on Kion Etete late in the first-half, forcing him to go off, and then a horrific two-footed lunge on Danny Rose, yet referee Carl Boyeson didn't even award a free-kick on either occasion.

Visiting goalkeeper Liam Roberts also took a heavy and unnecessary kick to his face when landing on the loose ball, sparking a 20-man brawl, but again Gilliead was only booked.

Brady was able to name his strongest possible XI as fit-again duo Jack Sowerby and Aaron McGowan both started and Pinnock also returned.

Bradford were always likely to make a fast start and they nearly took a third-minute lead when Callum Cooke's low drive was beaten away by Roberts.

Northampton weathered the early storm though and did a good job of frustrating the sizeable home contingent inside Valley Parade.

The visitors did not look especially threatening but had their moments, mainly through Sam Hoskins as his cross narrowly evaded Kion Etete before he dragged a volley wide.

Roberts was quick off his line to clear at the feet of Charles Vernam on the half-hour but otherwise Bradford posed very little threat, much to the increasing angst of their supporters.

Cobblers suffered a blow in first-half stoppage-time when Etete took a nasty elbow to the face - somehow missed by the officials - and had to be replaced by Danny Rose.

Town enjoyed a good spell at the start of the second-half and they were ahead on the hour-mark.

The goal all started with a Bradford attack as Town headed clear a cross into their box, the ball broke to Pinnock and he did the rest. With no defender willing to engage, he powered forward, got into the box and drilled low and hard beyond Richard O'Donnell.

But the lead lasted just seven as City swiftly struck back, capitalising on a mistake by Fraser Horsfall and Caolan Lavery found Vernam who kept his cool to cut inside McGowan and beat Roberts.

Lavery cleared the crossbar with a good chance as Bradford threatened to turn the game around completely

Either side could have nicked a winner in the final 10 minutes and Cobblers did come agonisingly close through McGowan when he twisted and turned in the box before firing into the side-netting.

Bradford went close too, Vernam missing his kick inside the penalty box, but neither team really went for the throat and the game ended level.

Bradford: O'Donnell, Ridehalgh, O'Connor, Canavan (c), Songo'o, Cooke (Eisa 84), Watt, Robinson (Lavery 60), Cousin-Dawson, Gilliead, Vernam

Subs not used: Hornby, Foulds, Kelleher, Evans, Sutton

Cobblers: Roberts, McGowan, Horsfall (c), Guthrie, Koiki, McWilliams, Sowerby (Kabamba 90), Lewis, Hoskins, Pinnock, Etete (Rose 45)

Subs not used: Maxted, Dyche, Flores, Pollock Connolly

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Attendance: 15,372

Cobblers fans: 426