Bradford City 2 Doncaster Rovers 1: Rovers brushed aside by the Bantams

Doncaster Rovers' abysmal run of form continued at Bradford City who ran out deserved winners at the Coral Windows Stadium.

Saturday, 12th March 2016, 4:06 pm
Updated Saturday, 12th March 2016, 4:11 pm
Jamie Proctor celebrates putting Bradford ahead.

Jamie Proctor scored headers in both halves to condemn Rovers to an eighth defeat in their last nine games.

The margin of victory could and should have been greater as the Bantams, for the large part, coasted to a routine win against a Doncaster side whose confidence is absolutely shot to pieces.

Nathan Tyson halved the deficit in the last minute and the home side had to survive an unlikely late onslaught from Rovers, but it was far too little, too late as far as Darren Ferguson's men were concerned.

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For the tenth time in their last 11 matches, Rovers went behind and ended up chasing the game - or at least trying to. However, for the large part they were second best to a Bradford team who both outmuscled and outsmarted them.

Their only saving grace was three of the sides below them in the League One table lost. But on this evidence Rovers face an almighty struggle to maintain their third tier status.

Andy Williams and Conor Grant were re-called to the side, at the expense of Mitchell Lund and Paul Keegan, with Rovers starting with a flat back four and midfield diamond.

Grant and Nathan Tyson both hit early shots from long range well off target but the home side went ahead through their first meaningful attack on seven minutes.

Sloppy play from left back Aaron Taylor-Sinclair allowed Billy Clarke to pick up possession and clip a cross in for Proctor to head home unchallenged.

Bradford, much more controlled in possession and incisive in the final third, had the bit between their teeth and they might have doubled their lead midway through the half when Kyel Reid got free down the left but Proctor failed to make the most of the winger's decent ball in.

The goal had clearly knocked the stuffing out of Rovers and they struggled to put anything of note together for the rest of the half. Their plans were further disrupted by an injury to Grant, who was replaced by Harry Middleton.

City twice came close to extending their lead just before the break when Josh Cullen seized upon a half clearance from Luke McCullough to flash an effort just wide, before Tony McMahon curled a free kick just over.

Darren Ferguson had a big half time team talk on his hands but within four minutes of the re-start his side were two down. James Meredith whipped in a superb cross from the left and Proctor got in front of his man to flick a header into the far corner.

In response Rovers at least caused Bradford's defence one or two problems. Williams headed Cameron Stewart's cross just over and Cedric Evina flashed a good cross right across the face.

But it was the home side who looked far more likely to add to their tally, as McMahon volleyed a chance well over and the lively Billy Clarke struck a left foot shot just wide.

Thorsten Stuckmann then had to save with his legs from Clarke after the forward outwitted Andy Butler on the edge of the box, and McMahon headed another chance over

Williams and Riccardo Calder flashed shots just wide for the visitors but it was still a big surprise when Rovers grabbed a late lifeline through Tyson, who combined with Williams on the edge of the box before firing low past Ben Williams.

It sparked an onslaught and Rovers almost grabbed the most unlikely of equalisers as they threw the kitchen sink at the Bantams. However, Taylor-Sinclair powered a shot over and Williams hit one wide from close range.

Bradford: Williams, Darby, N Clarke, Burke, Meredith, McMahon, Evans, Cullen, Reid, B Clarke (Thomas 82), Proctor (Hanson 72). Subs not used: Cracknell, Marshall, Knott, Leigh, Routis.

Rovers: Stuckmann, Evina, McCullough, Butler, Taylor-Sinclair, Chaplow (Stewart 56), Calder (MacKenzie 90), Grant (Middleton 30), Gooch, Williams, Tyson. Subs not used: Jones, Keegan, Mandeville, Davies.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

Attendance: 17,889