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Match Reports

Report: Iron 2-0 Bradford City

23 March 2021

United returned to winning ways with a 2-0 home win over Bradford City at the Sands Venue Stadium on Tuesday night, and made it four games unbeaten.

Abo Eisa opened the scoring in the fifth minute, with his eighth goal of the season, while Devarn Green netted his third of the campaign on the hour mark.

The Iron made three changes from the side that drew 1-1 against Southend three days earlier going into the game, as Eisa, Lewis Spence and Teddy Howe came in for Kevin van Veen, Alfie Beestin and Jai Rowe.

There was a positive start from the Iron, who drove down the left with Green. Eisa was later fed the ball on the edge of the box and fouled. Eisa took the free-kick with away goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell getting the slightest of touches to push the ball onto the bar and out for a corner.

The opening goal arrived in the fifth minute, and it was a swift counter-attack for the Iron with Alex Gilliead driving past half way before his pass cut open the Bantams defence for Eisa to run through and slot home.

The visitors had a chance to level not long after as former Iron trainee Charles Vernam turned on the left channel, cutting onto his right foot and sent a long range effort crashing off the top of the crossbar and out for a goal kick.

The 11th minute saw great play from the Iron as Green sat one Bantams player down on the far side before striding down the left. He looked to play a give-and-go with Eisa, but he couldn't quite get onto the return pass.

Just two minutes later, Eisa and Green were prominent again as the Iron drove forward. O’Connor dragged the former down, but Green was too quickly past him to make it a second Iron player before he did put in a good tackle to win the ball back.

After 15 minutes, Mark Howard was alert at his near post to collect a cross from the right channel as the Bantams came forward.

The visiting team hit the woodwork again with 21 minutes played as Elliot Watt took a free-kick, with the ball crashing back into play off the inside of the post and across Howard’s goal.

The 24th minute saw great work from Ryan Loft after he chested down Howard’s kick before sliding in on the loose ball to find Howe on the right. The full-back, making his first start, strode forward and hung up a cross, but Anthony O’Connor saw it out of play.

Shortly after, Loft latched onto Howard’s ball, with former Iron defender Niall Canavan beaten for pace. The centre-half put Loft off-balance which meant he couldn't quite keep the ball in play.

At the other end, Kian Scales latched onto a ball over the top to send a volley over the bar and out for an Iron goal kick.

The 34th minute saw neat footwork from Gilliead as he took the ball beyond three players following Clarke’s free-kick. He laid the ball to Howe on the right, but his cross is was off the mark and the ball went out for a goal kick.

Five minutes later, Eisa and Green combined as the former shrugged off a couple of challenges before finding the latter. He saw his shot blocked before play was recycled with Eisa’s effort going over the bar.

In the 42nd minute, Jem Karacan read a Bradford pass before feeding into Eisa. He slotted through to Green who drew a save on the right side of the area. It resulted in a corner for the Iron but nothing came from it.

The 53rd minute saw a chance for the visitors as a cross was knocked down into the six-yard box and lashed wide of the post.

Soon after, Brown needed treatment after a challenge down the left and was replaced by Myles Hippolyte.

Gilliead stole possession with Loft driving forward on 57 minutes. He opted not to slip in Eisa’s run down the left, with Spence then finding Eisa, but he was crowded out on the left for a Bradford throw.

United doubled their advantage on the hour mark as Loft nodded down the header following a cross into the area by Howe and Green read the loose ball to smash past O’Donnell.

In the 68th minute, Bradford broke forward and won themselves a free-kick on the left channel. The free-kick was headed away with Loft blocking a goal-bound shot before the Iron pushed the visitors back towards their own goal.

Two minutes later, Loft looked to steal in on a loose touch from Paudie O’Connor with the Bantams defender just about winning the ball. Loft initially stayed down but was soon back on his feet.

Shortly after, Green was replaced by Beestin and there was soon a chance for a third Scunthorpe goal on 80 minutes as Beestin slotted in Loft. He dinked an effort across goal but O’Donnell put out a strong hand to thwart the frontman.

A minute later, Gilliead was denied with a parried stop by O’Donnell. Loft just missed the rebound with Beestin and Eisa both running in, but the ball came out of the box and away.

There was a Bradford chance on 83 minutes as Paudie O’Connor got a glancing touch on a corner, but he couldn't angle his header on target.

Then, the away side's Gareth Evans swung a delivery which hit Mark Howard but somehow stayed out, before bouncing behind for a goal-kick.

There was a triple Scunthorpe change in the 86th minute as Olufela Olomola, making his first appearance in four months, Rowe and John McAtee replaced Loft, Howe and Karacan.

In the first minute out of seven in stoppage time, Eisa did well to find Olomola, who shifted the ball onto his left foot and drew a fine save from O’Donnell down to his left.

Bradford still pressed but the Iron defence stood firm to the challenge, and on the break, McAtee read the loose ball before arrowing a powerful effort towards goal which O’Donnell again beat away.

United return to action on Good Friday when they host Crawley Town (1pm kick-off).

IRON: Howard, Clarke, Bedeau, Gilliead, Loft (Olomola, 86), Eisa, Brown (Hippolyte, 54), Green (Beestin, 76), Spence, Karacan (McAtee, 86), Howe (Rowe, 86).

IRON SUBS NOT USED: Watson, Jessop.

BRADFORD: O'Donnell, P O'Connor, Canavan, A O'Connor, Vernam (Evans, 73), Watt (Rowe, 73), Sutton, Wood, Scales (Donaldson, 89), Cook, Crankshaw (Stevens, 89).

BRADFORD SUBS NOT USED: Hornby, Folds, Burrell.

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