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Match Reports

Report: Bradford City 0-0 Iron

1 May 2021

United secured League Two survival with a goalless draw away at Bradford City on Saturday.

The Iron entered the fixture making four changes from the team that was defeated at Newport County, as Kevin van Veen, Devarn Green, Lewis Spence and Jai Rowe came in for Ryan Loft, Abo Eisa, Teddy Howe and Jacob Bedeau.

There was a positive start for United, who first played the ball down the right before Green and Mason O’Malley worked it on the left. That culminated in centre-back Emmanuel Onariase stepping out of defence, chesting the ball down and looping a half-volley over the bar.

With six minutes gone, the first corner of the game went to the hosts as Onariase dealt with an in-swinging cross into the area from the right.

O’Malley then produced a diving header at the near post to head away the corner, before Finn Cousin-Dawson could only get a glancing header on the following cross.

After nine minutes, Spence, Alfie Beestin and van Veen worked well to win the ball back and almost fashioned a shot. The hosts broke with former Iron academy player Charles Vernam down the right, with his low driven effort saved well by Mark Howard down to his right.

A minute later, ex-United midfielder Levi Sutton broke the offside trap and looked to cushion the ball back to fellow former Iron Lee Novak to fire in a shot. Onariase came across to hook the ball clear though.

Soon after, O’Malley won the ball from Vernam and played in van Veen and Green down the left before a last ditch tackle from Anthony O’Connor.

With 15 minutes played, van Veen and Alex Gilliead looked to play a give-and-go, with the Dutchman almost on the end of the return ball. It resulted in a corner which the hosts cleared.

On 24 minutes, Bantams goalkeeper Sam Hornby tipped an effort from van Veen over the bar for a corner, following a right-wing cross.

Then, from the resultant corner by Gilliead, Beestin nodded narrowly wide at the far post.

Beestin’s shot inside the area on 27 minutes was blocked before Green caused the hosts to make a mistake to win a corner. Jai Rowe made a run towards Gilliead’s latest set-piece but the hosts headed the ball away from danger.

At the other end, Callum Cooke then sent a 25-yard curling effort over the bar, with Howard comfortable as the effort was wayward.

Then, Vernam got space on the right, before cutting back for Novak. His shot was blocked before the ball dropped to Elliot Watt, who saw his 20-yard effort go wide.

After 38 minutes, O’Malley came across to block an incoming shot from the right of the area from Vernam.

Spence stayed down requiring treatment inside the opening minute of the second half as Sutton came away with the ball, but play soon resumed and the Scottish midfielder was able to continue.

The first chance of the second period came Scunthorpe's way on 51 minutes when, combining with Green, van Veen received the ball on the left side of the area and cut inside before drilling an effort into the arms of Hornby.

Soon after, at the other end, Novak was played in and drew a stop from Howard, before the flag went up for offside.

Home goalkeeper Hornby had to come out quickly in the 54th minute to stop van Veen in his tracks after Beestin won possession and played the Dutchman through.

Following a right-wing free-kick, Gareth Evans was next to come close for the Bantams, as he headed over the crossbar.

With 57 minutes played, after Spence intercepted possession in the middle, the Iron broke and Green was played in down the left. He attacked two Bantams defenders before sending a low cross in which was gathered by Hornby.

Ten minutes later, Connor Wood had the next chance of the game as Bradford broke down the right. He unleashed a shot from 20 yards which went wide of Howard's left-hand post.

Van Veen won a corner down the right side in the 74th minute, and it was sent in by O'Malley. The ball dropped to Jem Karacan on the edge of the area, but his volleyed effort went over.

There was a double Iron change in the 77th minute when Green and Karacan were replaced by Eisa and Loft.

Just a minute later, home substitute Clayton Donaldson hit the foot of the post from close range following a ball into the area.

With 80 minutes gone, Loft was denied by Hornby from the left side of the area as he latched onto a through ball from Beestin, shrugging off the defender.

Then, seconds later, Eisa had a go from range, with his deflected effort saved by the home custodian.

After Loft won a corner down the right with his pressing, O'Malley sent the ball in from the right but George Taft headed wide at the far post.

There was a further Scunthorpe change soon after as van Veen was replaced by Myles Hippolyte.

In the final minute of normal time, the hosts pushed forward and a cross was sent in before being knocked down for Andy Cook, whose drive from the edge of the area was saved by Howard.

There were four minutes of added time, with Loft cutting inside from the right and firing wide of the post in the second of those. Then, right at the death, a left-wing cross was sent in by the Bantams with Donaldson failing to convert from close range.

They continued to press and Eisa had to block an effort, which went out for a corner, which was cleared away for another.

The full-time whistle was blown moments after that was dealt with, as the Iron got the point they needed to secure League Two survival.

United play Stevenage in their final game of the season next Saturday (3pm kick-off).

BRADFORD: Hornby, P O'Connor, A O'Connor, Cooke, Novak (Donaldson, 71), Vernam, Evans (Scales, 71), Watt, Sutton, Wood, Cousin-Dawson (Cook, 60).

BRADFORD SUBS NOT USED: O'Donnell, Stevens, Foulds, Clarke.

IRON: Howard, Taft, Onariase, Gilliead, van Veen (Hippolyte, 86), Green (Eisa, 77), Spence, Beestin, Karacan (Loft, 77), Rowe, O'Malley.

IRON SUBS NOT USED: Watson, Bedeau, Pugh, Howe.

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