Thursday, April 25, 2024

Grimsby gutted as Bradford hit back to take a point

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Apr 2024

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Shaun Pearson admits Grimsby are deflated after Bradford hit back to deny them a priceless win in their League Two relegation battle – but also have no complaints about the penalty which cost them.

Bradford captain Richie Smallwood converted from 12 yards two minutes into added time, snatching three points away from 10-man Grimsby.

Denver Hume was sent off for conceding that last-gasp penalty after his Grimsby team-mate, Curtis Thompson, looked as though he was going to be the difference with a second-half opener.

Assistant manager Pearson said: “You never think you are home and dry until the end, but it was gutting to concede at the death, especially after that performance.

“I thought we were absolutely outstanding.

“I’d be lying to say it wasn’t a blow or a real killer, but we have got to try and take the positives from it. We were pleased with the performance level.”

He added: “No [complaints for the penalty]. I don’t think so.

“I’ve not watched the incident back again but, from speaking to the lads, you know when they’re aggrieved and feel hard done by.

“They feel hard done by in terms of the performance, but there were not too many complaints about the penalty.”

Bradford manager Graham Alexander was happy as his men came from behind.

“I’m happy with the players,” he said.

“They have come back after four defeats and won four points out of two games.

“We’ve shown character in from coming from behind, which we haven’t managed to do in a lot of games. That’s a positive step forward in my eyes.

“It was a bitty game, broken up by a lot of free-kicks and fouls. I think it suited them, because we could never get a tempo to our game and to our press.

“They had one shot on target – which was the goal – but after that we brought on our substitutes and had a bit more energy and expansion.

“I’m not saying we should have won it, but we could have.”

Chances were few and far between in the opening 45 minutes as Daniel Oyegoke dragged wide for Bradford and team-mate Tyler Smith forced Grimsby goalkeeper Jake Eastwood – on as an early substitute – into a save.

At the other end, Doug Tharme rose highest from a set-piece, but could not keep his attempt down.

Bobby Pointon curled over for Bradford upon the restart, but it was Grimsby who broke the deadlock in the 55th minute when Thompson set his sights from 25 yards and the ball flew past Sam Walker courtesy of a deflection.

That was not to be the telling moment, though, as Hume conceded a penalty in added-time – and was subsequently dismissed – while Smallwood stepped up to smash down the middle.

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