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Bradford City 1 Walsall 3 - Report

Walsall defeated Bradford City 3-1 to register a first victory at Valley Parade in over nine years.

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Freddie Draper scores and celebrates

Andy Cook fired Bradford into the lead from the spot on 22 minutes after Joe Riley was adjudged to have fouled Rayhaan Tulloch.

Liam Gordon levelled proceedings moments later, and Aramide Oteh's stoppage time goal sent Walsall into the break ahead.

Freddie Draper secured all three points with his second half header to end a run of a back-to-back defeats in impressive style.

It was a fairly even contest during the opening 15 minutes. Walsall launched a handful of fluent attacks, only for the final ball to be lacking, while Matty Platt nodded wide for the Bantams.

But Walsall did fall behind for the fourth match in a row. Joe Riley was penalised for a challenge on Albion loanee Rayhaan Tulloch, who was bearing down on goal. Referee Scott Jackson perhaps controversially decided that the contact took place inside the penalty area, and pointed to the spot.

Andy Cook stepped up against his former employers and rifled home from 12 yards with a ruthless strike into the top corner. The Bradford marksman notched his fourth in two games, after scoring a hat-trick against Newport in his previous outing.

Aramide Oteh celebrates his goal

However, Walsall responded, and fast, with Gordon scoring his first of the campaign three minutes after falling behind. The Guyana international was afforded the license to cut inside and unleashed a low unerring shot into the far bottom corner from 20 yards.

Walsall had their tails up after getting back on level terms with Isaac Hutchinson bending a delicious strike narrowly wide of the right hand top corner. Donervon Daniels also nodded one into the side netting, although Harry Williams had to be alert to prevent Brad Halliday's cross from finding Cook.

The 19-year-old Walsall defender was immense against one of the most dangerous forwards in the division. He read the game extremely well and was supreme in virtually every aerial battle.

Mat Sadler's men took the lead on the cusp of half-time with Oteh finding the net in stoppage time. Ross Tierney, another top performer on the day, floated a corner into the heart of the penalty area.

McEntee climbed highest to head the ball goal wards, and a ricochet off a Bradford men sat up nicely for Oteh to help bundle the ball over the line.

.Harry Lewis leaps for the ball but fails to stop Aramide Oteh's goal

Walsall doubled their advantage 11 minutes after the restart as Freddie Draper scored in back-to-back games to notch his fourth of the season.

Tierney delivered yet another inviting delivery, which was missed by Bradford goalkeeper Harry Lewis, and converted by Draper at the back post with a clinical header.

Ryan Stirk was the heartbeat of the midfield. Not only did he dictate the tempo, but he was constantly first to second balls. This created the platform for Stirk to roam between the lines and the Irishman almost found the net when his cross-cum-shot dropped just wide of the target.

Bradford did have chances to revive the game as a contest, although they found Williams in the way again. Tulloch pickpocketed Gordon outside the box and squared for Cook, who saw his effort diverted behind by another superb block from Williams.


Walsall Starting XI (4-4-1-1): O Evans; J Riley, H Williams, D Daniels, L Gordon; A Oteh, R Stirk, O McEntee, I Hutchinson; R Tierney (T Knowles 81); F Draper (J Matt 75).

Subs: H Smith, D James-Taylor, J Foulkes, D Johnson, H Griffiths.

Bradford City (4-4-2): H Lewis, B Halliday, M Platt, S Stubbs (c), L Ridehalgh; C Oduor (D Oyegoke 53), A Gilliead (A Pattison 53), K McDonald, R Tulloch (T Smith 73); J Walker, A Cook.

Subs: C Doyle, R Smallwood, C Kelly, A Wilson.

Referee: Scott Jackson

Attendance: 17,038 (427)