Bradford City 1 Shrewsbury 1: Bantams pegged back by Shrews

Billy Clarke.

Billy Clarke.

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GOALS either side of half-time from City’s Billy Clarke and Shrews striker Tyrone Barnett ensured honours were even in front of a bumper 18,039 crowd at Valley Parade.

City were seeking their first win of the season at the third attempt following defeats at Swindon and York (League Cup).

Manager Phil Parkinson had paired Alan Sheehan with Rory McArdle in the heart of the City defence and consigned new signing Nathan Clarke, the one-time Huddersfield central defender, to the bench.

Both sides employed a diamond midfield formation and largely cancelled each other out in the first period, although City created the best chances.

Christopher Routis had a shot diverted narrowly wide and Sheehan’s close-range atempt struck a defender and bounced against a post after Jame s Hanson had nodded down a free-kick from Routis.

However, City struck just before the break when Liam Lawrence lost possession near halfway and Billy Clarke sprinted forward and laid the ball out to Steven Davies before firing the return into the roof of the net.

Bulky striker Barnett immediately hit back after the break, converting from a tight angle after matching Rory McArdle for pace as he chased a ball down the right channel.

City captain Stephen Darby thought he had made it 2-1 when he joined the attack but Connor Goldson cleared his sidefooted effort off the line.

At the other end, Darby headed a dangerous chip from Lawrence out from under his own bar.

By then City had made their substitutions with the injured Clarke being replaced by Billy Knott.

A set-piece from a corner sow City go close when McArdle headed to the far post and Sheehan headed into the side-netting.

Sheehan had another header blocked in stoppage time and Paul Anderson’s appeal for a penalty only resulted in a free-kick to the Shrews as the visitors refused to be tamed.

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