Tranmere 1 Bradford City 2: Parkinson delighted to finish on a high

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson. Picture: James Hardisty.
Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson. Picture: James Hardisty.
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BRADFORD City ended their 2013-14 season in the top half of the table following a dramatic final-day encounter at Prenton Park.

The Bantams scored two late goals to secure victory and send hosts Tranmere spiralling into League Two.

The home supporters among a huge crowd of almost 10,000 were left stunned as strike pair Jon Stead and Aaron Mclean bagged a goal apiece in the final 10 minutes to turn this game on its head.

While feeling sympathy for Rovers as they dropped into the fourth tier for the first time in 14 seasons, Bantams boss Phil Parkinson saluted his side who showed character in abundance in turning the game around.

He said: “We’re all delighted to have secured a top-half finish in our first season back at this level.

“It’s been a tremendous achievement from everyone involved with the club. We started and finished the season really well, and this is a tough division.”

Matt Pennington fired Rovers into a seventh-minute lead and their survival prospects looked rosy at that point.

However, on-loan winger Junior Brown was shown a straight red card following a crude challenge on Nathan Doyle in the 31st minute, and the Bantams eventually turned the game on its head.

Stead equalised with nine minutes remaining as he fired low into the corner.

Tranmere’s fate was then sealed when Mclean found exactly the same spot as he fired in a sweet drive from 15 yards.

Tranmere Rovers: Mooney, Pennington, Ridehalgh (Kirby 90), Jennings, Taylor, Goodison, Power (Rowe 89), Koumas, Akpa-Akpro, Lowe, Brown. Unused substitutes: Holmes, Bell-Baggie, Ramsbottom, Stockton, Arthurworrey.

Bradford City: McLaughlin, Darby, Drury (Meredith 59), Doyle (De Vita 74), McArdle, Davies, Thompson (Bennett 59), Jones, Stead, Mclean, Yeates. Unused substitutes: Dolan, Jameson, McHugh, McBurnie.

Referee: G Scott (Oxfordshire).

Man of the match: Aaron Mclean.