Bradford City 1 Port Vale 2: Will Atkinson returns to sink the Bantams

James Vaughan.
James Vaughan.
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FORMER Bradford City midfield player Will Atkinson came off the bench to score a stoppage-time winner and give Port Vale their first away victory of the season at Valley Parade.

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The match was heading for a draw when Atkinson, who was part of the City team that reached the League Cup final and won promotion from League Two through the play-offs in 2012-13, fired into the top corner from Richard Bennett’s pass after Bradford failed to clear the danger.

Port Vale were rewarded for a bright start by going in front in the 18th minute through David Worrall. Bennett held the ball up for Worrall to score from 15 yards.

Earlier, Worrall shot just wide of the far post, Leon Legge volloyed over the crossbar while Richard O’Donnell saved from David Amoo.

Danny Devine and James Vaughan had shots blocked as injury-hit Bradford hit back, before the home side were handed a lifeline a minute before half time. Devine was fouled in the box by Jake Taylor and Vaughan equalised from the spot.

Bradford dominated the second half as Zeli Ismail was denied by goalkeeper Scott Brown, Kelvin Mellor saw his shot cleared off the line and Brown saved Connor Wood’s 25 yard shot before Atkinson’s dramatic late winner.

Bradford City: O’Donnell, Mellor, Richards-Everton, A O’Connor, Wood, Ismail, Cooke, Devine (P O’Connor 90), Akpan, Oteh, Vaughan. Unused substitutes: Sykes-Kenworthy, McCartan, Anderson, Patrick, Henley, Staunton.

Port Vale: Brown, Gibbons, Joyce, Legge, Worrall, Montano, Smith, Taylor (Brisley 90), Amoo, Burgess (Atkinson 73), Bennett. Unused substitutes: Maddison, Pope, Browne, Evans, Archer.

Referee: G Salisbury (England).