Bradford City 1 Stevenage Borough 0: Cup exertions take toll on Taylor's men

MANAGER Peter Taylor is looking forward to a free week after seeing Bradford City struggle to beat Football League newcomers Stevenage.

Taylor said the midweek Carling Cup win against Nottingham Forest that went into extra-time "may have taken a bit more out of the players than I thought", suggesting that the football authorities should consider not having a midweek match in the first week of the season while players are still trying to raise their fitness levels.

Whatever the reason, this was as poor a performance as the 2-1 win over Forest was good.

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Gareth Evans scored the goal from the penalty spot in the 31st minute after Lee Bullock was brought down by Joel Byrom.

This was City's only shot on target against a club managed by Taylor for six months as they frequently found themselves on the backfoot mainly through their habit of giving the ball away.

Stevenage's best chance fell to Nigerian striker Yemi Odubade in the 58th minute but goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin raced to the edge of the area to clear, injuring Odubade in the process.

Bradford City: McLaughlin; Hunt, Oliver, Duff (Rehman 60), O'Brien; Doherty (Syers 66), Bullock, Adeyemi; Daley (Moult 73), Hanson, Evans. Unused substitutes: Saxton, Flynn, Neilson, Threlfall.

Stevenage Borough: Day; Henry, Roberts, Bostwick, Laird; Byrom, Beardsley (Vincenti 83), Mousinho, Sinclair (Boylan 87); Odubade (Winn 63), Griffin. Unused substitutes: Bayes, Wilson, Charles, Foster.

Referee: R Shoebridge (Derbyshire).

Man of the match: Luke Oliver.