Bradford City fans deserve much more – Martin Drury

IT was the same old story as far as Bradford City caretaker manager Martin Drury could see after the Bantams suffered a mauling at Fratton Park.

Hope Akpan: Consolation goal.
Hope Akpan: Consolation goal.

Drury took charge following the decision of David Hopkin to walk away and said: “We’ve been saying it all season, but there’s been a real soft underbelly to the group.

“We’ve shown that we can create and score goals, but we’re leaving ourselves too much to do. I feel for the supporters. They are an unbelievable group and they deserve better.”

Defeat left Bradford next to bottom and six points shy of safety as Ben Close scored twice as promotion contenders Portsmouth got back to winning ways in the league for the first time since New Year’s Day.

Former Bantam Gareth Evans gave dominant Pompey the lead with a well-struck 22nd-minute penalty following a foul on Oli Hawkins.

Tom Naylor doubled the lead from close range three minutes before half-time.

Play was momentarily stopped when a drone was spotted by the referee hovering above Fratton Park and the players were ordered to the side of the pitch.

Hope Akpan got Bradford back in the game in the 65th minute, stabbing home after a goalmouth scramble.

The comeback was shortlived as Jamal Lowe bundled in Lee Brown’s cross two minutes later.

Close made it four by stretching to divert home Evans’s wayward half-volley and he put the gloss on the win by grabbing his second late on.

Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Thompson (Walkes 79), Burgess, Clarke (Donohue 85), Brown, Naylor, Close, Lowe, Evans, Curtis, Hawkins (Vaughan 69). Unused substitutes: Pitman, Solomon-Otabor, Bass, Haunstrup.

Bradford City: O’Donnell, Caddis (Mellor 46), O’Connor, Knight-Percival, Wood (Miller 62), Butterfield, Akpan, O’Brien, Payne (Clarke 72), Ball, Doyle. Unused substitutes: Wilson, Anderson, Patrick, Maltby.

Referee: O Langford (W Midlands).