TUESDAY EVENING may have been all about one Bradford City striker and another sadly departed – but there was another shining light according to James Hanson.
Fittingly, the big Bantams targetman scored the winner against Northampton Town, thanks to a header in the best traditions of record goalscorer Bobby Campbell, who the club paid tribute to on an emotional night following his recent passing.
But Hanson believes that home keeper Colin Doyle was also worthy of sharing the stage after making a miraculous save to keep out a thumping 70th-minute header from Alex Revell, which helped ensure City claimed the points to maintain their top-two charge in League One.
Hanson, whose fourth goal of the season helped extend Bradford’s unbeaten run in regular-season league games at Valley Parade to 17 matches, said: “To be fair, we had a corner and Revell came back to me and could not believe Doyley had saved it.
“To be honest, I have not seen Doyley have to make that many saves – but that was a great save.
“Revell got a lot of power on it from a floated cross and palmed it away really well.
“He has not had much to do, but when he’s called upon, more often that not, he makes some great saves.”
Hanson’s own key contribution was apt in so many ways, with manager Stuart McCall stating before the game that it would represent the ideal scenario if he scored the winner in trademark Campbell fashion.
A touch of sentiment was also provided given that Campbell was a big champion of Hanson’s whenever he engaged on the subject of his beloved Bradford.
Hanson said: “The gaffer did say about me scoring. To be fair, I had a couple of chances early on. The last one was ironically the hardest chance I had and I put it in the back of the net.
“It was obviously fitting and I am delighted. The lads obviously knew how much Bobby meant to Bradford and especially the gaffer as he was close friends with him. We all wanted to get the job done and it was a great turnout from the fans as the weather has been quite bad and it shows what a tribute they have paid for Bobby and his family.
“To be honest, I didn’t meet him. A couple of my mates met him a lot down at the Ambassador in Bradford and used to tell me the stories. But they did say that he always spoke highly of him.
“I have scored quite a lot for the club. But his record is unbelievable, rightly so because he’s a legend.
“The gaffer did speak about it being a tribute for me to score with a header in regards to Bobby. I was just focused on getting the job done for the team, which we have done and we are delighted with the three points.”
The importance of the win was also heightened by the news of victories for Sheffield United, Bolton Wanderers and leaders Scunthorpe United and Hanson acknowledges that fourth-placed City must keep up the pressure.
He added: “All three of the teams above us are winning and not showing signs of slipping up and we have just got to keep winning and pushing them on.
“At the same time, we are hoping that the gap opens up with seventh. But our aim is second or first and we have just got to keep going. The home form is really good at the moment and it gives us a good base.
“But the main thing was to bounce back after the disappointing defeat to Southend and we have done.”
Yorkshire Post - Football
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