Bradford City set for the drop after squandering chances

Bradford City manager Gary Bowyer: Frustrated.
Bradford City manager Gary Bowyer: Frustrated.
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BASEMENT club Bradford City are on the brink of relegation to League Two after losing 3-2 at Bristol Rovers.

An agonising stoppage-time goal saw the Bantams crash to their 26th defeat in 42 league games this season.

When you’re dominating like we did, you have to take your chances. We had opportunities in the first half-hour which just needed better execution or a better pass.

Gary Bowyer

With four games remaining and 12 points still to play for, Bradford can mathematically stay up but it looks like they will need a miracle now to avoid the dreaded drop.

Bantams chief Gary Bowyer was adamant his team had enough chances to kill the contest, especially having taken an early lead.

“We had them on the back foot, without a shadow of a doubt,” stressed a frustrated Bowyer.

“When you’re dominating like we did, you have to take your chances. We had opportunities in the first half-hour which just needed better execution or a better pass.”

Lewis O’Brien put the Bantams in front in the 15th-minute with a close-range strike, before Jordan Clarke-Harris weighed in with a headed equaliser eight minutes before the break.

Ollie Clarke put the hosts in front in the 72nd-minute with a powerful strike but Nat Knight-Percival grabbed an 89th-minute equaliser which looked to have salvaged a point.

However, League One player-of-the-month Clarke-Harris won it at the death in dramatic fashion, lashing home for his 11th-goal in as many league games.

“We scored a goal and our shape and game-plan was very good to combat what we knew they would play but it hurts to lose,” reflected Bowyer.

Bristol Rovers: Bonham, J Clarke, Craig, Lockyer, Holmes-Dennis, O Clarke (Sinclair 81), Ogogo, Upson, Sercombe (Jakubiak 90), Nichols (Rodman 71), Clarke-Harris. Unused substitutes: Reilly, Partington, Kilgour, Smith.

Bradford City: O’Donnell, Caddis, P O’Connor, Knight-Percival, Chicksen, Wright, Butterfield, O’Brien, Payne, Scannell (Miller 73), Doyle (B Clarke 78). Unused substitutes: A O’Connor, Anderson, Akpan, Devine, Wilson.

Referee: M Salisbury (Lancashire).