Bradford City 1 Aldershot Town 1: Parkinson finds his faith in Connell fully justified

BRADFORD City manager Phil Parkinson praised substitute Alan Connell, whose penalty in the eighth minute of stoppage time earned the Bantams what could ultimately prove a valuable point in their quest for a League Two play-off place.

The striker, signed last summer from Swindon Town, has started in only six of City’s 35 league games.

But Connell once again proved his value as a substitute when he came off the bench against Aldershot to score an equaliser after winger Zavon Hines had been tripped by defender Terrell Forbes.

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Connell was one of three attacking substitutes used by City in a desperate attempt to gain an equaliser after Kieron Cadogan had put Aldershot ahead with a 25-yard free-kick a minute before half-time.

Parkinson said: “Alan was immense. I am pleased he got hold of the ball when we got the penalty. I thought ‘he won’t miss’ – he is such a good finisher. He has earned us points this season – that is why he is such an important player for us.”

City’s bid for the play-offs is being hampered by the recent poor home form – three defeats and two draws in their last five matches at Valley Parade – and yet this match could have followed a different course if one of their early efforts had gone in.

Aldershot goalkeeper Jamie Young, who was taken to hospital after a nasty collision in the 70th minute, had made two superb diving saves to deny Hines before the visitors took the lead against the run of play.

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Inspired by captain Gary Jones, City dominated the second half, but the visitors held firm until that last-gasp penalty.

Bradford City: McLaughlin, Darby, Nelson (Connell 78), McArdle, McHugh, Hines, Jones, Ravenhill (Reid 61), Atkinson, Hanson, Wells (Thompson 61). Unused substitutes: Duke (gk), Davies, Gray, Doyle.

Aldershot: Young (G Morris 70), Herd (Lancashire 79), A Morris, Bradley, Forbes, Risser, Rose, Cadogan, Vincenti, C Reid (Hall 87), McCallum. Unused substitutes: Mekki, Stanley, Goulding, Ashworth.

Referee: Richard Clark (Northumberland)

Man of the match: Gary Jones.