Bradford City 1 Colchester United 1: Parkinson calling on board to help pitch in

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson.
Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson.
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Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson was left livid with the state of the Valley Parade pitch after his side came back down to earth following a scrappy draw with Colchester.

Filipe Morais’s goal 13 minutes from time earned the Bantams a hard-fought point after Colchester took the lead in the sixth minute through former Sheffield United striker Chris Porter.

The game was disrupted by the boggy turf, which referee Kevin Johnson only deemed playable two hours before kick-off, with the ball failing to bounce consistently in several areas of the pitch.

Afterwards, Parkinson, whose side are two points off the play-offs was scathing of the conditions. “Three months ago after we played Gillingham I told the directors that the pitch is giving way when they’re turning and I asked if they could do everything they could to make the pitch better.

“I think at the time they thought I was making excuses because the home form was poor but I don’t make excuses. Nothing was done, no help was given to the groundsman and now he’s the one with all the stress of us playing on probably the worst pitch I’ve ever seen.

“I got to the ground and the referee was going to call the game off. Colchester’s manager (Tony Humes) wasn’t happy at all and said the pitch was dangerous, and it was in areas. The groundsman needs some help, we’ve got enough money in the bank and he needs help to make the pitch better.”

Bradford City: Pickford, Darby, Davies, McArdle, Meredith; Liddle, Halliday, (Yeates, 63) Knott, Morais; Stead, Hanson. Unused substitutes: Williams, Sheehan, Clarke, Zoko, Kennedy, Routis.

Colchester United: Walker, Clohessey, Wynter, Eastman, Briggs; Lapslie, Massey, Fox, Szmodics, (Marriott, 86) Gordon; Porter. Unused substitutes: Watt, Lewington, Vincent-Young, Bonne, Sembie-Ferris, Harney.

Referee: K Johnson (Weston-super-Mare)

Man of the match: Sammie Szmodics.