Goalkeeping hero Jon McLaughlin kept his place in the Bradford City side as they turned their attentions to another knockout competition today.
McLaughlin saved three spot kicks as City won a penalty shootout 6-5 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Sheffield United in midweek after being brought in for the rested Matt Duke.
And, after hearing City had been drawn at Oldham in the Northern semi-final of the JP Trophy, McLaughlin got the nod in the premier Cup competition.
Rochdale dominated possession in the first half but McLaughlin kept them at bay with smart saves from Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, Gary Jones and Harry Bunn.
City rarely threatened, Ross Hannah heading straight back at David Lucas after the goalkeeper had mis-punched a corner.
City got on top after the break as they introduced strikers James Hanson and Nahki Wells.
Hanson had a header cleared off the line and Wells saw his volley bounce off Lucas’s chest before Chris Mitchell raced onto a low cross and saw his drive cleared off the line, too.
At the other end Mclaughlin pulled off a reaction save at his far post to deny Bunn before denying Ashley Grimes from the follow-up.
Bermuda international Wells then broke the deadlock with a terrific strike, advancing from inside his own half before letting fly from 30 yards into Lucas’s top right-hand corner in the 85th minute to make it 1-0.
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