How ‘moment of madness’ cost Bradford City at Macclesfield Town

ON TARGET: James Vaughan levelled for Bradford City at Macclesfield Town. Picture: James Hardisty.ON TARGET: James Vaughan levelled for Bradford City at Macclesfield Town. Picture: James Hardisty.
ON TARGET: James Vaughan levelled for Bradford City at Macclesfield Town. Picture: James Hardisty.
Bradford City midfielder Chris Taylor feels that a “moment of madness” cost his new side victory at Macclesfield Town.

The Bantams were on top at Moss Rose when centre-half Ben Richards-Everton brought down Corey O’Keeffe inside the penalty area, resulting in a 32nd-minute spot-kick that was dispatched by Jak McCourt.

And although James Vaughan’s second-half header eventually got City back on terms, Taylor was left to reflect upon what might have been following his full debut for the club.

“It’s two (points) dropped, I’d definitely say,” he said.

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FRUSTRATION: Bradford City manager, Gary Bowyer.  Picture James Hardisty.FRUSTRATION: Bradford City manager, Gary Bowyer.  Picture James Hardisty.
FRUSTRATION: Bradford City manager, Gary Bowyer. Picture James Hardisty.

“I thought in the first half it was under control and we had the chances to go 1-0 or 2-0 up, then we got caught with the sucker punch of giving away a penalty that we didn’t really need to give away .

“It was probably one of the few times they have got in our box. I felt like we were on top for the main and then one moment of madness gave them the edge for the first half.

“In any game, if you don’t take your chances there is always a risk that, even if you’re on top, you can take a sucker-punch and that’s what happened.

“All in all, it’s a bit of a frustrating afternoon and we’ll have to take a point.”

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CaptainVaughan may have proved City’s saviour in the end, but he should have had them in front early, only to fluff his lines from close range when he really had to score.

McCourt then sent Richard O’Donnell the wrong way as he converted from 12 yards following what manager Gary Bowyer described as a “ridiculous challenge” by Richards-Everton.

In the second half, it was the hosts who looked the more likely, with set-pieces seeing Fraser Horsfall and Fiacre Kelleher go close with headers.

But after Macclesfield failed to see off their visitors, Vaughan struck, glancing in Harry Pritchard’s 73rd-minute free-kick.

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Bradford smelled blood late on with Connor Kirby dismissed for a second yellow card, but they could not find a decisive goal and had to settle for a point.

The result keeps City seventh in League Two, three points shy of third place, but with a game in hand on most of the sides above them.

And, with things so tight in terms of the promotion battle, Taylor insists that while a point at Macclesfield isn’t necessarily the end of the world, the Bantams need to improve on their recent record, which has seen them victorious in just one of the last four.

“Obviously if you can’t win the game then you don’t want to lose the game,” he added.

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“They are quite solid defensively, so it was gonna be tough to break them down.

“This is a tough place to come. The gaffer mentioned they’ve only lost one in 13 or something so it was never gonna be easy.

“But we’ve got to be looking to improve and pick up three points wherever we play.

“We’ve got to be looking at getting results rather than performances. Performances don’t matter if we’re going to get results.”

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Saturday’s start for City was Taylor’s first for the club since joining them for the second time this season.

In rather bizarre circumstances, the 32-year-old former Blackburn Rovers man agreed terms at Valley Parade in October having made a couple of pre-season appearances as a free agent, but a week later the deal had to be cancelled.

A registration issue, which arose due to Taylor having played for National League Barrow while on trial, meant that it was initially though he was ineligible to appear for City.

The EFL eventually cleared him to join Bowyer’s squad, however, and Taylor admitted he was pleased to return to action.

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“It was my first 90 minutes for Bradford, my first 90 minutes for a while, but I felt good,” he added.

“There are things I’m pleased about, things to improve on.

“I’ve not had the games that some of the lads have had but I feel fit, I feel ready, and if I wasn’t, the gaffer wouldn’t have put me in.

“Hopefully I’ve kind of repaid him there.”

Macclesfield Town: Evans, Jak McCourt, Kelleher, Gnahoua Blyth 77), Harris, Kirby, Horsfall, O’Keeffe, Osadebe (Stephens, 82, (Ntambwe 90)), Fitzpatrick, Nathan Cameron. Unused substitutes: Clarke, Charles-Cook.

Bradford City: O’Donnell, Henley, Richards-Everton, A O’Connor, Wood, Ismail (Oteh 64), Reeves (Akpan 85), Taylor, Connolly, Pritchard, Vaughan. Unused substitutes: Mellor, Paudie O’Connor, Anderson, Devine, Sykes-Kenworthy.

Referee: Scott Oldham.