Rochdale 1 Bradford City 3: Threlfall shines on debut in City victory

ROBBIE Threlfall capped his Bradford debut with a goal as Peter Taylor picked up his first win as Bantams boss.

The visitors took the game to the League Two leaders and were much improved after Saturday's defeat at Accrington.

Taylor's men took the lead in the ninth minute, Threlfall, on a month-long loan from Liverpool, claiming a hand in the goal. Gareth Evans rose highest in a crowded penalty area to meet the left-back's corner with a firm header, Frank Fielding parrying the ball as far as Matthew Clarke who planted a firm shot through a melee of bodies and into the net.

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Rochdale captain Gary Jones fired wide with just Matt Glennon to beat and the Bradford goalkeeper pulled off a fine save to keep Tom Kennedy's free-kick out.

Evans, James Hanson and Michael Flynn all went close to doubling City's lead, but Rochdale levelled on 45 minutes when Chris O'Grady's cutback from the byline was met by Chris Dagnall, the striker beating Glennon with a crisp drive.

Rochdale improved after the break, O'Grady firing over from a tight angle and Glennon saved Dagnall's close-range effort.

Lee Bullock went close for City, his deflected shot smothered by Fielding while Hanson wasted a gilt-edged chance, toe-poking wide from six yards.

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But in the 80th minute Threlfall's free-kick hit the underside of the crossbar and went in off Fielding. And seven minutes later Evans hit a thunderous drive into the top corner.

Rochdale: Fielding, Wiseman, Dawson, Stanton, T Kennedy, Obadeyi (Higginbotham, 59), Jones, Taylor, Atkinson (Haworth, 68), O'Grady, Dagnall. Unused substitutes: Arthur, Flynn, McArdle, J Kennedy, Toner

Bradford City: Glennon, Ramsden, O'Brien, Flynn, Clarke, Threlfall (Rehman, 89), Bullock, Evans, Williams, O'Leary (Boulding, 75), Hanson. Unused substitutes: McLaughlin, Thorne, Bateson, Osbourne, Neilson

Referee: C Sarginson (Staffordshire).