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Archived News from February 2023

9th February 2023 19:43

English Football League - Sky Bet League Two
Bradford City 1 - 1 Mansfield Town
Cook 29. Kilgour 90+1
Attendance: 18,755 (1852 from Mansfield)

Date: 4 February 2023

Martin Shaw at Valley Parade (University of Bradford stadium)

Mansfield Town deservedly rescued a point in dramatic fashion in stoppage time in front of a huge crowd of nearly 19,000 at Bradford City yesterday afternoon. It was the second biggest crowd of the season in League Two.

It was 8th versus 7th, with Bradford a point behind the Stags with a game in hand.

Bradford were the better side in the first half and deservedly led at the break. And it was Andy Cook, who loves scoring goals against his former clubs, with the goal after 29 minutes. From a corner from the left, Cook rose high above the Stags defence to power a header into the net from 7 yards. Earlier, Scott Flinders made a great save from Abo Eisa in a 1-on-1. The Stags’ best chance of the half was a good header from new signing David Keillor-Dunn, from a great cross from Hewitt, which was tipped over the bar.

Into the second half, and Flinders made two very good saves from Andy Cook. Firstly classic Andy Cook when from nowhere, or to be more precise .. wide out on the right on the corner of the penalty area, he sent a piledriver goalwards and Flinders pushed it away. Then he cut inside and his shot was deflected with Flinders reacting to make a wonderful save.

But after that, the Stags got on top. Swan had a couple of shots, then Akins flicked goalwards and the keeper saved by the far post.

And the Stags were within a whisker of equalising after 73 minutes. A beautiful flighted free kick into the box from Keillor-Dunn was glanced on by Perch and acrobatically cleared off the line by Tolaji Bola. A remarkable clearance. Danny Johnson came so close to getting a touch to turn it over the line. It was very close to being over the line anyway, but Nigel Clough told me that Hewitt, who was well-placed to judge, said it didn’t cross the line.

And five minutes after that, Kilgour powered a header against the bar from 10 yards from a Keillor-Dunn corner. Then Danny Johnson laid off to Keillor-Dunn who fired just wide after 83 minutes.

Finally, in the first minute of stoppage time, the Stags were deservedly level. Hewitt did very well to get into a position to cross from the right, he sent in a perfect cross for Kilgour, unmarked at the far post, to head into the net from 8 yards. Brilliant from Hewitt, who had a great game, and a great header from Kilgour, who had been unlucky with his earlier effort against the bar. His second goal in two starts for his new club. A wonderful moment in front of the fantastic 1,852 travelling Stags fans.

For the first time ever that I can remember, the Stags had been forced into three first half substitutions due to injury, with Reed, Oates and Callum Johnson all going off. This followed last week when the Stags had been forced into two first half substitutions due to injury. And all five injuries were contact injuries, that could not really be predicted.
With three first half substitutions, the Stags would not be able to make any changes during the second half (barring for concussion), so Nigel Clough made two further changes at half time, taking off Quinn (who would struggle to make 90 minutes) and Wallace (who was on a booking). So for the second half, the Stags had changed half of the outfield players. Quite extraordinary.

Credit to Nigel Clough for the substitutions, he got them right in my opinion, such that despite the adversity of so many injuries, the performance was not badly affected. Indeed, the Stags played better after the changes than before them.

Plenty of really good performances in the Stags side. Flinders made three very good saves. Hewitt was terrific including putting in some great crosses. Kilgour was very good again and deserved his goal. Keillor-Dunn was very impressive including some super set pieces. Maris played very well. And Danny Johnson and Swan were very lively up front in the second half.



Bradford City 1-1 Mansfield Town
Cook (29'minutes)
Kilgour (90'+1minutes)
Clayton (29'minutes)
Hewitt (90'+1minutes)

Match report supplied by PA Media.

Alfie Kilgour headed a stoppage-time equaliser for Mansfield to earn a draw at Bradford.

Kilgour nodded home Elliott Hewitt's cross to cancel out Andy Cook's first-half goal for the home side.

Cook, starting his first game since Boxing Day, scored his 17th of the season when he headed in a corner from Adam Clayton.

Abo Eisa and Jamie Walker had good chances for Bradford before Cook's goal.

Mansfield manager Nigel Clough was forced into making three substitutions in the first 36 minutes after injuries to Louis Reed, Rhys Oates and Callum Johnson.

But they almost equalised right on half-time when Harry Lewis tipped Davis Keillor-Dunn's header over the bar.

Scott Flinders then pulled off a superb reflex save to claw away a deflected shot from Cook.

But Mansfield hit back strongly and Tolaji Bola cleared athletically off the line after Keillor-Dunn's free-kick was flicked goalwards by James Perch.

Kilgour clipped the bar with a header before burying a second effort to keep Mansfield's one-point advantage on Bradford in the tight table.

Match Stats
Home Team Bradford Away Team Mansfield
Possession Home 47% Away 53%
Shots Home 12 Away 12
Shots on Target Home 7 Away 6
Corners Home 9 Away 4
Fouls Home 6 Away 18


Kilgour snatches late point for Mansfield Town after injury nightmare first half at Bradford City
chad.co.uk, Sat 4 Feb 2023

Alfie Kilgour’s dramatic stoppage-time equaliser earned Mansfield Town a deserved 1-1 draw at promotion rivals Bradford City this afternoon.

Former Stags striker Andy Cook had scored against his old club for the second time this season in a nightmare first half for Stags in which they lost three key players with injury, new boy Louis Reed lasting just 10 minutes, Rhys Oates going off with a serious-looking shoulder problem on 21 minutes and another new signing, Callum Johnson, off hurt on 36 minutes.

But Kilgour secured a precious point to ensure they remained in the play-off spots and edged up a place into sixth - the new defender's second goal in as many games.

Manager Nigel Clough named two changes from the side which hammered Doncaster Rovers 4-1 last weekend.


Captain Ollie Clarke returned as he and Kieran Wallace replaced Stephen McLaughlin and Hiram Boateng.

Deadline-day signing Davis Keillor-Dunn was announced on the bench and was quickly thrust into the action as he replaced Oates.

Clough was forced into his three changes before half-time and then finished his allocation at the break as he threw on Danny Johnson and Will Swan for Wallace and Stephen Quinn and changed round his wing backs which saw Stags produce much more going forward.

On the pitch, Stags’ stopper Scott Flinders produced a good early save to keep out Mo Eisa.

Scot Jamie Walker was the next to go close for the hosts as he flashed across the face of goal.

And it was dangerman Cook was opened the scoring with his 17th goal of the season in the 29th minute as the veteran striker headed home Adam Clayton’s corner to stun his former employers.

Flinders was wrong-footed by a wicked deflection from Cook’s effort, which thankfully went wide mwhile debutant Keillor-Dunn forced Bantams’ number one Harry Lewis into a decent save on the stroke of half-time.

Flinders then had to be awake moments into the second period to deny Cook a second.

And the Stags’ keeper was at it again to thwart the frontman just before the hour mark.

Stags refused to give up and pressed hard, Kilgour heading against the bar from Keillor-Dunn’s corner with 10 minutes to go.

But he made no mistake second time around as, unmarked at the far post, he nodded home from Elliiott Hewitt’s right wing cross to secure a point from a well-contested clash between promotion rivals and send the huge army of away fans at that end into wild celebration,.

But Stags will now await news on the injured trio just a few days after transfer deadline day with Oates the biggest worry after coming back from three months out with a torn pectoral muscle that he may have landed awkwardly on again.

BRADFORD CITY: Lewis, Halliday, Crichlow, Bola, East (Nevers, 75), Clayton, Gilliead, Walker (Chapman, 74), Cook, Eisa. SUBS NOT USED: Doyle, Derbyshire, Costelloe, Stubbs.

STAGS: Flinders, Hewitt, Kilgour, Perch, Johnson (Bowery, 36), Reed (Maris, 10), Clarke, Quinn (Swan, 45), Wallace (Johnson, 45), Akins, Oates (Keillor-Dunn, 22). SUBS NOT USED: Mason, Harbottle.

REFEREE: Alan Young.

ATTENDANCE: 18,755 (1,852 away).



Mark Hughes’ Bantams were caught in injury-time drama as Mansfield Town equalised late on to secure a 1-1 draw at the University of Bradford Stadium this afternoon.

Andy Cook rose quickest from Adam Clayton’s corner just before the half-hour mark to net his 17th goal in all competitions, putting City ahead in a first half where the Bantams were on top.

However, Mansfield’s pressure intensified as the game grew, and they were rewarded through Alfie Kilgour’s header in the first minute of stoppage time, to ensure they left West Yorkshire with a point.


After over three weeks without a game at Valley Parade, City made sure to use the backing of close to 17,000 Bantams to their advantage, as they began the game strong.

Alex Gilliead, who captained the side in Richie Smallwood’s absence, won the ball high up in the Stags’ half and played a promising though ball for Abo Eisa, who forced a solid save out of Scott Flinders, just after five minutes.

Gilliead’s inviting cross, moments later, was headed clear before reaching Cook, and the returning Jamie Walker watched his low-driven shot whistle wide past the post.

It was just before the half-hour mark that Hughes’ side would make their first-half dominance count.

Cook, who was reinstated to the 11, rose highest from Clayton’s corner, and headed past Flinders to give City the lead.

The Bantams’ top goal-scorer came close once again, moments later, as his right-footed shot almost caught out the Stags stopper at his near post.

Nigel Clough’s side, despite starting slowly, began to have more of a foothold in the game, as Davis Kellior-Dunn’s header was superbly kept out by Harry Lewis.

The interval did not disturb the Bantams' spirit, as Cook had another chance to double City’s lead - though his half-volley from the edge of the area seconds into the second half was turned behind for a corner.

City’s No.9 continued to cause problems for the visitors in the second period, as he marauded through Mansfield’s defence and drilled a shot goalwards, but Flinders got enough on it to turn behind.

Mansfield continued to push for an equaliser as the game wore on, and grew in confidence towards the end.

Kellior-Dunn’s free-kick found the head of James Perch, which looked to loop over Lewis before Tolaji Bola, on his home debut, clawed his effort of the line.

The hosts were forced to defend their lines from set-pieces again, minutes later, as Kilgour’s header from a corner was acrobatically stopped by City’s No.1.

The visitors’ pressure eventually paid off, as Kilgour crashed home a header at the far post to level the game in the first minute of injury time, and see both sides leave with a point.

City were forced to settle for a point in the end, as Harry Chapman’s last-minute free-kick was held by Flinders, as the travelling Stags left BD8 with a point.

CITY: Harry Lewis, Brad Halliday, Matty Platt, Tolaji Bola, Andy Cook (booked 70’), Jamie Walker (Harry Chapman 75’), Alex Gilliead (C), Ryan East (Thierry Nevers 75’), Romoney Crichlow, Abo Eisa, Adam Clayton. Subs not used: Colin Doyle, Vadaine Oliver, Matt Derbyshire, Dara Costelloe, Sam Stubbs.

GOALS: Cook (29').

MANSFIELD: Scott Flinders, Elliott Hewitt, Lucas Akins, Ollie Clarke (C), Callum Johnson (Jordan Bowery 36’, booked 80’), James Perch, Stephen Quinn (Danny Johnson 45’), Kieran Wallace (booked 30’, Will Swan 45’)), Rhys Oates (Davis Kellior-Dunn 22’), Louis Reed (George Maris 10’), Alfie Kilgour. Subs not used: Owen Mason, Riley Harbottle.

GOALS: Alfie Kilgour (90+1').

ATTENDANCE: 18,755 (1,852 Mansfield supporters).


Another costly finish as Bradford City let more home points slip
thetelegraphandargus.co.uk, By Simon Parker

A STAT recently published on social media showed City in the top five of clubs with the most defeats this century.

With over 400 league losses since 2000, stoicism has become a crucial element of every Bantams follower. There are no glory hunters at Valley Parade.


Disappointment comes with the territory; let-downs are part of the landscape at BD8.

The first Saturday home game since mid-November was a case in point. It sure felt like a defeat even if the scoreboard may have suggested otherwise.

Late equalisers have that effect, stoppage-time spoilers sucking the joy out of anything you had witnessed before.

There had been so much to like about City’s play; the goalscoring return of the rejuvenated Andy Cook; Alex Gilliead playing like his superhero brother as captain; Adam Clayton bossing midfield like the guv’nor; Tolaji Bola showing off goalline gymnastics.

But then Mansfield scored barely seconds into the seven minutes of additional time - and sent the mood into despondency once again.

The squashed nature of the League Two table reflected the “if only” feeling. Instead of jumping up to sixth and right back in the play-off mix, City dropped a place to ninth.

Very much in contention but still on the outside trying to make up ground - and with that daunting trip to second-placed Stevenage next.

It wouldn’t have hurt so much if this was a nasty one-off. But you can add Mansfield to Crawley and Swindon earlier in the campaign where City have been mugged by last-gasp equalisers.

Add those extra six points that have been tossed away and the Bantams would be breathing right down the neck of Carlisle in the third automatic slot. Fine margins and all that but it is becoming an expensive habit.

Mark Hughes accused Mansfield of “celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup” as Nigel Clough and Co spilled on to the pitch after Alfie Kilgour’s goal.

But this was a significant outcome for the visitors, who had overcome the adversity of losing three injured players in the first half. That shows a spirit willing to dig deep for their team-mates.

City had similarly got stuck in during a contest that had the proper feel of a promotion ding-dong. If only they could have seen it out.

It was an occasion made for the likes of Clayton, who clearly relished his first Valley Parade appearance in claret and amber.

There was no Richie Smallwood, absent because of a family matter, but the midfield really rose to the occasion.

Ryan East was the most surprising name on an eagerly-anticipated team sheet and he didn’t disappoint.

East could feel hard done by to lose his place after such a good performance at Salford in October.

Four months on, and straight after a transfer window when his potential availability had been circulated, opportunity finally came knocking again and he delivered another technically-tidy and efficient effort.

Jamie Walker’s return after his rush of blood at Wimbledon gave the diamond an edge, setting the tempo with his closing down and harrying defenders.

And then there was Gilliead. What a transformation an armband can make.

So often the fall guy with fans, he was the universal choice as man of the match.

Gilliead set the tone after just five minutes when he charged through two tackles on halfway that he had no right to win and raced on deep into Mansfield territory before setting up a big chance for Abo Eisa.

On this evidence, he showed exactly why Hughes has always been firmly in his corner despite the misgivings of the crowd.

There have been plenty of misgivings over the manager’s decision to keep Cook benched through the new year as City struggle for goals.

Again, it was the top scorer alone getting on the scoresheet while Eisa missed that early opening, Walker fired wide from another decent opportunity and sub Harry Chapman choosing completely the wrong option from a late break that could have put the game beyond Mansfield’s reach.

Credit Stags keeper Scott Flinders too for an excellent reflex block to deny a deflected effort from guess who that would have doubled the advantage on the hour.

Cook, as we know, loves playing against Mansfield - and any of his former clubs. That’s now six goals this season, over a third of his total tally, against teams he previously played for.

The noisy 1,850 travelling section, complete with the odd pyro-lobbing numpty, had given Cook some stick in the first half hour as he struggled to get into the game.

They should have known better.

Clayton, on corner duty in Smallwood’s absence, put the ball on the money and the big man produced enough power on the header to beat Flinders despite the keeper managing to get both hands on it.

Cook then typically ran in front of the seething section of the Midland Road stand with ears cupped before seeking out a much warmer reception from the halfway line.

You wonder whether he might have been tempted to make a beeline for the technical area as well for a “told you so” response to his gaffer after his five-game stretch on the bench.

In the other dug-out, the manager who had pushed him out at Mansfield must have feared they would be punished again - particularly at a time when his own players were falling like flies.

The visitors were forced into using all five subs by the restart with no leeway for any changes in the second half.

But throwing more and more men forward, they wrestled the initiative from City.

Bola, looking much more assured at left back after a rusty debut at Stockport, somehow kept the ball out from James Perch’s goal-bound flick past Harry Lewis.

Hughes replaced Walker and East with Chapman and Thierry Nevers - but rather than shoring things up, City lost impetus after the changes.

Kilgour gave warning of what was to come with a header that clipped the bar.

Then, having stayed forward following a long throw, the January buy from Bristol Rovers struck his second goal in consecutive games for his new club.

A touchline kerfuffle, which saw a time-wasting ball boy removed from his post, deflected the concentration of the crowd as the game hit added time.

City certainly switched off to the danger of the extra man still lingering at the far post as Elliott Hewitt whipped in an inviting cross for the unmanned Kilgour to bury with a diving header.

And another two points had slipped through City's fingers.



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