Latics on the Up – Bradford City 1 Wigan Athletic 1

Michael Jacobs on target at Bradford City

Michael Jacobs on target at Bradford City. Photograph courtesy of Wigan Athletic.

Wigan were held by Bradford in a highly competitive game at Valley Parade but still moved up to fifth in the League One table.

Latics took the lead in the 52nd minute through Michael Jacobs strike but were pegged back by the Bantams when James Hanson headed home from a corner in the 63rd minute.

This hard-fought bruising encounter ended with both teams pressing for the winner, but a point each was probably a fair result on the day.

Gary Caldwell named an unchanged team from the victory at Peterborough United, with vice-captain Jason Pearce being the only change on the bench replacing Jordy Hiwula.

Latics attacked from the off and Yanic Wildschut produced a driving run into the Bantams area before shooting low into the side netting.

Rory McArdle then headed over for Bradford from Reece Burke’s left wing cross.

But Latics were soon creating chances at the other end. Jacobs picked up Max Power’s through ball midway inside the Bradford half, and drove into the area before shooting at Ben Williams but the keeper was just able to turn the ball away for a corner.

Reece James then tested Williams and the Bantams keeper had to tip his effort over the crossbar. Then Power struck from 35 yards but the ball sailed just over the crossbar.

Bradford’s physical presence was starting to take effect and referee Richard Clark was far too lenient with some of the challenges. Fouls on Max Power and David Perkins, amongst others, went unpunished.

The home team further tested Latics with a series of corners and high balls into the penalty area but the defence managed to hold firm.

Latics responded and Will Grigg appeared to have beaten Bradford’s offside trap and finished with some aplomb, but it was unfortunately ruled out for offside.

Bradford forced four corners at the beginning of the second half and Jaaskelainen had to be alert to tip over a half-volley by McMahon from 20 yards.

Gary Caldwell replaced Donervon Daniels with Donald Love after 51 minutes and it immediately had a positive effect as Latics ahead. Loanee Love won a 50/50 on the right hand side and set up Jacobs on the edge of the box, and the winger’s powerful drive flew past Williams and into the net.

Latics might have added to their lead when Jacobs and then Wildschut had chances. First Jacobs’ final ball out to Love was over hit and then Wildschut fired into the side netting.

Bradford came forward and had an appeal for a penalty turned down when Devante Cole went down in the area and Hanson headed straight at Jaaskelainen when it appeared he would score.

But the Bantams did draw level on 63 minutes through Hanson. From yet another corner, Hanson headed towards goal from the penalty spot and Jaaskelainen was unsighted and the ball went in between him and Reece James on the goal line.

The match was finely poised now with both teams looking dangerous.

Latics might have won it when James cut in from the left but his shot from the edge of the box was a yard over. Substitutes Grant Holt and Love also had efforts but both were unable to beat the Bradford keeper.

Despite five minutes of additional time neither team could break the deadlock, but this was another good point for Latics who are now unbeaten in eight league matches and are moving confidently up the table.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Bradford City, James Hanson, League One, Michael Jacobs, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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