Undefeated run continues but Stevenage only take a point against tough Bradford City

Luke Norris of Stevenage FC

Luke Norris put Stevenage ahead in the first half of their League Two game with Bradford City at the Lamex Stadium. - Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO

Stevenage missed the chance to make if four successive wins but they did take their unbeaten run to 12 with a 1-1 draw against Bradford City at the Lamex Stadium.

The last time they managed the feat was back in February and March of 2017, part of eight wins in nine games under Darren Sarll.

And it looked good when Luke Norris put them ahead on 15 minutes. However, Clayton Donaldson levelled 12 minutes later and neither side could find a winner.

It was not as fluent a performance as has been seen for the rest of the run but it was never going to be a easy encounter against another of League Two's form sides.

It drops Boro down to 13th, two places and two points behind their visitors with six games left in the campaign.

Alex Revell made one change from the side that beat Oldham Athletic on Friday, Joe Martin coming in for Elliot Osborne who dropped to the bench.

The replacements also featured Terence Vancooten back form his international duty with Guyana.

And the start was exactly the one you would have expected a side in such good form to make.

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Boro got on the front foot early and with Bradford handing them chance after chance to deliver balls into the box from a series of free-kicks and corners.

And it was from a set-piece that the hosts took the lead.

It came in from the left and Norris met it and although it was part-stopped by a combination of crossbar and Richard O'Donnell, the ball found its way into the net.

Elliott List had tested the keeper before that, a shot across the face of goal deflected onto the roof of the net by the foot of O'Donnell.

Norris had another chance but with his back to goal he couldn't make the most of Luther James-Wildin's good cross.

But there was a natural lull that crept into Stevenage's play after they went in front and while the Bantams started to get on the ball more, it was still slightly against the run of play when they equalised.

It was a lovely and yet oh-so-simple goal. A cross from Connor Wood out on the right wing saw Clayton Donaldson get in front of Scott Cuthbert and his deft header went wide of the stationary Jamie Cumming.

Neither side were able to mount any more serious attempts before the break and the interval would have given Revell and Dean Wilkins time to re-install that missing intensity.

It never really came in the opening exchanges and Bradford looked the sharper.

It had the management team in deep conversation early on and it led to a change and slight restructure, Osborne coming on for Luke Prosser, meaning Martin moved to centre-half and Ben Coker dropped back to his more usual left-back position.

Bradford made a double change at the same time and one of those coming on, Billy Clarke, almost scored immediately, curling it inches wide.

Stevenage did have a good chance of their own and Arthur Read's shot was heading for the net until Niall Canavan got an all-important head to it.

The final 10 minutes was more nervous than it has been in months as Bradford, fresh from another double substitution giving their forward line even more impetus, went close on a couple of occasions.

The fourth official indicated a minimum of four additional minutes too but bar one header at the back post from Finn Cousin-Dawson that flew well over, the game ended in a point apiece.


Stevenage: Cumming, James-Wildin, Coker, Cuthbert, Prosser (Osborne 61), List, Read (Aitchison 90), Pett, Martin, Norris (M.Stevens 66), Lines.

Subs (not used): Johnson, Vincelot, Hutton, Vancooten.

Goals: Norris 15

Booked: M.Stevens 79


Bradford City: O'Donnell, P.O'Connor, Canavan, A.O'Connor, Donaldson (Crankshaw 72), Evans (Vernam 62), Watt, Wood, Cousin-Dawson, Scales (Clarke 62), Cook (Rowe 72).

Sub (not used): Hornby, J.Stevens, Sikora.

Goals: Donaldson 27

Booked: A.O'Connor 19, P.O'Connor 86


HT: Stevenage 1 Bradford City 1

Referee: Carl Boyeson (Hull)

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