Bradford City A.F.C
Jamie Walker 55
Stevenage lose at home for first time in 2022 as Bradford claim victory
- Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO
Stevenage saw their run of unbeaten home games come to an end with defeat to Bradford City.
They had won three and drawn one of their previous four games at the Lamex but Jamie Walker's strike 10 minutes into the second half gave the visiting Bantams a 1-0 win.
It wasn't a fluid performance from Paul Tisdale's men but they had chances, certainly in the second period that on another day may have brought at least one point, maybe even three.
It has still been a good run, and the improved performances have been hugely welcome, but they are now just seven points above the relegation zone.
There were three changes for Boro from the dramatic draw with Crawley Town with manager Paul Tisdale causing a few conversations pre-match about who would play where, especially up front.
He did have the luxury of naming Elliott List on the bench while Charlie Carter featured in a starting line-up for the first time since his recovery from injury.
The eventual answer to the striker conundrum was Carter up there with support from Bruno Andrade, Jake Taylor and Zain Westbrooke.
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The unusual line-up could possibly be used for the disjointed showing in the first-half and when List joined the fray for a seemingly injured Ed Upson, it did at least bring a focal point for the home side, even if it meant Taylor dropping deeper.
Their only real chance though came from a Michael Bostwick header that flew well wide.
But while there was endeavour, it was often unchanneled and they struggled to keep hold of the ball long enough to unleash the front men.
Bradford weren't exactly dripping with quality either but they did create the better half-chances, the best of them coming to Walker right at the end of the half.
A low, bouncing ball in from the right came all the way through to the number 10 at the back post and he forced Christy Pym into a point-blank save.
Half-time saw a change for the Bantams, Matthew Foulds on for an injured Liam Ridehalgh, but Tisdale was able to re-jib his midfield, dropping Westbrooke back and giving Taylor the chance to go further forward again.
And for the opening 10 minutes, it was Stevenage who looked the brighter.
Bostwick had the best chance as the ball dropped to him unmarked at the back post.
He couldn't get a meaningful contact on it though even if Alex Bass still needed to push it away.
Carter then had n effort he pulled wide and it seemed as if a goal could be coming.
It was, but it went to Bradford, Walker turning brilliantly and firing low to the right of Pym.
Still Boro created chances though with Carter the man usually on the end.
Good control presented him with a chance to the left of goal but his side-foot volley went across goal and wide.
His next attempt came after Boro's best bit of football.
Scott Cuthbert played a lovely little ball low into the box to find an equally good run of Westbrooke.
The cross was pulled back to Carter who hit it first time but straight at Bass.
Another cross bounced out either from post or defender as Stevenage pressed and as the game entered the final 15 minutes, hopes were definitely rising.
In the end one Arthur Read shot beaten away by Bass was the closest they cam and when Luke O'Neill's free-kick in the final moments hit the wall, their chances of a point were finally over.
Stevenage: Pym, Cuthbert, Taylor, Carter (Read 74), Westbrook, Andrade, Vancooten, Upson (List 31), O'Neill, Clements, Bostwick (Lines 67).
Subs (not used): Walker, James-Wildin, Prosser, Reid.
Booked: Bostwick 66
Bradford City: Bass, Ridehalgh (Foulds 46), O'Connor, Songo'o, Cook (Elliott 80), Walker (Gilliead 74), Watt, Sutton, Daly, Hendrie, Delfouneso.
Subs (not used): O'Donnell, Threlkeld, Cooke, Robinson.
Goals: Walker 55
Booked: Hendrie 76, Daly 78
HT: Stevenage 0 Bradford City 0
Referee: Gavin Ward (Surrey)
Attendance: 1,953 (332 from Bradford)