Carlisle United vs Bradford City

Bradford City fell to back to back defeats for the first time since December as they lost out 3-1 to Carlisle United.

It was to be an interesting encounter as both sides were looking to gate crash the play-offs.

City hadn’t lost both league meetings with Carlisle since the 1951-52 season.

There were two changes to the Bantams side that lost to Newport on Tuesday night, Gareth Evans and Charles Vernam started in place of Danny Rowe and Billy Clarke. Callum Cooke was not in the matchday squad.

Carlisle United’s starting 11 included two former Bantams, Joe Riley and Callum Guy both started for The Cumbrians. Omari Patrick, another former City player, was on the bench.

First Half

Evans on his return to the side had a massive chance early on. Vernam found him all alone in the box but he prolonged the effort and Carlisle got men in front of the ball.

Sam Hornby was called into action when Callum Guy hit a well struck. The City keeper managed to palm away the volley from the former Bantam.

Whilst Carlisle were on the front foot, it was the visitors who were having the best chances. Ollie Crankshaw was set away by Andy Cook, but a poor touch from Winger allowed Paul Farman to come and block the effort.

The Cumbrians had their best chance of the game through Lewis Alessandra, The forward had an opportunity after Brennan Dickenson had his effort parried but a total miss kick from the former Morecambe man was scrambled away by Bradford.

The miss didn’t matter as from the resulting corner the hosts pressure took its toll. Guy’s corner was met by a thumping header from Rhys Bennett who turned home.

Straight after that Carlisle doubled their lead, from a corner again a goalmouth scramble was turned home by Offrande Zanzala. Claims for a foul on keeper Hornby were waved away.

The half time whistle came on a half to forget for City but an encouraging half for Chris Beech and his blue army.

Half Time: Carlisle United 2-0 Bradford City

Early into the second half Carlisle could have wrapped up the game, George Tanner’s shot was parried by Hornby before Paudie O’Connor had to clear off his line as Zanzala was looking to turn home.

The third would soon come. A nice move from the Cumbrians with six different players involved, Zanzala climbed highest for the cross and directed the effort into the far corner.

The Bantams did get one back, Elliot Watt’s free kick fell to Gareth Evans who turned home via a deflection.

The visitors could have had a second, Evans again with a good chance but his shot was blocked at the far post.

Another chance fell for the West Yorkshire side to pull themselves back into the game. Andy Cook was played in one-on-one with the keeper but his dink was wide of the post.

Late on in added time, Anthony O’Connor had his header tipped around the post from Farman.

But the home side stopped the bad run of form they had been on and leapfrog City in the table.

A better second half showing wasn’t enough to pick up points from the game. Despite City having some good chances in the game to maybe pull themselves into the game, The overall performance was under-par.

Carlisle dominated the game and took their chances when they came to them.

Full Time: Carlisle United 3-1 Bradford City

Man of the Match: Gareth Evans

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