Tempers flared late on as Bradford City extended their winning run to five matches with a hard fought win against Mansfield Town in a scrappy affair at Utilita Energy Stadium. 

The Bantams, who have now won ten of their thirteen games since former academy coaches Connor Sellers and Mark Truman took charge, snatched all three points thanks to a first half strike from attacker Danny Rowe

Mansfield, who enjoyed the majority of possession in the game, ended their night with only 10 men after Ollie Clarke was shown a red card in second half injury time. 

Story of the match 

Both teams came into the tie as one of league twos most inform sides, but it was the visitors who began the game the stronger showing the greater attacking intent following the kick off.

Jason Law came agonisingly close to giving Mansfield the lead in just the second minute when his curling effort came back of the post after effortlessly wriggling through two Bradford defenders.

The Bantams grew into the game as the first half went on however, nearly scoring themselves in the 18th minute when Callum Cooke's volley from the edge of the box bounced just wide following a dangerous Connor Wood cross.

Despite enjoying little possession the hosts continued to threaten on the counter attack, eventually taking the lead when January signing Danny Rowe produced an excellent close range finish after Nail Canvan headed the ball into his path following a deep free kick from Elliot Watt in the 32nd minute.  

The Stags responded well however, believing they had equalized in first half stoppage time when Harry Charsley had the ball in the back of the net after being slipped through by Jamie Reid, before the effort was ruled offside.

The West Yorkshire side continued to threaten on the break following the interval though, Rowe nearly doubling the lead when his thunderbolt of a strike was well saved by goalkeeper Aiden Stone in the 50th minute. 

Nigel Clough’s team dominated possession in the second period but struggled to create any clear cut chances, coming closest in the 89th minute when Ollie Clarke's glancing header from a Law corner bounced just wide. 

Tempers flared in the final moments of the game as Mansfield searched for an equaliser, captain Clarke being sent off in the 94th minute after swinging an elbow in the face of Wood.

The Victory sees Bradford move up to 10th place, three points off the playoffs, while the Stags fall to 19th.

Man of the match -  Nail Canavan 

The Irishman was instrumental in a defence which stayed remarkably solid despite near non stop Mansfield pressure in the second half.

Canavan brought a level headedness to the Bradford back line and was the standout in a defence which was able to keep the dangerous Jordan Bowery quiet all evening.

The centre back can also claim an assist for Rowes match winning goal, as it was his brilliant flicked on header which put the ball in the strikers path. 


About the author