Bradford City 1-2 Crawley Town: Late drama sparks Devils comeback
Above: Crawley Town wing-back James Tilley, who nearly netted in the 82nd minute. (Photo taken by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Tony Craig inflicted similar pain his and his former Millwall teammates bestowed upon Bradford City in the 2016/17 season, as the veteran centre-back netted in stoppage time to grant Crawley Town a well-fought three points. 

Craig was part of the Lions side who bested the Bantams in the Sky Bet League One play-off final in 2017, helping to begin Bradford's slide down the leagues. 

Bradford were confident heading into the match and showed so early in the first half, as Andy Cook confidently headed home. 

Crawley completed their second half turnaround first through Tom Nichols, who nodded past Alex Bass before Craig would seal the victory in the 95th minute. 

  • Teams

Bradford City: Bass; Cousin-Dawson, O'Connor, Canavan, Foulds, Songo'o, Daly, Walker, Cooke, Vernam, Cook

Crawley Town: Morris; Davies, Tunnicliffe, Craig, Lynch, Tilley, Powell, Payne, Nadesan, Grego-Cox, Nichols

  • Story of the match

Heading into this match, media favourite John Yems had been taunting Bradford before kick-off, claiming there was a reason the club weren't a Premier League side anymore. 

Yems would be made to feel nervous over his words in the first half however, with Derek Adams side looking dominant in possession. 

The first chance of the game fell into the path of Cook, as Paudie O'Connor flicked on into the striker's way, but he couldn't keep his effort down. 

But with just over half an hour on the clock, Bradford took the lead and this time Cook wasn't missing his chance. Some teasing feet from Charles Vernam saw the former Burton Albion attacker dance past Jordan Tunnicliffe, before his deep cross was powered home by Cook at the back post. 

Heading into the second half, Cook continued to be a menace. Some tricky feet from Hearts loanee Jamie Walker saw him escape his man, before his cross was poached towards goal by Cook but some brave goalkeeping from Glenn Morris saw the chance diverted away from goal. 

A standing ovation waited for former Bantam Mark Marshall, but the winger would quickly turn those claps into fear, as he bent a strike goalwards but was matched by Bass. 

Marshall was certainly a danger, and with twenty left on the clock, Crawley found their equaliser. Some nice build-up play saw Marshall lift the ball into the box, where Nichols was present to fire his header past the outstretched Bass. 

Both sides would share chances in the lead up to the final moments, with Walker and Jamie Tilley nearly finding the breakthrough. 

But more importantly, the game was stopped on 84 minutes with a Bradford supporter requiring immediate medical attention, but thankfully it looks as if the fan will be alright following the alertness of supporters and the medical team alike. 

With the match deep into stoppage time and Bradford looking the more likely, a swift Crawley counter-attack saw the Red Devils nick the victory through captain Craig. A fantastic ball found the defender in the box, who calmly slotted past Bass before reeling away in jubilation, sentencing Bradford to their second home defeat of the campaign. 

  • Star man

Tony Craig

Starring at centre-back and netting the stoppage time winner at 36-years old, Craig is someone Bradford will be happy to see the back of. 

Craig was cultured at the back and handled Cook to the best of his abilities, before scoring a composed finish and showing the Crawley supporters exactly why he is their captain. 


Embed from Getty Images