Bradford City 1 Harrogate Town 1: Sulphurites drop two points after conceding yet another late goal

Matty Daly fired Harrogate Town into a 78th-minute lead against Bradford City at Valley Parade. Picture: Matt Kirkham
Matty Daly fired Harrogate Town into a 78th-minute lead against Bradford City at Valley Parade. Picture: Matt Kirkham

Matty Daly’s 78th-minute strike looked as if it had earned the struggling Sulphurites a much-needed three points from Saturday’s Yorkshire derby clash, but just as was the case against Gillingham last weekend and at Accrington Stanley last month, their defence was breached deep in stoppage-time.

That effort by Daly was only the fifth that Town have registered in eight League Two outings this term and the first that did not arrive from the penalty spot or via a set-piece.

And it should have been sufficient to secure what would have been just Harrogate’s third victory of 2023/24, though Jamie Walker bagged a 95th-minute equaliser for the Bantams.

"I thought we deserved the three points," Weaver reflected.

"Because the standard of the performance was high, I'm disappointed only to achieve a draw here.

"But, we don't want to be known as the unlucky team, the last-minute team because we have got to be better at sealing the deal.”

Bradford’s equaliser came from a free-kick that was pumped into the Town box from deep which the visiting defence failed to adequately deal with.

And given the nature of the goal, there will again be question marks over Sulphurites stopper Mark Oxley’s failure to command his box at a crucial moment.

But Weaver said he would reserve judgement on the incident until he has had the opportunity to review video footage.

"I've got to look back and reflect properly on it because I'm not the type to blame players in the immediate aftermath of the game when I've not had chance to look back at it,” the Harrogate chief added.

"But, it seemed to be a fairly deep free-kick lofted into the box and when you see a small player, the goal-scorer, running away in delight because it has come off his head, you have obviously got to be disappointed by not dealing with the situation as a rearguard.

"Apart from the dying seconds, we looked rock solid, it was just a set-piece from deep that has cost us two points.”

On his team finally finding the back of the net from open play after well over 12 hours of League Two football, Weaver continued: "Obviously, you want to start scoring goals more freely, and it was good to get a goal.

"The build-up was terrific. It was nice to see Jez [Jeremy Sivi] come off the bench and be instrumental in that move, and it was a good little finish.

"He's got a goal in him, has Matty, and I thought that he was more prevalent in the game today because we passed it through the thirds.”

Saturday’s result sees Town climb one place to 20th in the League Two standings, where they now sit three points clear of the bottom two.