‘It’s been a scrappy five minutes or so’ said the Sky commentator midway through the second half, as if anything occurring on the pitch before the hour mark had been in any way different to the turgid possession-less back and forth we were currently witnessing.
That Rovers were still level at this point was largely down to the deep positioning of Joe Wright. It was he who’d prevented Bradford taking the lead ten minutes in when he hoofed Timothee Dieng’s goalbound header off the line. Though the Bantams had the better of the first half, they never came any closer than that.
Just as it seemed both sides had succeeded with their apparent mission to senselessly bludgeon every last bit of interest out of the game, Rovers found the breakthrough. So patient was the build up it allowed John Marquis to arrive from last season to head home Niall Mason’s excellent cross.
With quarter of an hour still too play, and given our recent record of showing all the resolve of newspaper left out in the rain come injury time, you couldn’t shake the feeling Rovers needed another goal or three to make absolutely sure. After much nervousness it finally came in injury-time; Marquis netting his second with a well taken finish, having been set free by James Coppinger and Alfie Beestin.
by Glen Wilson