Bradford City 1 Harrogate Town 1: Mark Hughes' men frustrated by gritty Sulphurites

Bradford City faced Harrogate Town in their first Yorkshire derby of the season. Image: George Wood/Getty Images
Bradford City faced Harrogate Town in their first Yorkshire derby of the season. Image: George Wood/Getty Images

Bradford dominated throughout but could not convert possession into goals and it was Harrogate who took the lead through ex-Bantam Matty Daly.

Harrogate appeared to be heading for a shock win until Jamie Walker equalised deep into stoppage time.

The Bantams took control of the game early on without posing much of an attacking threat. They dominated possession and limited Harrogate’s ventures forward without ever really looking close to opening the scoring.

Room to maneuver was at a premium, as Harrogate looked to suffocate Bradford’s attacking contingent. It was something they did successfully for large portions and Bradford found it difficult to break through the lines.

Walker and Lewis Richards had what could best be described as half-chances, while Harrogate squandered an opportunity of their own on the counter. Luke Armstrong surged forward at pace but his hesitation to shoot allowed Matthew Platt to make a last-ditch tackle.

Walker came closer in the latter stages of the first-half with an effort that was on target but straight down the throat of Mark Oxley, who palmed away.

Bradford were back in the driving seat after the interval and had an early opportunity to break the deadlock when Walker fed Clarke Oduor in the box. Some neat footwork opened up space for a shot but the Kenya international found the wrong side of the post.

Walker then had an opportunity himself when Chisom Afoka found him in the box, although his acrobatic effort went wide.

It was soon Afoka’s turn to try his luck and the loanee drew an impressive stop from Oxley with his curling drive from outside the box.

The hosts continued to up the ante as the second-half progressed, while Harrogate continued to make life difficult for the Bantams in the final third.

Although Simon Weaver’s side found themselves defending for lengthy spells, they did pose a threat on the counter-attack.

The ball was worked quickly up the pitch to Armstrong, who was unlucky to see his well-struck effort tipped behind for a corner by Harry Lewis.

Harrogate’s patience and grit in the face of waves of attacks was rewarded when Daly, formerly a Bradford loanee, broke the deadlock.

The midfielder capitalised on uncertainty in the Bradford backline to pounce and find the net.

Bradford appeared to be heading for a shock defeat until Brad Halliday’s delivery from deep was flicked home by Walker in the dying embers.