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Bradford City End Spireites' Season With Loss

8 May 2016

An early goal and a late one were the difference as playoff-bound Bradford comfortably beat Chesterfield 2-0 on the final day of the season at a sun-filled Valley Parade.

A subdued start burts into life on seven minutes when Lee Evans scored with a long-distance screamer to put the Bantams ahead, the Spireites rarely looking likely to comeback before the break.

Sam Hird finished a strong personal season on a low in the second half with a red card, fouling as the last man with Jamie Proctor running through, with Billy Clarke nailling the Spireites' coffin shut with a late close-range goal.

The game was only seven minutes old when the hosts opened the scoring. On loan Wolves midfielder Evans rifled in a half volley into the top corner after being set up by Clarke to make the loud Valley Parade even louder.

The Spireites struggled to get a foothold of the game in the opening 20 minutes of the match as the hosts kept possession and knocked the ball around well.

Bradford came within inches of doubling their lead in the 21st minute when goal-scorer Evans saw his curling effort flick the post on its way wide of Tommy Lee’s goal.

On the half-hour mark, Dan Gardner pounced on a loose ball deep in Bradford’s half but he was unable to play through Jamal Campbell-Ryce.

With five minutes to go before the half-time whistle, there was a long delay as Tom Anderson was injured in a coming together in the Spireites box. The game was halted for around five minutes with Anderson having to leave the field on a stretcher.

As first half injury time approached, Gboly Ariyibi had his first opportunity to cause the hosts' defence some problems as he fired in a low ball across goal but there were no Chesterfield players there to meet it.

The second half began as the first ended with the hosts dominating proceedings. In the 49th minute, they almost doubled their lead when McMahon rose highest to meet a corner but Lee made a fine save.

The ever-dangerous Clarke then had the next chance for Bradford as he collected a McMahon pass before shifting the ball onto his left foot and striking at goal, only for Lee to make another good save.

Just before the hour mark, there was a penalty claim for the Spireites as Ariyibi’s cross was blocked by a defender, but the referee waved away the protests.

In the 67th minute, an already difficult task for the Spireites was made almost impossible as Hird was sent off for bringing down Proctor.

Evans took the resulting free-kick but it flew over the bar. The hosts continued to dominate the game and not allowing Chesterfield to build any pressure but they lacked the killer instinct to kill the game off with Clarke and McMahon both missing opportunities.

Jay O’Shea had the visitors' first real effort at goal in the second half with just under 15 minutes left to play. He tried to catch our Ben Williams in the Bradford goal from a freekick but it curled just wide.

With just over three minutes left to play, Bradford deservedly got their second goal. After good work down the left hand side by Kyel Reid and McMahon, the ball was fired in and Clarke had the easiest of finishes.

Ariyibi came close for the Sprieites with virtually the last kick of them game but his low shot went just wide.

The Spireites end the season with a defeat but will look to kick on come August.

Bradford City: Williams (gk), Darby (c), Meredith, Evans, B. Clarke, Cullen (Morais 79'), Burke (N. Clarke 46'), Proctor, McArdle, Anderson (Reid 68'), McMahon

Subs not used: Cracknell (gk), Morris, Thorpe, Webb-Foster

Chesterfield: Lee (gk), Donohue, Hird, Anderson (Talbot 41'), Raglan, Campbell-Ryce (Slew 54'), Banks, Liddle (c), Gardner (Dimaio 68'), O'Shea, Ariyibi

Subs not used: Chapman (gk), Evatt, Humphreys, Simons, Simons

Goals:

Bradford City: Evans 7', B. Clarke 87'

Attendance: 20,807 (736 away fans)

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