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Strong Bantams Edge Past Spireites

1 October 2016

A first-half Billy Clarke goal settled matters as Bradford City won 1-0 against Chesterfield at the Proact, their third straight success in North Derbyshire.

The Bantams took the lead when Clarke fired after a short corner after 26 minutes, but despite plenty of further chances the solitary strike decided the contest.

The visitors began the brighter and had the first chance of the game in the seventh minute through Josh Cullen who tried to bend the ball into the top corner after he intercepted Ariyibi’s loose ball but it went sailed over the bar.

Jon Nolan then mis-timed his interception which presented Jordy Hiwula a chance on the edge of the box but his shot went comfortably over the bar. 

Then the dangerous Mark Marshall beat three Spireites defenders with great feet on the right but his cross fizzed across the face of goal and missed everyone as Bradford piled on the pressure in the opening 25 minutes. 

Bradford made the most of their early momentum went ahead when Hiwula won a corner. Clarke was left unmarked in the corner of the box, he was found with a short corner by Nicky Law and he smashed his shot into the roof onto the net. 

Clarke nearly doubled his and City’s tally when he fired in a low shot from 25 yards out but Fulton comfortably saved just minutes later. 

The goal sparked the game into life and it became an end-to-end affair. The Spireites pushed forward quickly and almost equalised just after the half hour mark when Kristian Dennis’s fine free kick stung the gloves of Colin Doyle who did well to turn it behind for a corner.

At the other end, Marshall wriggled his way through a crowd of bodies just inside the area and gave himself half a yard to have a shot which was punched in the air by Fulton and then an offside gave the Spireites time to re-adjust. 

Chesterfield then attacked and Gboly Ariyibi found Dennis’s run on the left but the striker couldn’t quite bend his shot on target and it hit the side netting. 

The Spireites had claims for a penalty after Ariyibi did excellently to beat his man and charge towards the box, his low cross appeared to be blocked by the sliding City defender but the ref was having none of it. 

Bradford looked to hit back again after the Spireites rally and came close again this time through Hiwula whose shot was turned behind by the feet of Fulton. 

Hiwula nearly scored with barely a minute gone when he tried to turn in a cross from close range but Fulton pulled off a fine save and the ball was cleared. 

The Spireites did better early in the second half and the introduction of Jay O’Shea made a difference in creating a few half chance. 

City were dangerous on the break though and Hiwula picked up the ball just outside the box and slid in a lovely ball to the overlapping James Meredith on the left but his low effort fizzed just wide on 69 minutes.

Ariyibi was pushing well late on and his excellent cross on 75 minutes across the six yard box wasn’t met by a blue shirt who would have had a tap in. 

Danny Wilson bought on young striker Ricky German to try and force an equaliser but Bradford stood firm and showed why they’re unbeaten. 

The defeat sees the Spireites go three league games without a win but they can bounce back against Accrington Stanley in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening at the Proact. 

Chesterfield: Fulton (gk) - Maguire, Hird, Anderson, Graham - Mitchell (O'Shea 46'), Liddle (c), Nolan (German 76'), Ariyibi - Wilkinson, Dennis (Dimaio 63')

Subs not used: Parkin (gk), Gardner, Evatt, Humphreys

Bradford City: Doyle (gk) - Darby, Meredith, Law (Morais 78'), Vincelot (c), Marshall, Dieng, Clarke (Vuckic 78'), Hiwula, Cullen, Knight-Percival

Subs not used: Sattelmaier, McArdle, Devine, Kilgallon, Rabiega

Goals:

Bradford City: Clarke 26'

Attendance: 6,997 (1,977 away fans)

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