DCSIMG

FULL TIME: Bradford City 1 Doncaster Rovers 2

David Cotterill's 24th minute strike gave Rovers the lead at Bradford.

David Cotterill's 24th minute strike gave Rovers the lead at Bradford.

Goals from David Cotterill and Kyle Bennett ensured Rovers ended their pre-season programme unbeaten after a mixed performance at Valley Parade.

Garry Thompson cancelled out Cotterill’s first half opener before a wicked deflection of Bennett six minutes from time handed Rovers the win.

Richie Wellens made his first appearance for Rovers in four years as he started alongside Dean Furman in shielding a back four which included Tottenham centre half Bongani Khumalo.

Rovers commanded possession for the majority of the first half, particularly through their fluid front four.

Cotterill, James Coppinger and Mark Duffy interchanged positions regularly behind Chris Brown, proving difficult to track.

There did not need to be a great deal of trickery and quick play for Rovers to open the scoring on 24 minutes with the most simple of goals.

Nahki Wells slipped as Bradford defended a corner allowing Cotterill to exchange passes with Mark Duffy before curling home on the angle.

Bradford did threaten in the first half with both James Hanson and Wells providing tests.

Wells’ pace allowed him to find space on the edge of the area on a couple of occasions, curling the ball wide and firing straight at Jon Maxted on another.

And Hanson proved a tough physical test for Khumalo, getting on the end of several crosses but failing to test Maxted.

Paul Dickov changed Rovers’ system at the break, introducing Kyle Bennett and Billy Paynter for Wellens and Brown to switch to a 4-4-2.

And Rovers initially lost their flow, allowing Bradford to establish a foothold in the game.

It did produce more crosses and Brown really should have done better when meeting one from Cotterill just in front of goal but he could produce no power to trouble Jon McLaughlin.

Maxted had to be alert to stop Wells on 52 minutes as he rushed out to save with his legs when the ball rolled through to the pacy front man.

Bradford equalised through fortunate circumstances on 55 minutes.

Garry Thompson took advantage of hesitancy between Maxted and Tommy Spurr to chase down the keeper’s kick and deflect the ball home.

Paul Keegan came off the bench for Brown as Rovers reverted back to 4-2-3-1.

And chances came. Spurr robbed the ball on the left and cut back for Paynter who could not get the ball out from under his feet quick enough six yards out.

Paynter turned provider a few minutes later, collecting a Bennett cross and squaring for Cotterill who side footed well over.

The breakthrough came for Rovers on 84 minutes.

Bennett wasted a chance eight yards out as he took too long to shoot but he earned fortunate redemption mere seconds later.

Cotterill squared to Coppinger who drilled a first time shot which took a wicked deflection off Bennett past McLaughlin.

Bradford had more chances with the lively Kyel Reid causing problems on the left but could not draw level.

Bradford: McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Meredith, Thompson, Yeates, Jones, Doyle, Hanson, Wells.

Subs: Bentley, Ravenhill, Reid, Kennedy, Connell, Nelson, Swain.

Rovers: Maxted, Quinn, Khumalo, Jones, Spurr, Furman, Wellens, Cotterill, Coppinger, Duffy, Brown.

Subs: Adam, Husband, McCullough, Harper, Keegan, Bennett, Paynter.

Att: 2,856

 

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