Fleetwood Town made it back-to-back wins for the first time since October 2018 as they won 1-0 at Valley Parade against Bradford City on Saturday.
Joey Barton's side brushed off a determined Bradford City on Saturday afternoon in West Yorkshire. With Paddy Madden's winner in the 9th minute - which made it 30 goals between himself andf strike partner Ched Evans in all competitions - enough to see the Cod Army come away with the points.
The Bantams had chances, especially in the second half with David Ball, Eoin Doye and George Miller, but resiliance was key in the match as Town kept another clean sheet in their push for a play-off place.
David Hopkin’s Bradford City started well as they looked to get the opener after forcing Fleetwood Town to concede an early corner in the first five minutes. However it was Town who capitalised on their first attack to make it 1-0.
James Wallace whipped in a dangerous ball from the right wing that bounced across the six-yard-box and found Paddy Madden, who was able to strike it home for his 17th goal in all competitions.
The Bantams had the opportunity to equalise in the 14th minute, but no one was there to get on the end of Lewis O’Brien’s dangerous ball across the face of goal. An opportunity wasted for the home side.
Just three minutes later the Cod Army were on the counter with J. Wallace. the midfielder spread the ball to Ash Hunter, who ran at goal before attempting to turn his defender, but the attack came to nothing. It was an action-packed opening 20 minutes, capped off by a wayward shot at goal by O’Brien from 25 yards.
Madden looked to continue his good start to the game but this time being the provider. His cross almost found Hunter but it was intercepted by Nathaniel Knight-Percival, and collected by Richard O’Donnell. In the 22nd minute, Evans was able to find Hunter with a cross into the box but the wide-man was unable to keep his effort down.
The game was end-to-end throughout the first half and on the brink of half time both teams had a chance to score. A deep cross from Lewie Coyle found Madden at the back-post, but the striker couldn’t get enough power behind his header to beat O’Donnell. Whilst Hunter threw himself in front of Paul Caddis’ shot, at the other side of the ground, before Town cleared the danger for a corner.
The Cod Army started the second half off with a solid defensive spell, standing firm to ensure that Bradford didn’t get an early equaliser, clearing away a Bantam’s corner and dealing with a dangerous free kick.
Hunter was involved in yet another Fleetwood attack as Ross Wallace’s reverse pass found the winger, but it came to nothing as he was immediately closed down and his shot was blocked.
Jacob Butterfield was presented with Bradford City’s next chance after Fleetwood could only clear the corner as far as the edge of the box. Butterfield’s effort fizzed just over the bar, with the home team still looking for an equaliser.
The Bantams continued to put pressure on the Fleetwood Town defence as substitute Doyle managed to pick out Ball with a cross, but Ashley Eastham was there to clear from under his own crossbar.
This chance was followed by another for the home side just a minute later. As a ball into the box from the right caused a goalmouth scramble after Harry Souttar and Ball collided in the air, but Alex Cairns was able to smother the loose ball.
The best chance of the second half fell to Miller in the 80th minute as he was able to strike the ball inside the area, but the midfielder couldn’t keep his shot down and hit it high over the bar.
Town came close, nine minutes later, when Madden pulled the ball back to substitute Harrison Biggins who fired a shot low but could only forcea save from O’Donnell.
This is the second time Fleetwood Town have won back to back games in the league this season. A fifth win on the road and another clean sheet, making that Cairn’s 12th clean sheet this season.
Town XI: Cairns (GK), Husband, Eastham, Souttar, Coyle; Sowerby, R. Wallace (Biggins 80’), J. Wallace (Sheron 31’); Madden, Evans, Hunter (Nadesan 62’).
Subs not used: Jones (GK), Clarke, Taylor, Morgan.
Bradford City XI: O’Donnell (GK), Chicksen, O’Connor, Knight-Percival, Caddis; O’Brien, Akpan (Doyle 59’), Butterfield; Payne (Clarke 70’), Miller (Colville 83’), Ball.
Subs not used: Wilson (GK), Anderson, Wood, Devine.