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Bradford City 1 Gillingham 2 - match report

Gillingham maintained their impressive start to the season with a win at Bradford.

James Hanson gave Bradford a first-half lead after scoring early on.

Luke Norris levelled the scores after the break and Hanson put the Gills ahead with an own-goal.

The Gills held on for a deserved victory.

Luke Norris is congratulated by Adedeji Oshilaja after his second-half equaliser Picture: Barry Goodwin
Luke Norris is congratulated by Adedeji Oshilaja after his second-half equaliser Picture: Barry Goodwin

There were two changes for the Gills, with Bradley Garmston and Ben Williamson dropping out for Jake Hessenthaler and Rory Donnelly.

A switch in formation meant Donnelly partnering Norris upfront. Brennan Dickenson returned to the left-back position.

Hosts Bradford were seeking their first win of the season. Home boss Phil Parkinson hadn’t beaten the Gills in the previous four matches in Bradford. Peter Taylor – then boss of the Bantams – was the last to taste success in the town against the Gills, back in 2010.

The hosts took a seventh minute lead as the Gills were caught napping from a throw. Billy Knott delivered a low cross and James Hanson – a man feared for his aerial presence – tapped the ball home unmarked.

It was a great start for the hosts, backed by a large and vocal following, but it was to be their only shot of the half.

Gillingham, in contrast, had nine but were unable to make their possession and opportunities count. Home keeper Ben Williams wasn’t overly troubled, as most of the shots drifted wide.

Bradley Dack’s 20-yard effort was the only one to make Williams stretch, turning the left-footed shot wide with a flying save.

Bradford had been 1-0 up in each of their previous three games but had yet to win a game.

The Gills were level five minutes after the restart. Norris collected the ball on the edge of the box and drove a low shot beyond the keeper into the bottom corner.

Bradford’s Alan Sheehan missed a great chance to restore the lead when glancing a header wide after being picked out unmarked from a free-kick.

Gillingham made Bradford pay, taking the lead with 72 minutes gone. Dickenson had the corner and Hanson headed the ball into his own net.

The Gills almost lost the lead in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Jackson lost the ball and a cross was headed in at goal by Hanson but Nelson made a terrific one-handed save.

Bradford: Williams, Darby, Sheehan, Liddle, Hanson, Knott, Morris (Davies 68mins), Routis (Anderson 34mins), McArdle, McMahon, James (Marshall 75mins). Subs not used: Jones, Meredith, Clarke, Leigh.

Gillingham: Nelson, Jackson, Dickenson, Egan, Oshilaja, Houghton, Hessenthaler, Wright, Dack, Donnelly, Norris (Williamson 82mins). Subs not used: G Morris, Garmston, Ehmer, McGlashan, Oldaker, List.

Attendance: 17,496 (187 away)

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