THE START of a new football season always brings a sense of excitement and optimism amongst supporters and that was no different for Sky Blues fan Matthew Roper who made the long trip up north to Bradford for the opening game of the season…
“Although Valley Parade seems to be a bogey ground for us (we haven’t won there since 1959), I was confident we could break that trend and beat The Bantams after what I thought was a promising pre-season.
“After attending all of the friendlies in England, I was impressed by the new signings and some of the young lads, which gave me reason to arrive at the stadium with a sense of optimism.
“The away end was packed again with a 1500 strong Sky Blue Army, many of whom would be intrigued to see the new signings in action for the first time, with seven of the starting line-up making their competitive debuts.
“The early signs were positive as City looked comfortable in possession and assertive on the ball.
“The match did look rather even though with City shading the possession stats, but the home side always looked a threat going forward, especially with the presence of target man James Hanson up top, who pestered our defence all game.
“With 27 minutes on the clock we were silenced as a simple cross in to the box was met by Hanson who headed into the corner to make it 1-0 to Bradford.
“The silence was however broken on 40 minutes as two of our new boys combined with great effect to claw us back level. Reda Johnson proved his aerial threat by getting on the end of Danny Pugh’s cross to send us in to delirium.
“Five minutes in to the second half, our goal scorer Johnson conceded what looked to be a soft penalty after tussling with Hanson as a cross came in. Alan Sheehan converted the spot kick to spark the home celebrations and to again dampen the mood in our end.
“The game then continued to be close and competitive as we pushed for an equaliser and with ten minutes to go Pressley threw on Reda Johnson up front to add another dimension.
“This move proved dividends as he won everything in the air, creating chances for the team before scoring himself in the 89th minute.
“The emotion went from jubilation to desolation as just 50 seconds later, another Hanson bullet header was converted to kill the game.
“The drama wasn’t over either, as John Fleck was denied a last gasp penalty by referee Mike Dean after certain contact. Fleck then received a caution for the apparent dive to add insult to injury.
“A gutting way to lose the game but plenty of positives to take. PUSB”