Bradford City v Southend United

February 16, 2016 by Alec Hitchman

Back to Winning Ways? – Bradford City v Southend United

Southend United make the long trip to Yorkshire on Tuesday night, looking to get back to winning ways after Saturday’s disappointing defeat at Scunthorpe.

Last time out for Bradford, they produced an excellent performance to beat Peterborough 4-0, at The ABAX Stadium (Peterborough’s ground). Whilst for Southend, we slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat away at Scunthorpe. Paddy Madden scored the only goal for The Iron.

The two sides have only played each other 33 times in total. The first meeting was back in 1958, when both sides played out a 1-1 draw. We haven’t actually played Bradford yet this season as we were due to play them back in December, but the game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Due to this, the most recent meeting was in 2013, when we drew 2-2 at Valley Parade (Bradford’s stadium). That game was Phil Brown’s first match as Southend manager. Gavin Tomlin & Britt Assombalonga scored the goals for Southend that day.

Southend currently (and to an extent, luckily) still sit in 7th place, three points behind Millwall and only two points ahead of Sheffield United. Bradford currently in 11th place, 3 points behind Southend.

Overall Meetings

Bradford Wins: 13
Southend Wins: 9
Draws: 11

Who are Bradford City?

Full Name: Bradford City Association Football Club
Founded: 1903
Nickname: The Bantams, The Paraders, The Citizens
Ground: Valley Parade (Capacity: 25,136)
Manager: Phil Parkinson
2014-15 Season: League One, 7th

Most Recent Line-Ups

Bradford (v Peterborough): Williams, Darby, Burke, McArdle, Meredith, McMahon, Cullen, Evans, Reid (GOAL 56’ – Replaced by Marshall 84’), Hanson (GOALS 45’, 68’ – Replaced by Proctor 91’), Thomas (Davies 72’ – GOAL 77’)
Southend (v Scunthorpe): Bentley, O’Neill, Bolger, Barrett, Thompson, Hendrie, Atkinson, McQueen (Loza 51’), Kamara (Wordsworth 51’), Payne, Barnett (Hunt 59’)

Last Time We Met – Friday 29th March 2013 – Bradford 2-2 Southend

Bradford: McLaughlin, Darby (Wells 81’), Meredith, Davies, McArdle, Ravenhill (Atkinson 73’), Reid, Thompson, Jones, Hanson (GOAL 83’), Hines ( GOAL 53’ – Replaced by Connell 73’)
Southend: Smith, Clohessy, Straker, Cresswell, Prosser, Reeves (Lund 46’), Mohsni (Eastwood 87’), Mkandawire, Hurst, Assombalonga (GOAL 10’ – Replaced by Corr 90’), Tomlin (GOAL 11’)

Bradford’s Last 6 Results

Peterborough United (A) – W 0-4
Burton Albion (A) – L 3-1
Fleetwood Town (H) – W 2-1
Barnsley FC (H) – L 0-1
Port Vale (A) – D 1-1
Bury (H) – D 0-0 – Bury win 4-2 on penalties (FA Cup 3rd Round)

What Could Happen?

A win for Blues on Tuesday would put them level on points with Millwall, who play Scunthorpe tonight. Should they (Millwall) get anything from the game, Blues can’t go above them. Defeat for Blues would see Sheffield United go above them, if they (Sheffield United) beat Bury.

A win for Bradford could put them up to 7th, a jump of four places. Although this would depend on the Sheffield United result.

Latest Blues News

After Saturday’s disappointing result, you would be forgiven for thinking Blues boss Phil Brown will make changes to the starting line-up.

Ben Coker is back in contention having made the trip to Scunthorpe at the weekend. He has been out for 5 weeks due to injury, although West Ham loanee Stephen Hendrie (Coker’s replacement) will be pushing to keep his place in the side.

In midfield, Ryan Leonard remains sidelined and will be for the next 9 weeks. Michael Timlin will be pushing for a start as will Anthony Wordsworth and Gary Deegan.

Up front, Tyrone Barnett went off with an injury on Saturday at Scunthorpe so Noel Hunt is likely to start in his place.

The Opposition Thoughts

For each preview, I attempt to get the views of an opposition supporter. This week, we have NINE, yes, NINE fans, all from the Bradford Forum...

“Bob Fossil”

1. What is your name and how long have you supported Bradford?
Bob fossil, since the early 90's

2. What are your views on how the season has gone for you so far?
Bad, ok, and back to bad again

3. Who has been your most impressive player and why?
Rory McArdle / Reece burke, our best two players are our centre backs, we don't attack well so defence is the natural place to look for our best player

4. Which result have you been most pleased with so far and why?
The 1-0 loss at home to Barnsley, and the 0-0 with Coventry at home, because they were the most watchable games of football we've played this year

5. What are your views on Southend United?
I neither like nor dislike you,

6. Are there any teams in League One who have surprised you?
Burton are quite good, as are Walsall

7. Links – What do you think of former Bradford (and current Southend) midfielder Will Atkinson and AFC Bournemouth defender (also ex-Bradford & Southend) Simon Francis?
I tend not to think of either of these players on a regular basis

8. Where do you expect both Bradford and Southend to finish this season?
4th-8th probably for both of us

9. What advise would you give to those Southend fans travelling to the game? (I.e. the area round the ground, pubs, etc)
I'm sorry but your stand is awful, don't expect a beer in the ground drink before hand.

10. Which Bradford players should Southend fans look out for?
honestly... none of them

11. Score Prediction for the game
Bradford 0-1 Southend

“A Prelate”

1. What is your name and how long have you supported Bradford?
A. Prelate, first game an abject 3-2 defeat to Wimbledon in 2003, addicted ever since.

2. What are your views on how the season has gone for you so far?
The season so far has been frustrating. Despite some injuries to key players beforehand, a good run in the autumn has sputtered out and we have been hovering just below the play-off places for too long. Also the football has been a bit agricultural - fine when you're winning but not when that stops.

3. Who has been your most impressive player and why?
We always get what we want as fans from no-nonsense centre half Rory McArdle who plays with a bit of passion. But for me the revelation has been Hammers loanee Reece Burke who is technically gifted and cool-headed. He'll go on to bigger things next season.

4. Which result have you been most pleased with so far and why?
A jammy 2-1 win over Port Vale with the winner coming off new signing Devante Cole's backside in the last minute. We had an appalling August and that game was the catalyst for a better run

5. What are your views on Southend United?
My only experience was unfortunately a negative one with some racist barracking of our Jamaican goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts a few years back. It didn't endear the team to me....

6. Are there any teams in League One who have surprised you?
Burton, obviously, and also Walsall. But this league is more open than it has been for years

7. Links – What do you think of former Bradford (and current Southend) midfielder Will Atkinson and AFC Bournemouth defender (also ex-Bradford & Southend) Simon Francis?
I'll always remember Will Atkinson fondly for his part in some of our fantastic cup runs of recent years. I don't remember Francis quite so well but he was always well regarded at VP

8. Where do you expect both Bradford and Southend to finish this season?
Both teams are capable of play-off finishes. But right now we're a bit pessimistic that we are going to lapse into mid-table obscurity. Though given the post-Premiership years, there are some seasons that that would have been a lovely pipe dream.

9. What advise would you give to those Southend fans travelling to the game? (I.e. the area round the ground, pubs, etc)
The ground is about 10 minutes walk from Forster Square station. The pubs on North Parade are, depending who you listen to, real ale heaven or rip-off joints selling expensive lager. I am of the former opinion. You cannot come to Bradford and fail to have a curry

10. Which Bradford players should Southend fans look out for?
The aforementioned Burke and if playing, Mark Marshall, our pacy winger. Fans bored by the game can instead count the number of times your central defenders can illegally haul back towering centre forward James Hanson without punishment from the referee - the record is 1,234 in a single game

11. Score Prediction for the game
1-1, with ours coming from a deflected own goal in injury time

“Pidge”

1. What is your name and how long have you supported Bradford?
My name is Pidge and I have supported City for about 20 years, since the tender age of 8-9.

2. What are your views on how the season has gone for you so far?
Meh. It started badly, then got a bit better, now it's going badly again.

3. Who has been your most impressive player and why?
Reece Burke. Solid defender we were badly missing at the beginning of the season.

4. Which result have you been most pleased with so far and why?
Rochdale away. It started the better run and was a win against a decent team.

5. What are your views on Southend United?
I don't really have any strong ones - sorry!

6. Are there any teams in League One who have surprised you?
I didn't expect Burton or Walsall to do so well, and I thought Swindon would be higher than they are.

7. Links – What do you think of former Bradford (and current Southend) midfielder Will Atkinson and AFC Bournemouth defender (also ex-Bradford & Southend) Simon Francis?
I never really appreciated Atkinson while he was here, unfortunately, but he will always be remembered as part of the History Makers squad.
Simon Francis was a good defender given his young age when he played for us, so pleased to see him doing well.

8. Where do you expect both Bradford and Southend to finish this season?
Both will probably just miss out on playoffs.

9. What advice would you give to those Southend fans travelling to the game? (I.e. the area round the ground, pubs, etc)
I'd suggest North Parade for your pre-match watering hole.

10. Which Bradford players should Southend fans look out for?
Depends what day it is. Reid might tear you apart, or he might put a cross into the box that misses everyone and goes into Row Z of the Kop, Hanson might score or he might miss a handful of sitters. Knott might have a few nice runs into the box or he might go missing. You get the idea.

11. Score Prediction for the game
Heart says 2-0, Head says 0-1

“Allotment Bantam”

1. What is your name and how long have you supported Bradford?
On here (the forum) I am known as Allotment Bantam. I've had a season ticket every year since mid 1990's.

2. What are your views on how the season has gone for you so far?
The start was disrupted by the failed takeover bid pre season. This delayed recruitment and in August the team hardly knew each other. We had a good patch of form in the middle but since Christmas its been a bit of a struggle. The terrible weather has meant postponements (which you will know all about) and has been disruptive. Forwards not scoring has become an issue.

3. Who has been your most impressive player and why?
Reece Burke on loan from West Ham. A superb centre half. I am sure he will have a long career at top level. Of our own players, Rory McArdle has been really impressive alongside him at centre half. Our back line is a good one.

4. Which result have you been most pleased with so far and why?
Our win at Scunthorpe away, narrowly beating our win away at Rochdale. Good flowing football that played the other team off the park. Wondering where those performances have been lately.

5. What are your views on Southend United?
Interesting game for our family. I am originally from Essex and my brother lives in Westcliff. Two of my nephews are football mad, and although their parents are Ipswich and West Ham fans, they occasionally go to see Southend as their affordable live football treat. So we will want to win this one for bragging rights.

6. Are there any teams in League One who have surprised you?
Burton and Gillingham have done better than I would have expected.

7. Links – What do you think of former Bradford (and current Southend) midfielder Will Atkinson and AFC Bournemouth defender (also ex-Bradford & Southend) Simon Francis?
Atkinson will always be remembered as a member of our fantastic team that got us to Wembley twice in 2013. You could see the potential in Francis as a youngster when he played for us. Financial problems forced us to sell him. I am glad he is doing so well at Bournemouth.

8. Where do you expect both Bradford and Southend to finish this season?
Either of us could just make the play off with a good run. I am always an optimist, so I hope we get there. I think you will be mid table.

9. What advise would you give to those Southend fans travelling to the game? (I.e. the area round the ground, pubs, etc)
We go straight from home to games, but North Parade seems to be popular. The Beehive on Westgate is a good pub, and you can also order a take away from the Sheesh Mahal next door if you don't want to sit in the restaurant itself.

10. Which Bradford players should Southend fans look out for?
Reece Burke. Hanson is always a handful for opposition defenders and works his socks off. We will be looking out for our new loan signing Josh Cullen also from West Ham, attacking midfielder.

11. Score Prediction for the game
Optimistically as ever, 2-0

Paul

1. What is your name and how long have you supported Bradford?
Paul - since 1986/87

2. What are your views on how the season has gone for you so far?
Inconsistent - but we've been hit by injuries to key players (particularly wingers Morais and Anderson).

3. Who has been your most impressive player and why?
Reece Burke. Young centre half on loan from West Ham, looks to have a bright future.

4. Which result have you been most pleased with so far and why?
Winning 4-0 away at Peterborough, particularly as we had never won at London Road before that.

5. What are your views on Southend United?
Always thought of you as being a solid lower league side.

6. Are there any teams in League One who have surprised you?
Burton Albion.

7. Links – What do you think of former Bradford (and current Southend) midfielder Will Atkinson and AFC Bournemouth defender (also ex-Bradford & Southend) Simon Francis?
Will played an important part in our promotion season and it was a surprise that Parkinson didn't keep him.
Francis was clearly a better than average player and it's no surprise to see his career has flourished. A great find by our scouts years ago, discovered playing for Nottingham University I think.

8. Where do you expect both Bradford and Southend to finish this season?
City 8th, Southend 9th.

9. What advice would you give to those Southend fans travelling to the game? (I.e. the area round the ground, pubs, etc)
Good pubs on North Parade.
Keep valuables out of sight in your car and park in a well lit area!

10. Which Bradford players should Southend fans look out for?
James Hanson, Lee Evans, Reece Burke.

11. Score Prediction for the game
Think Bradford will sneak a narrow 2-1 or 1-0 victory.

Tawheed

1. What is your name and how long have you supported Bradford?
Tawheed and about 7 years

2. What are your views on how the season has gone for you so far?
Boring and frustrating for the most part but after the Peterborough result there's reasons to be optimistic

3. Who has been your most impressive player and why?
Rory McArdle, old fashioned centre half and with Reece Burke he's formed an excellent partnership.

4. Which result have you been most pleased with so far and why?
Yesterday’s (Saturday’s) result against Peterborough. The most pleasing aspect of it is that we showed we can score goals which we've lacking all season. It seems like the new players have made the difference.

5. What are your views on Southend United?
Don't have any

6. Are there any teams in League One who have surprised you?
Burton.

7. Links – What do you think of former Bradford (and current Southend) midfielder Will Atkinson and AFC Bournemouth defender (also ex-Bradford & Southend) Simon Francis?
Atkinson struggled initially when we had him but proved a lot of people wrong in our promotion season. He wasn't spectacular but he played his part. Most City fans will remember him fondly I'm sure.

8. Where do you expect both Bradford and Southend to finish this season?
Think we'll finish 7th, Southend-10th

9. What advice would you give to those Southend fans travelling to the game? (I.e. the area round the ground, pubs, etc)
EDIT - N/A – Initial answer was inappropriate.

10. Which Bradford players should Southend fans look out for?
Burke, McArdle , Evans and Hanson

11. Score Prediction for the game
2-0 to us.

Tony

1. What is your name and how long have you supported Bradford?
Tony, since 70's

2. What are your views on how the season has gone for you so far?
Inconsistent, really good or very poor on the eye.

3. Who has been your most impressive player and why?
Rory McArdle, having the best season, a rock at the back.
Loans
Reese Burke, a talent for the future, way above L1 level, his partnership with RM has saved or gained us many points this season.

4. Which result have you been most pleased with so far and why?
Yesterday's 4-0 has to be one of the better ones.

5. What are your views on Southend United?
Always punch above their weight. Place reminds me of Aldershot but with Water

6. Are there any teams in League One who have surprised you?
Burton and Gillingham

7. Links – What do you think of former Bradford (and current Southend) midfielder Will Atkinson and AFC Bournemouth defender (also ex-Bradford & Southend) Simon Francis?
Francis was a journey man in the making and has turned his career around.

8. Where do you expect both Bradford and Southend to finish this season?
Play offs or just about
You lot (Southend).... no idea..

9. What advice would you give to those Southend fans travelling to the game? (I.e. the area round the ground, pubs, etc)
Plan your route and get parked up early, don't leave scarves in cars or some idiot will scratch it.

10. Which Bradford players should Southend fans look out for?
Do your own homework...

11. Score Prediction for the game
If the real City turn up 2-0... if not anything could happen.

Warren

1. What is your name and how long have you supported Bradford?
Warren Hobhead. Since '87 (I think).

2. What are your views on how the season has gone for you so far?
Turgid. We're playing some desperately poor stuff and are, somehow, still in with a shot at the play-offs.

3. Who has been your most impressive player and why?
Young West Ham loanee Reece Burke. It's a piece of p!ss this professional football lark.

4. Which result have you been most pleased with so far and why?
Yesterday's. (Saturday’s) I didn't give us a prayer and we end up whooping Posh (Peterborough) 4-0.

5. What are your views on Southend United?
Ricky Otto - that's all that comes to mind when I think of Southend.

6. Are there any teams in League One who have surprised you?
Burton for doing well and Sheff Utd for not doing as well as I expected.

7. Links – What do you think of former Bradford (and current Southend) midfielder Will Atkinson and AFC Bournemouth defender (also ex-Bradford & Southend) Simon Francis?
I seem to be in the minority in thinking that Will Atkinson was bad. Francis, on the other hand, was a majestic player for us - what a find! I realise he's playing in the Premier League but I always thought he'd go further; right to one of the top teams. Great player.

8. Where do you expect both Bradford and Southend to finish this season?
Us 8th. You below that.

9. What advise would you give to those Southend fans travelling to the game? (I.e. the area round the ground, pubs, etc)
I'd avoid the Barrack Tavern on Lumb Lane.

10. Which Bradford players should Southend fans look out for?
Reid. You'll get a face full of his crossing if you're not paying attention.

11. Score Prediction for the game
2-1 Bradford.

Steve

1. What is your name and how long have you supported Bradford?
Steve. I'm a native of Grays. Came to university in Bradford in 1980 when I was 24. Intermittent attendee at Valley Parade through the 80s; regular since mid 90s.

2. What are your views on how the season has gone for you so far?
Started terribly - late recruiting and injuries meant that Parky (Bradford manager Phil Parkinson) got stuck in an over-defensive rut to grind out results. Somehow we are still on the fringes of playoff possibility despite never getting out of second gear.

3. Who has been your most impressive player and why?
Reece Burke - future international CB in the making. Rory McArdle - commanding CB who just gets better and better.

4. Which result have you been most pleased with so far and why?
Yesterday's (Saturday’s) 4-0 at Peterborough - by a country mile.

5. What are your views on Southend United?
My southern team is West Ham but, as an Essex boy I always want Southend to do well, unless it's at the Bantams' expense.

6. Are there any teams in League One who have surprised you?
Burton and Gillingham. I thought Sheffield United would do better.

7. Links – What do you think of former Bradford (and current Southend) midfielder Will Atkinson and AFC Bournemouth defender (also ex-Bradford & Southend) Simon Francis?
I thought Simon Francis was a real prospect - a cracking attacking fullback. I was gutted when we had to let him leave for financial reasons.
Will A was a bit of an enigma. He excellent control and good vision but drifted out off games too often. But he was a valuable part of our History Makers squad so he'll always be remembered for that here at VP (Valley Parade).

8. Where do you expect both Bradford and Southend to finish this season?
Our remaining fixtures aren't too bad so I hope we can sneak into 6th place, but we might just fall short. No idea about you as we haven't played you yet.

9. What advise would you give to those Southend fans travelling to the game? (I.e. the area round the ground, pubs, etc)
Decent beer on North Parade. Proper curries everywhere you look.

10. Which Bradford players should Southend fans look out for?
Burke & McArdle. Hanson will be a handful whether or not he is scoring, but his brace yesterday will have given him confidence. Reid can tear you apart on his day (eg yesterday).

11. Score Prediction for the game
2-0


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