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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

1-2
01 December 2020 Venue The Utilita Energy Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Preview: Bradford City

1 December 2020

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Following Saturday's triumph in the FA Cup second round it's a return to League Two action on Tuesday evening and a trip north to Bradford City (kick-off: 7pm).

Michael Duff will be hoping his players can get right back to producing winning performances in the bread and butter of the league with the Bantams set to provide another stern test.

As we enter the final month of 2020 the Utilita Energy Stadium is the destination in West Yorkshire for the Robins.

You can watch the game in full by purchasing a match pass on iFollow.

Team news

Conor Thomas is likely to miss the match through injury, while Sean Long also misses out as he makes progress on his return from a hip injury.

Check out Michael Duff's pre-match press conference previewing the match.

Opposition

Bradford have failed to register a win in their last three league outings and will be keen to return to winning ways soon as they currently sit 20th in the division.

They were in FA Cup second round action on Saturday in an all-League Two tie with Oldham Athletic, though they bowed out of the competition with a 2-1 loss.

Their squad boasts some highly experienced Football League players, starting at the back with goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell, who has been with the Bantams since 2018 having previously spent time at Bristol City, Walsall and Rotherham United among others earlier on in his career.

The Bradford defensive set-up includes Limerick born Paudie O'Connor, ex-Aberdeen man Anthony O'Connor and Ben Richards-Everton who scored for them against Cheltenham last season at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium. They can also select youngsters Tyler French and Finn Cousin-Dawson if required.

In midfield Callum Cooke, Dylan Mottley-Henry, Zeli Ismail are possible picks alongside the leadership provided by former Portsmouth man Gareth Evans.

Up top 36-year-old Clayton Donaldson is another leading light in their set-up. Fellow front man Lee Novak though may not feature having recently been carrying an injury.

They may otherwise turn to the experienced Billy Clarke, while Austin Samuels is an option on loan from Premier League Wolves.

The manager: Stuart McCall

Bradford showed their faith in manager Stuart McCall by rewarding him with a contract extension recently.

The 40-time Scotland international is now in his third permanent spell as manager of the Bantams after being appointed in February.

It's a club he knows well having started his playing days there in the 1980s, going onto play over 400 times in the Football League for them.

His playing days as a midfielder also took him to Everton, Rangers and Sheffield United.

Other spells he's had as a manager include in Scotland with Motherwell, Scunthorpe United and as a caretaker at Rangers.

One to watch: Billy Clarke

Irishman Billy Clarke has been on the books at Bradford since the summer after re-joining following time at Grimsby Town at the end of last season.

The 32-year-old forward has four goals to his name for the Bantams so far this season in what is his third permanent spell.

After being born in Cork, Ireland, he moved to England to start his career with Ipswich before eventually moving onto Crawley, a first spell at Bradford, Charlton Athletic, Plymouth Argyle and then Grimsby last season.

The ex-Republic of Ireland under-21 international has also played in Scotland having had a loan stint at Falkirk earlier on in his career when he represented the Bairns in the SPL.

Watch the match live on iFollow

Purchase a match pass online and watch Tuesday's encounter in full on iFollow.

A match pass is on sale for £10 for the game and you can enjoy the whole 90 minutes from the comfort of your own home.

Coverage

Stay in touch with events at the Utilita Energy Stadium by following the club's social media channels. Follow @CTFCofficial on Twitter for team news, updates and photos from the game. You can also keep an eye on goal updates on our Facebook page and Instagram account.

After the game visit the club website to read a match report and to get reaction from the manager and a player.

Extended highlights will be available to watch on the club's iFollow channel.

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Match Reports

Report & highlights: Bradford City 2-1 Robins

1 December 2020

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Cheltenham Town produced another fine performance on the road to come from behind and take all the points at struggling Bradford City.

They didn't have it all their own way and initially struggled to impose themselves in the opening exchanges, counting themselves slightly fortunate to go into the break on terms through Alfie May with his second goal of the season.

Clayton Donaldson – as he did in this fixture back in February – had opened the scoring midway through the first half but the diminutive striker cancelled it out on the stroke of half-time with a deflected effort.

The turning point arrived at the interval when Ellis Chapman made way for Chris Clements, who handed his side the initiative and popped up with his first goal for almost two years to secure victory at the Utility Energy Stadium.

They could, and perhaps should have won by a more convincing margin having hit the post and saw one cleared off the line, but the performance pleased boss Michael Duff who praised his players for their resilience.

"To come away to a big club in this league, after 130 minutes against Crewe at the weekend was a tough ask, especially after they went in front," he said.

"But we were looking for a dogged and resilient performance so I'm really pleased with how the players reacted.

"We had to dig in deep at the end there but we should have been out of sight by then, so to come away to a place like this and win is fantastic."

His side sit second after victory tonight, just one point off the summit after league leaders Newport County were pegged back in the closing stages at Forest Green Rovers.

Duff made three changes from the side that won after extra time at the weekend with Josh Griffiths (for Scott Flinders), Will Boyle (Lewis Freestone) and Ellis Chapman (Chris Clements) coming into the starting eleven.

Azaz was handed the role behind the front two of Alfie May and George Lloyd with Sercombe dropping back alongside Ellis Chapman, while the Bantams deployed a 4-3-3 shape from the off.

There was an early let-off for the Robins when Ben Richards-Everton wasted the game's first chance, seizing the loose ball in the area to smash one into the side netting as early as the 11th minute.

George Lloyd almost caught out Richard O'Donnell with 18 minutes on the clock with a cross-come-shot from 20 yards, but the effort dropped inches over the bar.

Donaldson though opened his side's account after 23 minutes, heading home Callum Cooke's swinging delivery from the left. It was a sloppy goal from a Cheltenham perspective but Duff's side responded positively and struck the woodwork when Liam Sercombe saw his effort from 16 yards cannon back off the bar.

May got his side back on terms on the stroke of half-time with a fine individual goal, cutting inside from the left and shooting from the edge of the box. It picked up a slight deflection on its way through, dropping over O'Donnell to square the game at the break.

Chapman made way for Clements at the start of the second half and the move handed the Robins the initiative with Bradford forced into long periods of defending.

Azaz had two early chances but he shanked the pair, while Lloyd had an effort deflected after a sweeping move down the right. Boyle then headed one into the side netting as his side began to find their rhythm.

At the other end Bryce Hosannah had a fantastic chance to restore his side's lead, racing onto a threaded ball by Elliot Watt but his dinked effort rolled inches wide of the left upright. It amounted to the only meaningful chance the hosts had in the second period.

Stuart McCall's side were indebted to a sensational last ditch intervention by Richards-Everton after Chris Hussey had laid up chance for May from 10 yards, but the forward's firmly struck rising effort was glanced away by the brave defender.

But Cheltenham deservedly took the lead 14 minutes from time through Clements, meeting a typically menacing Ben Tozer throw from the right with a stooping header to notch his first goal since Boxing Day on 2018.

The win sets up a mouth watering encounter at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium this coming Saturday against third placed Exeter City, an occasion that marks the return of supporters for the first time since March.

BRADFORD CITY (4-3-3): O'Donnell (c), A O'Connor, O'Connor, Richards-Everton, Wood; Scales, Watt, Cooke; Hosannah (French 64), Donaldson, Mottley-Henry (Samuels 82). Subs not used: Hornby, Longridge, Pritchard, Cousin-Dawson, Sikora.

CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Griffiths; Raglan, Tozer (c), Boyle; Blair, Sercombe, Azaz (Sang 79), Chapman (Clements 46), Hussey; Lloyd, May (Williams 79). Subs not used: Flinders (Gk), Bowry, Reid, Freestone.

REFEREE: A Stockbridge.

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