By Ayyaz Malik
Bradford bounced back from the disappointing defeat by Rochdale on the weekend, with an emphatic win FA Cup win over Championship side Millwall, who were reduced to ten men.
With a chance to meet Chelsea in the next round in what will surely be a money spinning tie, little motivation was needed you would have thought to win this one.
The home side Bradford who lost their 10 match unbeaten run over the weekend against play off rivals Rochdale, came into this match looking to avenge that defeat, Ben Williams starts in goal after Jordan Pickford’s red card at the weekend. Billy Knott who has been in good form for the Bantams of late also starts.
As for the visitors Millwall who lost to fellow strugglers Blackpool over the weekend, They would have been looking of the FA Cup as a way of escaping their disappointing league form. The South Londoners had Scott McDonald who set up two of the three goals in the first tie, on the bench – but his strike partner of the first tie, Ricardo Fuller starts.
With a glamour tie against Chelsea at stake it was the home side Bradford who came out of the blocks quicker. Millwall’s Mark Beevers received an early red card for preventing a clear goal scoring opportunity as the last man. If The Lions’ task wasn’t already difficult, playing against a noisy home crowd, the red card made it even more difficult.
After the dismissal of Beevers, Bradford took to the lead through a corner almost immediately. James Hanson was the man to open the scoring in the seventh minute, in what would turn out to be a goal fest for the home side . Millwall who were a goal down and a man down were poor throughout the contest, and it was of little surprise that John Stead grabbed Bradford’s second.
Two goals down and the game seeming out of Millwall’s reach lead to emotions boiling over, Millwall skipper Andy Dunne’s foul lead to a melee which lead Bradford manager Phil Parkinson being sent to the stands.
The dismissal of their manager made little difference to Bradford as the Championship side again struggled to deal with a set piece, and Stead was on hand to tuck the ball home to put Bradford firmly in control after 17 minutes.
Millwall never looked likely to get back into this one and it was of little surprise when the third goal came for the home side after 38 minutes. Andy Halliday was the man this time to benefit from yet more woeful Millwall defending.
The visitors 3-0 down and a man down would have been desperate for half time, when halftime did eventually come – to Millwall’s relief their was no further damage done to the scoreline. Millwall were still just as poor after the break and Billy Knott capped the win by adding a fourth for the Bantams. The only surprise in this game that there wasn’t more goals to the home side. The poor performance by Millwall, lead their chairmen after the game to say that all tickets will be refunded.
A very impressive victory for Bradford who now face Premier League giants Chelsea in the fourth round. The Bantams were brilliant as much as Millwall were poor – but Bradford have nothing to lose and a lot to gain as surely a good pay day awaits.