The simple

Bill Shankley said that Football was a simple game – made complicated by fools – and so in that spirit we shall, dear reader, keep this short and simple.

City lost to Lincoln City 2-0 after missing a penalty which would have turned and excess of possession into the goal advantage required to win the game. Michael Flynn saw Rob Burch save his spot kick but impressively Flynn – who had a great game at the hub of things for City – did not let his head drop.

Heads though were lost when the Bantams were paggering into the visiting team and got caught on a break with Simon Ramsden being penalised. The Referee was so sure that Ramsden’s last man foul was a penalty that he gave him a, well, a yellow card.

It was that sort of refereeing all night long. Spineliness, gutless, worthless and of a sort to create a terriable game of football.

The penalty went in and heads were lost with Steve Williams erring and a second goal going in. Gareth Evans could have got one back but Burch – a keeper Stuart McCall wanted to sign but was outbid for – saved well twice and City completed a fourth game without a goal.

One thousand and one solutions then for the problems City are facing and one will be taken which guarantees perhaps only that the vast majority of people will be left unhappy.

Unhappiness being the order of the day – to each his own grumble – but until that penalty went and and as that penalty was saved City did not do a lot wrong.

Scant consolation as the most simple thing – Shankley may say – is that unless you score more goals than the opposition you will not win games.

Tonight was simple: they scored theirs, we didn’t. From that the complications begin.

Huddersfield Town vs Bradford City – League Cup First Round 2008/2009 preview

Having won on the first day of the season Bradford City go into the first local derby in sixteen months with tails high and a wound to heal.

The last visit to City’s least favourite rivals at the end of the 2006/2007 was one of the low lights not only of that season but of the fall from the Premiership which we hope to have now turned around as Huddersfield recorded a simple 2-0 win against a lifeless City side under David Wetherall’s management.

A season and a bit later and investment and management sees City looking upwards for the first time and Stuart McCall getting an early chance to measure himself against a team from a higher division,

McCall faces a Huddersfield side managed by a former assistant boss from Valley Parade whom he played under – Stan Ternant – who thanked goalkeeper Matt Glennon for a last minute save that stopped the lead they had taken through Andy Booth from being turned around to defeat in the 1-1 draw with Stockport at the weekend.

As with McCall’s City Ternant has stacked experience in his side with the likes of David Unsworth, Chris Lucketti and Luke Beckett – almost a Bantam joining Booth and Danny Cadamarteri who was a Bantam and a really wretched one at that. Added to that are a selection of youngsters who have come through Town’s set up and one could expect that as a higher league team they may be tempted to give some squad players a run out.

Former Town boss Bill Shankley said that were Everton playing in the back garden he would close the curtains but knew that winning the Merseyside derby gave his Liverpool team important bragging rights and such factors may change the teams put out.

McCall is expected to give the majority of the side that started at the weekend in the win over Notts County but may be tempted to give Michael Boulding a first start over Peter Thorne who suffered cramp after his two goal haul. Either that or Willy Topp will be given a chance to emulate his hero Edinho – well, my hero – and score at Town’s ground. Barry Conlon is likely to retain his place.

Chris Brandon is missing for a return to the club he has just left and Joe Colbeck misses the final game of his suspension leaving Omar Daley free try continue his impressive start. Kyle Nix on the left with Paul McLaren and Lee Bullock in the middle although McLaren’s tender ankle may give Luke Sharry a start.

Paul Heckingbottom, Graeme Lee and Matthew Clarke make up three of the back four the other is right back Paul Arnison who splits opinion for reasons that pass my understanding. Playing behind Omar Daley is a hard enough job for any full back with the winger far too often allowing a man to go past and double up on the full back. Not only did Arnison’s direction keep Daley closer than any full back has previously managed but he got forward and supported Daley to boot.

Add to that his assist on the first goal and one wonders just what a full back has to do at Valley Parade be considered to have performed. Stephen Wright, Gunnar Halle, Gus Ulhenbeek, Darren Holloway and Darren Williams have all been been pillared at points yet Simon Francis and Nathan Doyle were loved. Similarly Heckingbottom is criticised for things that Andrew Taylor and Luke O’Brien are not. It would seem that the forgiveble players – loanees and young lads – play as full backs do and are excused and full time seniors are never forgiven should a single winger go past them.

Rhys Evans keeps goal and Stuart McCall bites his nails on the touchline. This is a chance for the Bantams to notch a scalp on what we are hoping is the way back, to win bragging rights and to build the morale that can keep the league performance ticking over.

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