The Medley Moment

The days have past since the blast of Luke Medley’s left foot that change the course of City’s 2-1 win over Wrexham – probably more when all is told – and allowed Stuart McCall to taste victory at Valley Parade as a manager for the first time but the taste in the air is just as sweet.

Medley has been talking about his first kick – nice to have your first kick be one of the best goals at Valley Parade in years – and McCall has been speaking of relief now the pressure of hunting the first win is over and everyone else has fallen into line, rightly so. Like the first springs of love if you can not enjoy an eighteen year old lashing in a debut goal with his first kick then you can not enjoy anything.

Medley’s goal came from an impressive pass down the left flank by Kyle Nix whose contribution to the first win of the season can not be under-estimated. Pulled from Sheffield United by McCall Nix lost the headlines but did much to convince of his worth coming in on the left flank and getting to grips with the lack of width at Valley Parade to use the ball well pushing inside to the hardworking midfield of Eddie Johnson and Paul Evans. Evans was once again Imperious. The best player in League Two wears Bradford City’s number four shirt.

Nix’s ready supply of creative movement balanced out Eddie Johnson’s hard working but ultimately unprobing midfield work that is a worry. Johnson’s graft deserved a reward and as Nix tried to beat one too many bodies on the edge of the Wrexham box at the start of a second half that followed the Bantams best of the first twenty then even run of the last forty-five Johnson snapped onto the lose ball and hit hard and definitely into the lower left hand corner of the keeper’s goal. Johnson – like Andrew Cooke before him – had his goals celebrated for the obvious effort he puts in. Any player who works that hard deserves a reward.

Conversely what is to be said of Omar Daley the most enjoyable dribbler one could hope to see but often found wanting when pointing in the opposite direction. McCall obviously wants Daley’s attacking flair and more often than not – although not always – Daley does enough coming back to merit his inclusion but rather unfortunately for all when the winger is required to track back he is rather ineffectual in his efforts. Exhibit A is the noodle limbed wafted at a ball crossed by former Bantam Michael Proctor to another Neil Roberts who headed an equaliser. There is a call to be made on Daley and one suspects that McCall might accept his deficiencies at the back for his forward play and – for once – I’m not sure that is entirely the wrong idea should Daley maintain a level of effort.

Defensively City worried over Darren Williams – who will miss four weeks injured after falling in the first half – but a shorn Simon Ainge looks to be made of the right stuff for the step up and impressed at right back. The back five look anything but uncrackable and one hopes that long term unification could bring more solidity. Perhaps one is worrying over nothing, Donovan Ricketts was rarely troubled.

McCall will be troubled by the ratio of chances to goals – Barry Conlon works very hard but never looks like finding the goal – but will hope that the likes of Medley can make do until a rhythm is found and his team looks on the brink comes of age.