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Tranmere Rovers pick up the points at Bradford
5:50pm Sunday 13th October 2013 in Sport
RYAN Lowe earned Tranmere Rovers their first League One win since the end of August after a spirited performance against Bradford City this afternoon.
The striker profited from a Jake Kirby flick-off and tucked home the winner at The Coral Windows stadium.
His third goal of the season, it earned Rovers their first points since early September and lifted Ronnie Moore's squad to 21st place on the table.
The manager had made one change to the side that lost against Swindon last week, with Jake Kirby replacing Akpo Sodje for his first ever league start. Ian Goodison captained the side on his 400th appearances in a Rovers shirt.
The game started at quite a pace, with the visitors threatening first when Ash Taylor’s header was kept out by Jon McLaughln.
In the opening ten minutes Moore's side looked solid, Ryan Lowe shot wide on 11 minutes following come good work down the right by Kirby.
However, Bradford came even closer moments later, James Hanson’s improvised cross wasn’t dealt with and Stephen Darby volleyed over the crossbar.
The set pieces kept coming for the visitors; Tom Hateley was next to try his luck, when Max Power's free kick landed to him on the edge of the box, but the midfielder blazed over.
With Valley Parade already full of atmosphere, tempers over boiled mid-way through the first half, Bradford felt Goodison, whilst shepherding the ball out of play, raised an elbow to Reid.
Phil Parkinson immediately confronted the Rovers skipper, and that sparked a mass brawl right in front of the dugouts.
When the referee dealt with the situation he showed Goodison a yellow card, much to the disapproval of the majority inside the stadium.
Playing the pantomime villain on his milestone day, Goodison was then fouled by Hanson, who joined the defender in the book.
Four minutes before the break Tranmere had a golden chance to go ahead, Liam Ridehalgh’s cross was met by the head of Chris Atkinson, but his effort was clawed to safety by McLaughlin.
In first half stoppage time Jim McNulty’s free kick had to be turned away to safety by McLaughlin.
Hateley’s deflected drive, which was held by the City goalkeeper was the last action of the half, as Rovers went in satisfied with the opening 45 minutes.
Straight after the interval Tranmere were inches from taking the lead, Ryan Lowe knocked down to Power, whose sweetly strike effort whistle narrowly wide of the mark.
Kirby was next to come close, the winger cut in onto his left foot and fired off target.
A goal saving tackle kept the scores level on 57 minutes, with Goodison sliding in to deny Garry Thompson. Hanson then headed wide from the resulting corner.
Reid then was next to threaten for the hosts, he ploughed forward, received the advantage from the referee, after Hateley caught him, before firing over Fon Williams’ goal.
The Welsh stopper, who returned from international duty to play, then did well to cut out Reid’s dangerous looking cross.
Reid was beginning to really influence the game, and the winger tested Fon Williams again soon after, but the stopper held his low drive.
On 68 Reid tried his luck yet again, this time his effort flew wide of the mark.
With the next attack Rovers took the lead and stunned Valley Parade.
Fon Williams was the next goalkeeper in action however, and he pulled off a stunning one-handed save to keep out substitute Caleb Folan’s header.
At the death it looked like the Bantams would level, but Fon Williams made himself big and blocked Gary Jones’ goal-bound header.
That save proved crucial, as Rovers were to deny Bradford, and hold on for all three points.
Tranmere's League One continues at Prenton Park, against Leyton Orient, on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.