Bradford City fans went into yesterday’s Yorkshire Derby against Barnsley full of optimism, full of hope and were expecting to see a combative display against one of the sides heavily tipped to finish in and around the top-two in the division this season.

Unfortunately, Bradford City succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of their Yorkshire rivals, but the vast majority of fans of the West-Yorkshire club were complimentary of the Tykes – rather than bitter in defeat.

There seemed to be somewhat of an acceptance that Barnsley were in-fact, a much better team and the quality of the South Yorkshire clubs XI was somewhat to be expected. This is given the fact that the clubs strikeforce cost the Tykes a combined £1,315,000 – as opposed to the Bantams, who recently brought in Eoin Doyle for a disclosed fee that most people expect would be a tiny fraction of the Tykes’ strikeforce.

Of course, there was quality all over the pitch for Barnsley, with the likes of Brad Potts, Alex Mowat, and Mamadou Thiam all being of clear quality – and all being worth well over £1,500,000 between them all.

Money doesn’t necessarily mean success, but the vast majority of the Barnsley side who comfortably beat the Bantams yesterday had already enjoyed a season together in the Championship with each other, whilst the Bantams fielded nine home-debutants, showing that the gulf in class may have been somewhat marred by a lack of familiarity between the players rocking the Claret and Black shirt on the pitch. It does help though when Barnsley had the luxury of bringing on midfielder George Moncur off the bench, who cost the club £500k – and it showed, with the midfielder running the Bantams ragged.

Bradford City fans had some cause to be optimistic about what they saw on the pitch, and the majority of fans were complimentary about the clubs new signings, being impressed with the displays of several of the club’s new signings:

Match Ratings

Bradford City

1 Richard O’Donnell – made some smart saves and enjoyed an excellent debut, despite conceding twice. His distribution was somewhat questionable at times, but nonetheless, seems a solid replacement for the outgoing Colin Doyle. 7

2 Joe Riley – the ex-Manchester United under-23’s defender was composed, but unexceptional on his Valley Parade debut. Once the wing-back gets used to the pace of League One football, he could be a savvy signing for the West-Yorkshire club. 6

15 Kelvin Mellor – the centre-half made his first appearance at Valley Parade in a Bradford City shirt and showed glimpses of promise, but will need time to settle into the 3-5-2 formation, Michael Collins wants to impose. 6

6 Anthony O’Connor – the ex-Aberdeen defender was excellent and made some vital interceptions at the back. He looked comfortable on the ball, and once his partnering centre-halves settle into the Bantams backline, he could be highly influential. 8

22 Nathaniel Knight-Percival – one of two survivors in the starting-XI from last seasons squad, the centre-half endured a torrid afternoon and was made to look less than capable by Barnsley’s attackers. 4

3 Adam Chicksen – looked bright and was full of energy, but ultimately failed to inspire or create anything special. Will grow into the team as the season progresses. 5

21 Hope Akpan – the defensive midfielder oozed Championship quality at points and looked combative and assured in the middle of the park. Got back well and also looked to kickstart attacks, an exciting summer signing. 7

44 Josh Wright – was somewhat of a passenger during the game and often looked overawed at the occasion of Captaining the Bantams in front of 19,000 fans. He has promise and should look more comfortable next game. 5

7 Sean Scannell – tried to take defenders on and be positive but ultimately found no rewards against a solid Barnsley back-line. He’ll be an excellent addition to the Bantams squad over the course of this season. 5

10 Jack Payne – created space for his teammates, remained positive and tried to prise open holes in a Barnsley side that were well-disciplined and well-drilled. Clearly has an intelligent footballing brain and is well above and beyond League One in capability. 7

9 Eoin Doyle – was somewhat limited by the fact that the club continuously sprayed long-balls at him, to which he had little joy. Was energetic, tried to get shots off and worked hard. If the Bantams play to his strengths, he’ll have a great season. 5

Substitutes

  • Sherwin Seedorf – ran a lot, took on defenders and worked hard. 6
  • Tyrell Robinson – was energetic, attempted to move the Bantams up the pitch. Solid enough. 6
  • George Miller – didn’t get much time to make an impact, and failed to do so with the chances he had. 6

Barnsley

1 Adam Davies – composed, competent and calm in the Barnsley net. Wasn’t worked often but kept his defence well organized and is a commanding presence. 7

12 Dimitri Kévin Cavaré – had a relatively comfortable game, looked at ease and coped well with the threat of Sean Scannell. Never felt troubled by the Bantams. 7

5. Ethan Pinnock – won almost everything in the air, was unmoveable at the back and was keen to start up attacks. Excellent game. 8

6. Liam Lindsay – you could almost copy and past what was said about Pinnock and put it here. 8

23 Daniel Pinillos – worked up and down the left-hand side for the Reds and also ensured that the Bantams failed to make much of an impact down the right-hand-side. 7

26 Mamadou Thiam – strong, quick and a handful for Adam Chicksen at left-back. Scored two goals last weekend and had chances to break down the Bantams to score another yesterday. 7

27 Alex Mowatt – excellent and dominant in midfield. Ensured that the Reds attacks were kickstarted from the middle of the park and looked strong and exciting on the ball. Now has the bragging rights over his housemate, the Bantams Jack Payne. 8

4 Kenneth Dougall – the clubs summer signing was strong, broke everything up when the Bradford attacked and ensured that the Bantams couldn’t get the game going. 8

20 Brad Potts – again, absolutely excellent and enjoyed a fantastic afternoon, at the expense of Bradford City. Worked hard, got back, got forward and made a nuisance of himself. 8

19 Kieffer Moore – Bradford City fans can only wish the club had spent a fortune to bring the forward to Valley Parade. Strong, commanding and as ever a real presence in the air. Had an excellent afternoon and was unlucky not to walk away with a goal before he came off midway through the second half. 8

9 Tom Bradshaw – absolutely excellent. Hard-working, ran at the Bantams, really tried to cause problems and most importantly got the goal he deserved. Worked really hard all afternoon. 9

Substitutes

  • 29 Victor Adebayojo – was absolutely immense and got a well-deserved goal. If he had a full game, he’d be a nine out of ten. 8
  • 10 George Moncur – *copy and pastes Adebayojo’s description* – he worked to make the clubs second goal. and it was mightily impressive as well. 8
  • 11 Lloyd Isgrove – came on for the last few minutes to kill the game off. 6

A Tribute

Before the game kicked-off, the club also paid its respects to the clubs Dr. Vince Cavaliere, who sadly lost his life back in July.

Dr. Vince Cavaliere worked at Bradford City for 25 years and was a well-respected member of the club and passed away at the age of just 58.

Both clubs impeccably observed a minutes applause for Dr. Vince Cavaliere before the match, which was a true testament to a wonderful individual who gave so much for Bradford City and many others during his life.

He will be sorely missed and we send the family our deepest condolences at this difficult time.

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Journalist for @FBL72. Mainly cover Bradford City and various other clubs based in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

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