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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Bradford City 0 - Wednesday 0

Valley Parade, Bradford

30/08/11 - 7.45pm

Attendance: 3,519

Bradford 0-0 Wednesday (3-1 pens)

AN UNDERSTRENGTH Wednesday side bowed out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at the first round stage after suffering a penalty shoot-out defeat against League Two side Bradford City at Valley Parade.

The competition is way down on Wednesday's list of priorities this season - and it showed with Gary Megson's team selection, and the decision to make three substitions early in the first half to get around competition rules.

Rules state clubs are required to select at least six players from their last league outing. Wednesday did, but then swiftly made three substitutions, and with a smirk from Megson on the Owls bench - we knew, that they knew exactly what they were doing.

Wednesday, even with the high number of changes, had the better of the first half and could have found themselves ahead had Clinton Morrison made more of a good chance, but the Bantams, watched by new boss Phil Parkinson, improved on the resumption and will have felt they deserved to progress on the chances they created.

Megson saw the competition as the ideal opportunity to blood some of the club's youngsters, giving a debut to 16-year-old defender Ayo Obileye, who played in the now infamous 14-0 thrashing at Alfreton Town in a pre-season friendly.

Fringe players such as Mark Reynolds, Mark Beevers, James O'Connor, Danny Uchechi also got the nod. And it took just two minutes for Megson to make his first change, taking off Nicky Weaver, the Owls goalkeeper, to be replaced by Richard O'Donnell.

There was a slow pace in the opening exchanges with neither side threatening an attempt on goal. Bantams hitman Mark Stewart thought he was in on goal but Reynolds got back to divert the danger behind for a corner.

But if anything, the visitors actually improved after Megson made two more changes, introducing Cecil Nyoni and Giles Coke in place of David Prutton and Jose Semedo respectively.

The changes resulted in the Owls having more of the ball, with Bradford struggling to get out of their own half for long spells. But for Wednesday's pressure, they didn't create too many chances. Morrison did have two half chances but they were comfortably dealt with by the Bantams defence.

Wednesday's best chance of the half came when Morrison took advantage of some sloppy City defending but saw his effort brilliantly saved by Oscar Jansson, the Bradford goalkeeper.

Parkinson's side struggled at the other end but did have a good opportunity of their own on the stroke of half-time James Hanson headed wide when he should have done better.

Half-Time: Bradford 0-0 Wednesday

The Bantams, who collected their first win of the season at the weekend, carried their momentum into the second half and made a bright start when Jack Compton nipped in to take advantage of a poor back-pass by Oboleye only to see O'Donnell make a fine save.

The Bantams were enjoying the best of the early exchanges of the second half, with Wednesday's only real chance coming from a long-range James O'Connor strike.

At the other end, where most of the second-half action was taking place, the hosts thought they'd broke the deadlock when Luke Oliver headed towards goal but Nyoni cleared his effort off the line.

If anyone was going to win it looked like it was going to be Bradford, and O'Donnell again came to the Owls' rescue when he made a top-drawer save to deny a stinging Ritchie Jones strike seven minutes from time.

It went to spot-kicks, and both Morrison and Liam Palmer missed their efforts to give the Bantams the advantage. City scored all their spot-kicks, and a miss from Chris Sedgwick meant the hosts progressed to the second round.

Full-Time: Bradford 0-0 Wednesday (3-1 pens)

Bradford: Jansson, Flynn, Branston, Oliver, Stewart (Hannah 62), Jones, Hanson, Compton (O'Brien 85), Mitchell (Bryan 72), Moore, Threlfall. Unused substitutes: McLaughlin, Hunt.

Owls: Weaver (O'Donnell 2), Palmer, Obileye, Beevers, Reynolds, Semedo (Coke 18), Prutton (Nyoni 18), Sedgwick, O'Connor, Morrison, Uchechi. Unused substitutes: Lines, Madine.

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The Journalist

Writer: Nick Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 30 2011

Time: 10:24PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
sorry but Uchechi needs his bags packing n sending back,ow $hit is he.
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30/08/2011 22:33:00

Ah well, can't say I'm that bothered TBH.... not gonna lose any sleep. The Npower league and I suppose the FA cup (sponsered by Eon) are the only priorities IMHO...... As for the new signings, we'll just have to wait and see how they get on in the mighty blue and white stripes. The jury is out me thinks as I guess no one is blown away by their stature. Fingers crossed as MM/GM have made some good acquisitions so far and still have 24hrs to go..... exciting!!!!
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30/08/2011 22:43:00

Yeh Uchie did look a bit pants but give him time. You never know he might turn out to be the next...... ok who am I tryin to kid?
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30/08/2011 22:46:00

A few positives came out the game tonight. IMO ROD, Beevers, Nyoni, Palmer and EVEN Reynolds had decent games and all with youth on their side. We didn't look bothered from the off really so didn't expect any thing else. And with the suspect substitutions, well GM made his thoughts clear.
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30/08/2011 22:56:00

Agreed Owlsmad, some decent performances in effectively a reserve team. Thought Palmer looked good at RB and showed how talented and versatile he is. Obileye made a couple of mistakes, but at 16, he's got loads of time to learn and he could turn out to be a gem. Reynolds gets forward so much too from LB, maybe that's part of the problem as it leaves a gap at the back.
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30/08/2011 23:06:00

I didn't see tonight's game but from what I heard we were dreadful. I think megson taking players off that early on is unprofessional and disrespectful to the opposition. Sounds a complete joke to be honest. I am not a fan of this competition but least pretend or make it look like we interested. Don't forget pay money to watch and travel to the game megson. I fear we have the wrong man in charge of us. So negative and I don't think under him we will want to achieve what we want. Lowe is a decent signing at league 1 need lua lua and heard Nile ranger on loan too. I heard utachi had dreadful game he can go along with Dan jones Morrison JOC. Anyway let's see what happens.
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31/08/2011 01:09:00

It really looks weird at first glance to make 3 subs in the first 18 minutes, doesn't it. But it's obvious why it was done and the answer is 100% focus and dedication to the league. We must get promoted at any cost and anything else is been seen as a distraction.
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31/08/2011 05:15:00


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