Wiltshire Publications

Boxing Day KO

Boxing Day. Thurs. 26th Dec. Toolstation Premier Bradford Town 2 – 1 Westbury United

Westbury made the short trip to league leaders Bradford Town for the traditional Boxing Day derby and produced a match that had everything. 

The match kicked off at 1pm which was perfect time for a break in the weather as it had rained most of the morning and apart from a shower just after halftime, the weather was dry so that the 252 supporters could enjoy the festive fixture. 

Westbury started fast and pounced on a loose pass from the kickoff. Sammy Jordan broke clear but a heavy touch as he entered the box gave the goalkeeper the opportunity to smother the ball, the inevitable coming together was punished with a yellow card to Sammy by an overzealous referee. Bradford took the lead on 24 minutes, a soft freekick was given against Stradling. As he cleared the ball from the edge of the Westbury area he came together with the Bradford player who was closing him down to block the clearance, the resultant freekick was struck hard and low, too hard for Baldy to hold, Maddison reacted first and smashed the ball home. Hulbert was a constant thorn in the side for the Bradford defence. There was a moment in the first half when Worton, in the Bradford goal, pushed Hulbert in the chest, as the referee was consulting his assistant and the players were returning to their positions. The Bradford captain pushed his head toward Hulbert’s head, which was seen by everyone on the side of the other assistant, apart from the assistant himself, as he decided not to inform the referee. 

Pinder was lively in centre midfield and found himself with space to shoot on the 36th minute but couldn’t find the target. Westbury were very close to drawing level just before the break when a deflected ball evaded Worton who was outside of his area. Hulbert raced to keep the ball in just to the right of the goal, Worton recovered to make sure Hulbert couldn’t capitalise and slid to put the ball (and Hulbert) out for a corner. Bradford led 1-0 at halftime.

Bradford striker Higdon must’ve been told to shoot on sight as he came out for the second half, he had a couple of early chances, one of them hit the bar. On 75 minutes Stead lost the ball in midfield, he chased back to recover but his challenge was mistimed and poor, so all he managed to do was earn himself a caution. Demkiv came on for Jamie Jordan and was immediately clattered by Whitcombe on the halfway line, then minutes later he was brought down in the box and Westbury were awarded the penalty. Henley stepped up and fired the ball home to make the score 1-1. 

Westbury were level for less than 5 minutes. Henley was backed up towards the Westbury penalty area and as the attacker cut inside, he dived in to bring him down for a free kick on the edge of the area. The Bradford free kick was pretty similar to their first goal, however this time it was Lyons who pounced on the loose ball to finish and make it 2-1. As the game went into extra time Lyons came through the back of Stead to take him down in the midfield, Stead’s reaction was poor, he jumped up and pushed his head onto Lyons’ head right in front of the referee, a straight red card was issued.

The full time score was 2-1, Westbury played well but a couple of decent free kicks that couldn’t be cleared ended up with Bradford taking all three points and extending there lead at the top of the table.

Star man – Dan Jordan, excellent in open play constantly winning headers against a striker who was twice his height. Team: Baldy, Henley, Bole, D. Jordan (C), Jones, Stead, Stradling, Pinder, J. Jordan, R. Hulbert, S. Jordan. Subs: Demkiv, Wilkins (used), Kirkpatrick, S.Hulbert, Porter (unused).