Bradford City 1
Carbonari og 66
Half-time: 0-0 Attendance: 31,035
BRADFORD'S Premiership adventure is unlikely to stumble over three points more generously donated than these as Derby, thrashed 5-0 by Sunderland last week, slipped to another home defeat. Paul Jewell's team, winning for the first time since the opening day of the season, spent almost the entire match on the back foot, with their goalkeeper, Gary Walsh, pulling off a sequence of vital saves, but the only goal in which Derby could score was their own.
The culprit was Horacio Carbonari, who turned Jim Smith's face purple 24 minutes from the end. Attempting to make what appeared to be a routine clearance from Gunnar Halle's unthreatening free-kick, the Argentinian centre-back made a complete hash, sending a looping header over Russell Hoult and into his own net.
Smith had already endured an afternoon of sheer frustration as Derby controlled the match but squandered opportunity after opportunity to make their dominance count. Bradford scarcely generated a chance but so philanthropic were the home side that even when their opponents were reduced to 10 men midway through the first half, they evened up the numbers with a red card of their own five minutes later.
Andy Myers was the Bradford player dismissed. Already cautioned for crashing into the midfielder Rory Delap, he then scythed down Vas Borbokis after the Greek winger had wriggled past him just outside the penalty area.
But before Jewell had worked out a strategy for 10 against 11, Derby were one short as well after Esteban Fuertes lashed out petulantly at David Wetherall. Fuertes felt he had been fouled by the former Leeds defender, who appeared then to make a provocative comment in the centre- forward's ear. But there was no excuse for the elbow in the neck that followed, especially with the referee standing only a few yards away.
Derby had produced some smooth football, showing little sign of any hangover after the mauling suffered at the hands of Sunderland. But although shots from Francesco Baiano, Delap and Borbokis kept Walsh on his toes, the home side were up against a hard-working defence.
More of the same followed in the second half. Delap, however, failed to connect with a Dean Sturridge cross in front of an open goal and other promising moves foundered as Derby forwards repeatedly misunderstood one another's intentions. When the home side did get a sight of goal they found Walsh in splendid form. Four times he was Bradford's lifeline, saving from Sturridge, Baiano and Tony Dorigo before keeping out Carbonari's header, in the right direction this time, in the last minute.
Jewell was almost embarrassed to accept the accolades as Bradford sprang from the bottom three. "Defensively we were magnificent," he said, "but I'll admit we need to create more chances of our own."