Football: Gascoigne giveaway

Bradford City 1 Mills 60 Middlesbrough 1 Ricard 13 Half-time: 0-1 Attendance: 17,708

A GOAL apiece was a modest return from a match in which both sides created an abundance of chances, but the points they earned through Lee Mills' second-half equaliser was the least City deserved for another battling display.

On the day that the first round of Premiership matches was repeated, Bradford could at least look back through the sleet to the sunlit optimism of the opening afternoon of the season and their morale-boosting victory over Boro.

There had been only two further wins to cheer since then and the scorer of the winning goal at the Riverside, Dean Saunders, was only a substitute for the return game.

Middlesbrough, on the slide themselves recently, opted, in the absence of the injured Paul Ince, for a midfield including both Juninho and the increasingly peripheral Paul Gascoigne.

That midfield's defensive capabilities were soon tested by City, who could have been a goal up after a couple of minutes. Mark Schwarzer's punch fell for Stuart McCall, whose shot was goal-bound until Brian Deane's head intervened.

Deane was soon in action at the other end, meeting a smart cross from Phil Stamp in a manner that had the Middlesbrough fans a hundred yards away hailing a goal. His header, though, was into the side netting.

Two minutes later, they could celebrate in earnest. Juninho's pass caught Jamie Lawrence unawares and the overlapping Christian Ziege whipped in a low cross, dispatched on the far post by Boro's leading scorer, Hamilton Ricard.

A game that was settling down into a contest between two distinctly dodgy defences almost produced an equaliser after 16 minutes, Dean Windass stretching to connect with Andy Myers' centre and steering it on to the post.

The ball sent in from wide positions continued to threaten goals at every turn and Schwarzer had to make a wonderful reflex save to deny Mills from Robbie Blake's cross.

The Middlesbrough goalkeeper also had to save instinctively from Peter Beagrie as yet another ball into the box caused consternation. The miracle was that the game reached half-time without another goal to punish either fallible defence.

The second half, with the pitch becoming more difficult and gloves a popular fashion accessory, took longer to warm up, although Deane volleyed past the post when well placed.

On the hour, Bradford finally got the equaliser they deserved on the balance of play. Gascoigne's back header from a throw-in fell invitingly for Mills, who controlled the ball and put it past Schwarzer with Boro appealing in vain for hand ball.

It was fair reward for the example set by old stagers like Beagrie and McCall, who drove Bradford in search of a winner. If either side had the momentum to take all the points, it was they, but the nearest they came was when Mills had a header blocked and Boro could have snatched it but for Matt Clarke's save from Neil Maddison.

Sport
footballHe started just four months ago
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
(L-R) Amanda Peet as Tina Morris, Melanie Lynskey as Michelle Pierson, Abby Ryder Fortson as Sophie Pierson, Mark Duplass as Brett Pierson and Steve Zissis as Alex Pappas in Togetherness
TV First US networks like HBO shook up drama - now it's comedy's turn
News
i100
Travel
Pool with a view: the mMarina Bay Sands in Singapore
travel From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect