Football: Wetherall's timely boost for Bradford

Bradford City 2

Saunders 56

Wetherall 71

Newcastle United 0

Half-time: 0-0 Attendance: 18,286

DAVID WETHERALL had the last laugh and could have been excused for making it a hearty "ho, ho, ho" as Bradford came back from a torrid first half to claim a potentially invaluable victory.

City are still just one place above the bottom three, but closed the gap on several of the sides immediately above them, including Newcastle, with a performance full of the resilience that is becoming their Premiership trademark.

Battered and buffeted throughout the first half, they somehow kept the game scoreless before hitting their wasteful visitors with two strikes in the second. The first was a classic sucker punch on the break. With United pressing forward, Andy O'Brien hit a hopeful long ball out of defence and Newcastle hesitated as the ever-willing Lee Mills chased it and pulled it back from the by-line. There was Dean Saunders in familiar territory on the edge of the six-yard box and, unlikely as it seemed, Bradford were in the lead.

Newcastle were also caught cold for the second. A free-kick from Lee Sharpe seemed to present no particular danger, but Wetherall rose at the far post to do what Newcastle had failed to do and head past the goalkeeper. It was a remarkable transformation for the former Leeds defender, who in the first half had been given the type of roasting by Duncan Ferguson that central defenders dread.

Ferguson won everything in the air, including hitting the bar and laying on a variety of opportunities for Alan Shearer and Kevin Gallacher.

Matthew Clarke also had to save well from Nolberto Solano's swerving free-kick and from an incisive run on goal from the Portuguese defender Helder. Even when those failed to go in, however, it seemed only a matter of time before Bradford, who had hardly an opening to call their own, cracked and conceded at least one.

"We were a lot tighter in the second half," Bradford's manager, Paul Jewell, said. "In the first half, our midfield and our strikers weren't playing together and we never looked like scoring But it was a good second half performance and a very, very big win for us. If we finish above Newcastle this year, we'll be going on our holidays; I don't consider them serious contenders for the bottom three."

Newcastle's Bobby Robson was wary of accepting that compliment: "It's nice of him to say that, but he can say that after he's beaten us 2-0 and we can't be complacent about it.

"I wouldn't say we dominated the first half, but we were well in control, we had more of the ball, more of the play and all the chances. Had we taken one of those chances, I think the result would have gone our way."

Even after Bradford's second, Ferguson had three chances to score - unfortunately they all came to him on the ground and he missed all three by increasingly extravagant margins.

"We could have been playing to Easter and not scored," Robson said. "It was one of those days when whatever we hit wasn't going to go in."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world