It was to the sound of Depeche Mode’s “I Just Can’t Get Enough”, sung with a decidedly West Yorkshire twang, that James Hanson volleyed the ball, with his supposedly weaker right foot, from 25 yards high into the corner of the Leyton Orient net.
Ten minutes later, he rose to meet a dipping cross and glanced it into the opposite corner. With three quarters of the game to go, Orient had already had more than enough.
The BBC, it has been noted in Bradford and elsewhere, evidently can get enough of Bradford City, having opted to broadcast neither their 4-2 demolition of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, nor the next giant-killing that was to come at the weekend against Sunderland.
And now, the Beeb having spurned the chance to show their quarter-final tie with Reading, BT Sport, sensing a good publicity opportunity will broadcast it free. “It’s on BT Sport is it?” said one fan, Ian Moon, outside the ground before kick-off. “That’s nice. How do you get that then?”
“You just watch it on the computer, dad,” his 14-year-old son started to explain before dad interrupted.
“It doesn’t matter, does it? We’ll be at the game. If we’ve come to Brisbane Road on a Wednesday night, we’ll hardly be missing that.”
Does he mind the so-called snub? “Oh no. If the rest of the country want to watch Louis Long Ball United then that’s up to them.”
The players aren’t playing nor the fans singing like their team has been snubbed – that predictable term with which the BBC’s scheduling decisions have been labelled.
Tonight they sprayed and stroked the ball about with all the confidence of a side that are one little home game against Reading away from another trip to Wembley in the space of two years.
The noise from the away supporters in the northern half of the east stand filled the half-full ground from start to finish. There should have been more goals in the second half too. Many more.
Of the 4,500 fans present, 644 had made the 207-mile journey to one of London’s less glamorous footballing corners. Wembley, they already know, is a little bit nearer.
The passes, for the most part, are long ones either for the strikers to run on to, or for them to nod back to a powerful midfield.
Jon Stead, hero of both the Stamford Bridge and Sunderland ties, was given the night off. But Hanson was a more than adequate deputy.
Fortunes turn on the tiniest things down at football’s more authentic end. But for the fickle vagaries and cruel fortune of a summer Wembley shoot-out, Orient wouldn’t even be in League One, the division in which they currently find themselves second from bottom, the players booed from the pitch at both half-time and full-time.
The only time the home crowd made themselves heard was to tell Fabio Liverani – their fourth manager of the season – he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and that he’s getting sacked in the morning.
Bradford on the other hand, on this showing, will be making Reading very nervous indeed. Should the eminently possible happen, the BBC will have one semi-final, BT Sport the other, and there could be yet further snubbing to be done. On this showing, either broadcaster should be happy to get a bit of Bradford. You just can’t get enough.
BT Sport will not charge viewers to watch Bradford’s FA Cup sixth-round tie against Reading. It can be seen on BT Sport 1, the website and via Sky.
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