Bradford boss Bowyer inspired by England’s win in Rugby World Cup quarter-final

Posted Sunday, October 20, 2019 by PA

Bradford boss Bowyer inspired by England’s win in Rugby World Cup quarter-final

Bradford manager Gary Bowyer asked his players to take his inspiration from England’s win over Australia in the Rugby Union World Cup quarter final to help them beat Crawley 2-1 at Valley Parade and move into second place in League Two.

It was Bradford’s third win in a row and extended their unbeaten run to five matches.

Bradford were rewarded for a lively start by taking an 18th minute lead when Harry Pritchard scored with a low left foot shot from Zeli Ismail’s right wing cross.

Midfield player Danny Devine increased their lead in the 49th minute with his first goal for the club, four minutes after coming on as half time substitute for the injured Pritchard, his left foot shot from just outside the penalty area, taking a deflection as it flew into the net.

They nearly scored a third in the 64th minute when on loan striker Aramide Oteh saw his goal bound effort saved.

Crawley took charge after that and deservedly pulled a goal back in the 81st minute when Reece Grego-Cox scored with a shot from just outside the penalty area and caused some anxious moments for the home defence as the pressed for an equaliser in the closing stages.

Bowyer said: “You can never turn up and expect to win – it doesn’t happen – and the mentality of our lads in last couple of games has been fantastic. I thought we were fabulous in our defending in the last 20 minutes.

“I watched the Rugby Union this morning and took inspiration from the way England defended their line in the last 20 minutes. We spoke about the importance of desire and how England made tackle after tackle.”

Bowyer’s injury problems are mounting up. He revealed that experienced striker Clayton Donaldson had an operation on Friday after suffering a toe injury in the 2-1 win at Morecambe the previous week and will be out of action for two months and he was also missing winger Dylan Connolly to add to Bradford’s long term injuries.

“When you look at the list of injuries we have this was a massive squad effort today and just show the value of our recruitment in the summer,” He said

“It was a great save to deny Oteh. It was a big moment in the game because at 3-0 it would have been game over.”

Crawley manager Gabriele Cioffi said: “They were plenty of positives despite our defeat and we were unlucky not to draw the game, but when a top team playing against an underdog is killing the game it makes it difficult. I thought we should have had at least a point.

“Bradford put us under a lot of pressure in the first 20 minutes and scored after we made a mistake. We were unlucky to concede a second goal which took a deflection, but after that it was all us.”


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