Mark Hughes hails Richie Smallwood strike as Bradford see off 10-man Newport



Posted Sunday, August 14, 2022 by PA

Mark Hughes hails Richie Smallwood strike as Bradford see off 10-man Newport

Bradford boss Mark Hughes said captain Richie Smallwood’s impressive opening goal set the tone for his side’s 2-0 victory over 10-man Newport at Valley Parade.

Captain Smallwood blasted in from 25 yards after just six minutes to put Bradford on their way to a first league win of the season.

Harry Chapman added the second after the Exiles had been reduced to 10 men following a red card for defender Declan Drysdale on the stroke of half-time, but it was Smallwood’s effort which Hughes felt was key.

Hughes said: “It was a great strike from Richie and set us in the right vein of thought.

“We showed good patience against a team who were a challenge for us. I think Newport will be strong this year on that showing.

“They kept two men up and were still a threat so we had to make sure we were honest in the way we approached the game. We couldn’t take any chances or be risky because they were quite prepared to go on the front foot.

“That was the difference in the situation we found against Doncaster in our first home game and today.

“We had that cushion of the opening goal which meant Newport had to come out. Thankfully we were able to get the second and see the game out quite comfortably.

“Second half we could have created more chances given we had one more player to the good. That’s something we can work on.”

Newport suffered a double injury blow in the first half with Aaron Wildig and Robbie Willmott both forced off complaining of muscle tightness.

Drysdale was then sent off in stoppage time at the end of the half, tripping Andy Cook after the Bradford striker had stolen the ball away from him outside the penalty area.

Newport manager James Rowberry said: “I am saying the same things every week.

“I am disappointed because they had three shots on target and we conceded two goals, I am disappointed with the injuries we suffered and I am disappointed with the sending off.

“I keep saying it – and I am going to get criticism for it – but we have got to be better in certain moments in the game when one-v-one defending.

“For the first goal nobody got up to the ball quick enough to stop it, it’s a great strike but we’ve got to affect Smallwood to put more pressure on, and for the second one he got through three players and we have to stop that ball going in the back of our net.

“We’ve got a lot to learn but I am convinced things will fall into place sooner rather than later.

“We are good enough to come to here and get a result – we have had just as many shots on goal as them and that is with 10 men.”

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