Date: 28th December 2008 at 11:40pm
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Rhys Evans – 8

third clean sheet in a row from Rhys and a performance that oozed confidence. His distribution was good as there now seems to be an understanding developing between the back four and their goalkeeper in distributing it short. But, more than anything, Rhys gets an 8 for a fantastic point blank save that he had no right to make with the score at 1-0 to the Bantams.

Paul Arnison – 7

olid game from Arny (and therefore a big improvement from the Chester game). Ignoring the minutes of madness against Brentford his return to the side has coincided with a very solid backline. The Bantams have had 8 clean sheets, Arnison has played in 6 of them. I don’t know whether there’s a link or not but for the moment he’s an important part of a solid defence.

Graeme Lee – 7

mpressive performance from Spike, winning everything and making important challenges too. He also seems to have discovered the joys of passing to his right!

Matt Clarke – 7

f the two centre backs he was arguably the more impressive as he won just about every header he was asked to as well as making some crunching tackles.

Luke O’Brien – 8

eeps on impressing in the problem left back position. People might see his long balls as constantly handing possession back to the opposition but often it is our best attacking outlet and the accuracy and range of his passing is very impressive. Had a very good attacking game in getting forward but also a solid defensive one winning headers and making tackles against a tricky opponent. Gets an extra point for more than matching the bullying of Rene Howe who clearly thought he could walk all over the 19 year old.

Paul McLaren – 7

real poachers goal in that he found himself in the right place at the right time (very Frank Lampardesque) and an assured performance in the midfield (when he had the ball at his feet) where he was working well alongside Dean Furman and Nicky Law

Dean Furman – 7

ssured return to the side from the South African. A little more error prone than before his injury (no doubt due to some rustiness) but a committed and skilful contribution before his withdrawal for Kyle Nix.

Nicky Law – 8

n absolute beauty of a goal from the loanee to cap an outstanding performance in the middle of the park. Full of running, full of tackling and full of passing that spurred the Bantams on, particularly after we had gone 2-0 up (although that was in itself a speck in the ointment)

Steve Jones – 7

retty quiet game from Jonesy and gets a 7 by dint of the fact that we won 4-0 and he forced the penalty. Would have liked to see a bit more composure and commitment from the loanee as he looked a little too happy to duck out of the challenge.

Michael Boulding – 7

ithdrawn after 67 minutes after he’d given the Bantams a two goal cushion with his tenth of the season. Full of attacking and defensive intent as he seemed to cover pretty much the whole pitch in support of his team mates.

Barry Conlon – 8

ould well have been given a 5 for patches of his performance but as the match progressed he redeemed himself. Got the better of his lardass defender (how those two Morecambe players are professional athletes I don’t know) and provided a beautiful through ball for Michael Boulding to ease the pressure on a harried Bradford City and, of course, scored from the spot for his 8th of the season.

Subs

mar Daley (on 67)

espite having 23 minutes to impress Omar didn’t really bring anything to the table. Looked a little disinterested if truth be told and not like the Omar of early season. Had a few runs but too often they ended up with him losing possession or wasting the effort instead of being a bit more intelligent with the ball at his feet.

Kyle Nix

idn’t really have long enough to make an impact.

The Manager

tuart McCall

‘m not really sure that Stuart can take much credit for the outcome of today’s game. His side were not really deserving of a 4-0 scoreline and the fact that this was how things ended up wasn’t really down to tactical masterstrokes or managerial brilliance as the Morecambe fans must be feeling pretty aggrieved. Still, he and we, will take three points and four goals that keep us 3rd in the table. Hopefully he’ll ensure that his players know that there is absolutely no room for complacency against an impressive Shrewsbury next Saturday. They’re unlikely to be quite as wasteful as today’s visitors.

The Opposition

orecambe played very well for large patches of this game and they had the lion’s share of possession in this game playing delightful passing, flowing football that really did deserve not only goals but points too. Danny Carlton and Rene Howe were lively but fortunately for Bradford City clear cut chances were at a premium and those there were were wasted or well defended.

I still can’t believe how weighty Danny Adams and Jim Bentley are though!