Date: 31st January 2009 at 11:06pm
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You know the score, but how did they play?

Rhys Evans – 7
Kept a clean sheet, distributed the ball OK and made the saves he needed to.

Zesh Rehman – 7
Part of a solid back line performance and showed enough to suggest that he could be a great addition to the Bradford City defence. I think I’d rather him in the middle but solidly at right back.

Graeme Lee – 8
Winning all the headers, keeping everything calm and solid at the back. Fantastic Captain’s performance.

Matt Clarke – 7
He was alright but a typically random performance from a player who somehow has seen Mark Bower forced out of the club.

Luke O’Brien – 7
Had a difficult afternoon but still came out of the match with credit for a solid performance. As the rest of the defence, he didn’t pull up any trees but he’s consistently consistent. Pulled up a bit late on as it looked like a heavy challenge left him feeling a little the worse for wear but hopefully he’ll still be fit for Monday evening.

Omar Daley – 6
Made a number of menacing runs but too often cut inside and wasted possession by slowing things down rather than making a pass or ballooing a shot over the bar.

Nicky Law – 9
Capped a phenomenal performance of forward running and linking midfield with attack by scoring the first goal. Finally broke the frustrations of many with his strike that was full of composure. Plays brilliantly on the left wing, the right wing and in the middle. To be honest I find it hard to believe he is his father’s son…

Dean Furman – 9
Battled magnificently for possession and distributed it well. Full of running, full of commitment and you would have thought that he had been born in the Bradford End and grown up in Claret & Amber rather than in Africa with the way he fought so hard for the cause.

Steve Jones – 1
Can we please stop the charade of pretending that he’s worth getting onto the football pitch? He scored (hence his single point) but it took him until all the other Grimsby players were in our half for him to make an impact. This is clearly his strategy – operate at 1/3 of his pace and capacity for 85 minutes so at the end he can do something worthwhile that means he gets picked. I don’t think I was alone at being amazed that he came out for the second half. We gave Burnley Robbie Blake and Andy Gray, they gave us him instead. Send him back to Lancashire please Stuart.

Peter Thorne – 6
Good to have him up top but he didn’t get much of a sniff at goal. Too many balls pumped up to him in the belief he was Barry Conlon and not enough balls threaded to him to make use of. Unfortunately the service from the wings wasn’t designed for the strikers.

Michael Boulding – 6
Should have done better with the header from Steve Jones’ only worthwhile cross and of course had beaten his man before the Grimsby player got sent off early doors. Hoped that the Thorne-Boulding partnership is maintained for Monday but imagine Stuart might not do it.

Barry Conlon & Joe Colbeck
It feels appropriate to lump these two together because Joe came on and created a goal for Barry that he struck straight at the keeper. If we get Joe back and Thorne-Boulding on the pitch then we’re going to see possession turned into goals. We really will.

Stuart McCall
Needed to haul off Steve Jones before Omar’s injury (that he was carrying for maybe 20 minutes) forced his hand. Also, with Monday’s game on the horizon should have rotated things earlier than the 80th minute. Could have brought Lee Bullock and Joe Colbeck on and moved Nicky Law to the left wing for Omar and had Joe down the right with Bully and Deano in the middle.

Not sure why he made Joe Colbeck warm up for 10 or 15 minutes before making the change. At a corner. Which is surely a schoolboy lesson you learn about NOT making changes during set pieces?

We won, and we won gritty, just. Monday is the litmus test and the team selection that we see will say a lot about Stuart’s reaction to the performance and the result and will give us a clearer indication of whether there are reasons to be cheerful or reasons to be fearful for getting out of League Two.

Great performance from the fans. Hopefully the weather and SKY don’t prevent people from going on Monday evening…