Mark Hughes felt Bradford were denied a clear penalty (Simon Galloway/PA)
24 January 2023

Mark Hughes furious as Bradford denied ‘stonewall’ penalty

24 January 2023

Bradford manager Mark Hughes was furious that his side were denied a penalty in their goalless draw at Stockport.

Alex Gilliead went down after a nudge in the back from Will Collar but referee Martin Coy waved away Bradford’s appeals.

Hughes said: “It’s a stonewall penalty, for goodness sake. It’s ridiculous really.

“The ref said he felt he’d slowed down to engage the contact. Well hard luck, he slowed down because he was going to whack the ball in the back of the net.

“He’s just adjusting his feet and he gets wiped out. Defenders can’t afford to make those type of challenges in the box – it’s a penalty, there’s no debate.”

Hughes felt his side coped well with the threat of Stockport.

“You can see how they get results. They constantly shell balls into your box and hope to get a break,” Hughes said.

“It’s difficult to combat but that’s what we did to good effect. We were always trying to play and get the ball down.

“We didn’t create enough on the night but the opposition have got good energy, they run about and get big lads in front of the ball and make it difficult for you.”

Neither side managed a shot on target in the first half although Stockport missed two chances.

Kyle Knoyle, making his full debut after joining from Doncaster, fired over from their first attack and Kyle Wootton should have done better with a header that flew past the post from a corner.

Bradford keeper Harry Lewis, whose late grandad Ken Mulhearn won the fourth tier with Stockport, produced two saves to deny the home side in a better second half.

Lewis shovelled away Collar’s shot and then made an unconventional block with his head to deny Neill Byrne’s close-range attempt from Knoyle’s cross.

Stockport manager Dave Challinor said: “It was a tight game. That first 10 minutes of the second half was when we had the opportunity to win it.

“Sometimes things don’t go your way. The keeper has made a good save and then he’s made another one that just hits him in the head.

“Sometimes that happens. On the balance, there wasn’t much in the game.

“It was always going to be tight between two teams expected to be up there.

“We could have nicked it, I don’t know if we’d have deserved to, but you do look at those moments.

“It wasn’t a great spectacle but lots of games at this stage are not great watches. There’s so much on the line.

“We’ll look at it as a point gained and hopefully it’s an important point at the end of the season.”

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