BANTAMS EARN EXTENDED VACATION

****(My match reports from our Premiership days – 2000-2001)_ ##### – Match 04 – InterToto Cup Third Round Second Leg – July 22nd 2000

– RKC Waalwijk 0

– Bradford City 1 (Mills 82 )

– (Agg 3-0)

Buoyant Bradford City’s European travels continue after they comfortably booked a trip to Russia and place in the semi-finals of the InterToto Cup.

After registering victory over RKC Waalwijk in the third round, Chris Hutchings’ side now have just three days to prepare for their trip to St. Petersburg to face Zenit, who recorded a 4-2 aggregate win over Hungarians LFC Tatabanya.

The Bantams were rarely troubled during the second leg of their third round tie at the Mandemakers Stadion in which they were cheered on by a travelling army of 1,000 Yorkshire fans.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg at Valley Parade last Sunday, the onus was on Waalwijk to apply the pressure, but they lacked the incisive quality normally associated with Dutch football to make the breakthrough.

In contrast, Bradford put the tin lid on the tie and made it four wins out of four in the competition, even though last week’s hero in Dean Windass did run into a spot of bother.

Just four minutes after a tepid first half, Spanish referee Eduardo Itturaldo Gonzalez awarded City their fourth penalty in as many games in the competition. However, Windass failed to convert.

With ‘keeper Matt Clarke sidelined with a hamstring strain, Gary Walsh stepped into the fray for his first match since October 23 following a double knee operation last season.

He was just one of four changes to the victorious side of last week, with assistant manager and skipper Stuart McCall, along with Dean Saunders both relegated to the bench. For Walsh, it was a much needed return to action and his one defining moment proved the game’s turning point as he pulled off a stunning fingertip stop in the 81st minute to deny second-half substitute Iwan Redan.

It was a remarkable let off and City swiftly capitalised as Windass put through Lee Mills just 60 seconds later and the striker beat the advancing van Dijk and bagged his third goal of the tournament.

It sparked the City faithful into a non-stop rendition of _“The Great Escape” _theme tune for the remainder of the game as they celebrated their teams passage into the semi finals.

  • RKC Waalwijk: van Dijk, Lamey, Nascimento, Teixeira, Nwakire, van de Berg, T. Cornelisse, Leonhout, Gudjonnson, de Graef, Hoogendorp
  • Subs: Sinouh, van der Pennen, Redan, Lanckohr, van Dinteren, Kalezic, Govedarica

  • Bradford City: Walsh, Halle, Atherton, Wetherall, O’Brien, Nolan, Whalley, Hopkin, Sharpe, Windass, Mills
  • Subs:Davison, Lawrence, Saunders, McCall, Blake, Rankin, Westwood

  • Referee: Iturralde Gonzalez (Spain)

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