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Referees should face the press, insists Bradford boss

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Fuming Bradford City boss Derek Adams believes referees should be held accountable and face the media as a contentious decision saw Forest Green snatch a point in a 1-1 encounter at Valley Parade.

The Bantams were 1-0 up thanks to a towering Andy Cook header in the 10th minute and in truth should have been two goals ahead when Ebou Adams appeared to foul Cook on 53 minutes, but referee Marc Edwards allowed substitute Jake Young to embark on a buccaneering run and with the help of a fortunate ricochet, he kept driving forward to arrive in the box and rifle beyond Richard O’Donnell. 

 

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Forest Green celebrate Jake Young’s equaliser at Bradford Pic: Pro Sports Images

“It looked like a could on one of our players,” Adams told The Football League Paper. “I have to come out and face the press as do the players. I hope we get to a position when referees are accountable for their decisions.”

Earlier, Forest Green were caught cold on 10 minutes – Cook nodding in unmarked from an Elliot Watt corner to give Luke McGee no chance. 

Rovers huffed and puffed as they struggled to find any cohesion. Chances were scant and it was McGee who showed sharp reflexes to scoop Cook’s downward header away. 

On the cusp of the break, Alex Gilliead cut a swathe through Rovers only to see his run ended on the edge of the box by Baily Cargill who was fortunate to just incur a yellow. The resultant Watt free-kick squirmed through the wall, but Cook somehow contrived to arrow the ball wide with just McGee to beat. 

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Forest Green’s Ebou Adams puts his foot in Pic: Pro Sports Images

Edwards had seen enough at the break and hooked Matty Stevens and Regan Hendry for Young and Jack Aitchison. 

Rovers looked on the money and netted parity through Young’s controversial howitzer. Bradford responded with Cook heading onto the bar from Watt’s free-kick and despite the vociferous home support, Rovers held out to maintain their unbeaten run on the road.

Rovers’ head coach Rob Edwards was delighted to pick up a point despite feeling his side were the better team.

He said: “Overall, we are pleased after going 1-0 down, we more than deserved a point.”

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Matty Stevens is sandwiched between Bradford City’s Yann Songo’o and Paudie O’Connor Pic: Pro Sports Images

Edwards admitted his side may have got a slice of luck for the equaliser.

He added: “I will have a look back, but I will take whatever we got. Games are difficult to referee, especially here and they’ve got the biggest crowd in the league and they will be appealing, but if we got the rub of the green, then I’m happy with it.”

BRADFORD O’Donnell, O’Connor, Songo’o, Canavan, Threlkeld, Watt, Sutton (Cooke 87min), Foulds, Gilliead, Lavery (Robinson 28min), Cook

Subs not used: Evans, Vernam, Kelleher, Cousin-Dawson, Hornby.

FOREST GREEN: McGee, Bernard, Godwin-Malife, Cargill, Wilson, Stevenson, Hendry (Young 46min), Cadden, Adams, Matt, Stevens (Aitchison 46min).

Subs not used: Allen, Diallo, March, J Evans, Thomas.

Star Man: Jake Young.

REFEREE: Marc Edwards (Tyne & Wear)

BOOKINGS: Gilliead, O’Donnell, Threlkeld (City); Godwin-Malife, Cargill, Adams (Forest Green)

ATTENDANCE: 14,873

FGR FANS: 153

SHOTS ON TARGET: City 4 Forest Green 3

SHOTS OFF TARGET: City 10 Forest Green 6

CORNERS: City 3 Forest Green 7

FOULS: City 15 Forest Green 12

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