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Match Reports

Southend United vs. Bradford City

15 December 2012

Blues fightback to seal a point

Blues stretched their unbeaten run to 12 games after they came from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw against Bradford City at Roots Hall.

Gavin Tomlin's injury-time equaliser ensured Blues' run continued after the visitors had gone two goals ahead thanks to Nahki Wells and a Luke Prosser own goal.

Ryan Cresswell gave Blues a lifeline when he headed home from Kevan Hurst's corner in the 80th minute, before Tomlin pounced to score his tenth goal of the season.

Paul Sturrock made three changes to the the side beat Bury on penalties in midweek with Tamika Mkandawire, Britt Assombalonga and Paul Smith recalled. Bradford, fresh off the back of their penalty win against Premier League side Arsenal, were unchanged.

The first real chance of the game fell the way of the visitors. James Meredith crossed for James Hanson who headed over from eight yards.

Hanson's height was causing Blues problems and he went even closer in the 9th minute. The striker met Gary Jones' free kick and headed against the crossbar.

Blues responded immediately and almost went ahead themselves. Gavin Tomlin's clever backheel fed Michael Timlin, but the midfielder's effort was saved by the legs of Matt Duke.

After a frantic start, the tempo slowed, but just before the the half hour mark, Bradford went ahead. Meredith's ball found top-scorer Wells in space, and after a brilliant block from Prosser prevented him first time around, the striker tapped into an empty net.

Blues' strike force we causing Bradford problems, and after Assombalonga had headed just wide from Clohessy's pass, Tomlin chipped just wide after taking Timlin's pass down on his chest.

The second half began just as the first had ended with Blues slightly on top. With ten minutes gone of the second half, Hurst almost drew his side level. The midfielder cut in from the right and unleashed a vicious left-footed strike that went just wide.

Blues were getting closer, and were almost level on the hour mark as Prosser met a loose ball on the volley in the area but fired just wide.

But, against the run of play, Bradford doubled their lead in unfortunate circumstances. Prosser went to clear Will Atkinson's dangerous ball into the box, but the ball came up off his shin and past Smith.

Blues needed a response and it came in the 80th minute. Hurst's corner was met by Cresswell who rose highest to head the ball past Duke and give Blues a lifeline.

That had lifted the volume levels at Roots Hall, and Blues were almost level minutes later. Assombalonga found space on the edge of the box but saw his shot deflected agonisingly wide.

There were chances for both Cresswell and sub Barry Corr before Tomlin pounced to sneak the ball past Duke and extend Blues' unbeaten run to 12.

Blues: Smith; Clohessy, Cresswell, Prosser, Barker (Eastwood, 85); Hurst, Mkandawire (Corr, 69), Laird, Timlin; Tomlin, Assombalonga.

Subs not used: Bentley, Donnelly, Martin, Straker, Leonard.

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