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Reda Johnson scores on his Coventry City debut as Sky Blues level with Bradford City at half time

9 August 2014

Sky Blues skipper Reda Johnson nets a leveller on his club debut as City go into the break all square with the Bantams at Valley Parade

Coventry City go into the break on level terms with Bradford City at Valley Parade after completing the first 45 minutes of their 2014/15 League One campaign.

Skipper Reda Johnson marked his debut with a goal four minutes before half time after James Hanson netted a 27th minute opener for the Bantams.

Boss Steven Pressley named seven debutants in his first starting line up of the new season with goalkeeper Ryan Allsop, defenders Johnson and Danny Pugh, midfielders Danny Swanson and Jim O'Brien and up front duo Josh McQuoid and Marcus Tudgay all making their first competitive appearances for City.

The Sky Blues were just a whisker away from taking the lead in the first minute when a whipped in cross from Danny Pugh was not dealt with. Jordan Clarke nipped in and nearly lifted a finish over Bradford 'keeper Jordan Pickford but saw the ball also float just over the bar.

O'Brien then went close after 15 minutes when a perfectly weighted ball over the top from Pugh picked out the midfielder who ran across his marker, took a first touch which helped the ball past Pickford but then pulled his finish across the face of goal with Andrew Davies and Rory McArdle scrambling back to cover.

The home side very nearly crafted a moment of danger of their own six minutes later when McArdle lifted a cross into the area which Andy Webster fought to win and allow the Sky Blues to clear their area.

They went much closer after 23 minutes though and it required some last ditch defending from the Sky Blues to keep the score level. A deep cross to the back post saw McArdle head into the path of James Hanson who had the whole goal to aim at. Webster though got just enough on a block to slow the effort down and give Allsop time to scramble and stop the ball on the line.

The pressure eventually told though and four minutes later Bradford were ahead. Billy Clarke picked up a ball on the right and delivered a measured cross for Hanson to glance a header past Allsop.

Allsop came off the better a minute after the half hour when Mark Yeates burst into the box and cut inside Webster, firing from 12 yards but Allsop parrying the effort.

The Sky Blues got the leveller their early display deserved though and it came courtesy of debutant skipper Johnson. Pugh whipped a corner delivery at the near post and the Benin international fought off his marker to glance his own header past Pickford.

Teams

CoventryCity: Allsop, Willis, Pugh, Webster, Clarke, Johnson (c), C Thomas, O'Brien, Swanson, Tudgay, McQuoid
Subs: Burge (GK), Fleck, Miller, Daniels, Phillips, Haynes, Maddison

BradfordCity: Pickford, Darby (c), Davies, Sheehan, Liddle, Hanson, B Clarke, Knott, Yeates, Kennedy, McArdle
Subs: Urwin (GK), Meredith, Dolan, McLean, Shariff, Morais, Heaton

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