Bradford v Rochdale
Dale travel to Bradford tomorrow in what looks, on paper, to be the toughest game of our season so far. In case for any reason you missed it, Bradford are favourites to win the league and if you take notice of their fans they'll probably piss it too.
Anyway they've got off to a decent enough start to be fair to 'em. Their season started with a 2-1 home victory over Notts County which was followed up by a comfortable 2-0 away win at Macc. Although between those two games they were on the end of a 4-0 slapping up the road at 'Uddersfield int cup. Clearly then Bradford are not unbeatable and we should approach the game in our usual no fear way, a win here would give us great confidence ahead of the clash with Bury a week later.
It is fair to say last season`s trip to Valley Parade was a memorable one. With the game tied at 1-1 going into the dying minutes our very own supersub Adam Le Fondre produced a great strike to send the visiting fans behind the goal into raptures. It was a goal we richly deserved and it certainly silenced the 12 thousand or so Bradford fans in the ground.
All of which brings us on to our next point. The away end. Well, not so much an end anymore as we`ve been given part of the side which was to our right last season where, apparently, we can now buy beer. Bradford are another one of those clubs who think reclaiming an end will increase the atmosphere, you`ll have to make your own minds up on that one. There have been a few disgruntled voices from opposition fans not happy with not being put behind the goal but you`d have to say the facilities behind the goal are the worst in the ground. And it is a pretty impressive ground which, through a complete lack of research, I`d say holds around 25,000. The side which will be opposite us tomorrow is an impressive structure sweeping round behind the goal, it is these two stands which are most impressive and they really do have a higher league look to them.
On with the game then and of course it will be a tough one. I have to admit I have a bad feeling about this one, I genuinely believe they could put us to the sword. Whilst I realise it isn`t in HillCroft`s vocabulary to be negative I hope we don`t go too gung-ho. If offered a point right now I`d take it. But maybe I`m just being negative; we were decent against Barnet and won without really too much exertion. Jon Shaw for my money is one to watch, courted by Bradford in the summer and, by his own admission, not yet at his best it wouldn`t surprise me to see him on the scoresheet.
Whatever happens tomorrow I`ll be enjoying the chance to have a pint with my pie this season.
UP THE DALE!