Skip to content
Full Time After Extra Time This is a live match. Extra Time Half Time

Bradford City vs Fleetwood Town. Sky Bet League One Play-Offs Semi-Final.

University of Bradford StadiumAttendance15,696.

Bradford City 1

  • R McArdle (77th minute)

Fleetwood Town 0

    Bradford 1-0 Fleetwood: Rory McArdle secures Bantams play-off semi-final advantage

    Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

    Watch highlights from Bradford's first-leg win over Fleetwood

    Rory McArdle's goal gave Bradford a 1-0 win over Fleetwood in the first leg of their Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final on Thursday.

    The Bantams dominated at Valley Parade and hit the post in the first half through Billy Clarke.

    They broke the deadlock in the 77th minute when McArdle headed in from a corner, with Fleetwood rarely threatening to grab an away goal.

    The return leg takes place on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

    McArdle is one of only three players in Bradford's squad to have won promotion to League One with the club in 2013, and his goal proved to be the difference despite the hosts making all of the running.

    Having not lost at home in the league all season, Bradford controlled the first half, playing almost all of it on the front foot.

    BRADFORD, ENGLAND - MAY 04:  Rory McArdle of Bradford City (R) scores their first goal during the Sky Bet League One playoff semi final, first leg match be
    Image: Rory McArdle heads home Bradford's winner

    Billy Clarke had an early effort blocked and was then denied a shooting chance by a last-ditch tackle from Nathan Pond.

    Also See:

    Charlie Wyke spurned a decent opportunity from inside the box when he shot at Alex Cairns.

    Fleetwood rarely threatened, but did have a couple of decent openings, with David Ball volleying across goal from inside the six-yard box and then chipping just over the bar after goalkeeper Colin Doyle passed the ball out to him.

    Bradford finished the half on top as Clarke struck the post with a snap-shot from 20 yards and then fired over from James Meredith's cut-back.

    BRADFORD, ENGLAND - MAY 04:  Josh Cullen of Bradford City holds off Devante Cole of Fleetwood Town during the Sky Bet League One playoff semi final, first
    Image: Bradford's Josh Cullen holds off Devante Cole

    The Bantams continued to control proceedings after the break, with Josh Cullen's free-kick tipped over and Romain Vincelot blazing over from the penalty spot.

    Fleetwood struggled to muster any response and, after Wyke saw a close-range shot blocked, McArdle headed in the opener from a corner.

    That proved to be decisive as Bradford finished on top but without another goal to show for their efforts.

    Bradford boss Stuart McCall:

    "Before the game we would have been happy to be level going into the second leg, so to have a goal is great. It's only half-time but we have a determined bunch and we will be ready for another tough challenge.

    "I thought it was a really strong performance. We need to recreate that, with the same passion and desire, in the second leg."

    Fleetwood boss Uwe Rosler:

    "We didn't want to concede, the goal was a bit cheap. It was a difficult place to come, they played with a real intensity in the first half and we had to weather the storm.

    "We were more than equal in the second half but gave them an easy goal. But overall they played fantastically well and we played like Juventus! But we had two chances and if we had taken them it could have been a draw."

    Around Sky