Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Previews

PREVIEW: Play-off semi-final first-leg at Bradford

A look ahead to Sunday's game

12 May 2023

Match Previews

PREVIEW: Play-off semi-final first-leg at Bradford

A look ahead to Sunday's game

12 May 2023

Bradford City v Carlisle United, League Two play-off semi-final first-leg, Sunday 14 May, kick off 7pm


Bradford went into their final game of the season against Orient knowing that a draw would be enough to secure a play-off spot, but nerves must have been jangling when they fell behind to Jordan Brown's well-taken goal.

They quickly eased the fears of missing out when Brad Halliday caught the ball on the volley two minutes later. 

Just the two defeats from the last 16 games is a demonstration of a team that is very hard to beat, and that includes a run of 11 games without a loss through February, March and April.

But we're at that stage where the 46 games that have gone before count only for the fact that they made the play-offs a reality.

It's now down to which of the two teams handles the occasion (home and away) - which will be shown live on Sky Sports - better. 

who watch

A haul of 31 goals from 50 appearances has made it a season to remember for former United youth striker Andy Cook.

Four goals from his last four outings bring him into the play-off fray in good form, and there's no doubt he'd like to notch against the club where it all started for him.

Strong and athletic, he can hold the ball up and link the play, and he has a real eye for the nets if you give him half a glimpse. 


Click HERE to purchase a match pass that will allow you to listen to this fixture.  

With match commentary provided by BBC Radio Cumbria, this is a fantastic way to follow your team through the season.

Match audio passes are available for ALL EFL league games - click HERE to find out more about this season’s iFollow United service.


  Bradford wins Draws Carlisle wins
League 21 14 17
Cup 0 0 1
League Cup 0 1 1
FA Cup 1 0 1
Total 22 15 20

It was 0-0 at Valley Parade in March 2023 as both teams battled hard to maintain a clean sheet.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

The home game on Boxing Day in 2022 ended with a 1-0 victory for the Blues thanks to a first half header from Paul Huntington.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

United's final game of the 21/22 season was a 2-0 away defeat at Valley Parade. Lee Angol and Jamie Walker scored either side of the break for the hosts.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

These teams met in Carlisle in January 2022 and goals from former Bantams Omari Patrick and Jordan Gibson sealed the deal for the hosts.

Watch the highlights from that fixture here:

March 2021 brought the Bantams to Brunton Park as Rhys Bennett (2) and Ozzy Zanzala opened up a three-goal lead. Paudie O'Connor bagged a consolation, but the points stayed in Cumbria.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

Rhys Bennett bagged the only goal of the game in December 2020 to earn the Cumbrians a deserved away win.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

A game blighted by red cards went the way of the Bantams back in September, as they bagged three in response to Olufela Olomola's early opener, but the match became a difficult one to measure for the Blues following a first-half sending off for Jack Bridge.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

We hadn't seen Bradford prior to that since the 1-0 home victory at Brunton Park back in February 2014. Striker Lee Miller scored the only goal of the game - and it was an absolute stunner - and keeping goal for the Blues that night was a certain young man called Jordan Pickford.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

A more recent meeting between the teams was the July 2018 pre-season friendly, played at Brunton Park. It was a tight game with the winner coming in time added on when Richie Bennett got on the end of a deflected Hallam Hope shot.

Watch the highlights from that game here:


Referee - Ross Joyce
Assistant Referee 1 - Lisa Rashid
Assistant Referee 2 - Leigh Crowhurst
Fourth Official - Scott Oldham
Observer - Colin Webster
Reserve Assistant Referee - Ravel Cheosiaua

Our referee for today's game is Mr Ross Joyce. Ross has taken charge of 29 games so far this season and has shown 116 yellows and six reds.

John-Kymani Gordon scored early at Spotland in January 2023 and the visitors held on to claim all three points, with Mr Joyce at the helm for that encounter. Gordon was also booked, as were Morgan Feeney and Paul Huntington.

We saw him at Brunton Park for a rather dour 0-0 draw with Crewe in October 2022. Paul Huntington was booked in a game that had little other action.

He was in Carlisle again in April 2022 for our 1-0 home win over Mansfield. Omari Patrick scored the second half winner and the hosts had four players booked in what was a bit of a slog of a game - Jack Armer, Brennan Dickenson, Omari Patrick and Dynel Simeu.

We saw Ross at the Globe Arena in November 2021 when goals from Kelvin Mellor and Jordan Gibson secured progression to the knockout stages for the Blues in the Papa John's Trophy. No Carlisle names were taken that night.

Prior to that he was the man in the middle for a tetchy encounter with Bolton Wanderers on Boxing Day in 2020. Aaron Hayden, Lewis Alessandra and Omari Patrick helped us to storm into a three-goal lead on what was a terrible day weather wise, but George Thomason, Nathan Delfouneso and Peter Kioso used the gale force wind to their advantage to peg us back. Kioso was sent off in time added on for the game, with Paul Farman, Rhys Bennett, Joe Riley and Jon Mellish having their names taken for the home side.

He was also at Brunton Park in October 2020 for our 3-1 home win over Morecambe. Jon Mellish and George Tanner added to an own goal from Songo'o as the Blues ran out as convincing 3-1 victors, and Joe Riley was the only home yellow to be shown. 

Ross was with us in March 2019 for our long away trip to Rodney Parade. Goals either side of the break sunk the Blues, and Anthony Gerrard had his name written down on the day.

He was in Cumbria for our December 2019 2-1 home win over Macclesfield. Hallam Hope and Jerry Yates scored our goals and Gerrard, Devitt and Yates were the Carlisle names which went in the book.

The first time we saw him that same season was for the Carabao Cup meeting with Blackburn Rovers in August 2019. Hallam Hope scored United's goal, but it was an emphatic win for Rovers on the night as braces from Bradley Dack and Adam Armstrong were complemented by a neat finish from Kasey Palmer. Kelvin Etuhu was the only Carlisle yellow card shown.


Tickets for this fixture have SOLD OUT.

Please do not travel to Valley Parade without a valid match ticket.

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account