Mark Hughes’ Bradford City put on a captivating display as they played out an exciting 3-3 draw against Middlesbrough, a team from the Sky Bet Championship, in a thrilling match held at the University of Bradford Stadium.
The game saw both teams exchange goals in a see-saw battle, with City falling behind twice but managing to take a 3-2 lead after the hour mark, courtesy of Andy Cook’s impressive hat-trick. However, in a dramatic twist, Middlesbrough rescued a last-minute equaliser to share the spoils.
Right from the start, the Bantams exhibited their attacking intent, pressing high and successfully regaining possession, largely thanks to Cook’s efforts. Clarke Odour came close to scoring with a chipped effort that just cleared the crossbar.
However, against the run of play, Middlesbrough took the lead within the first five minutes through Sam Silvera. Isaiah Jones delivered a precise through-ball to Silvera, who calmly slotted the ball home, catching the home side off guard.
Bradford City responded quickly, and it was their captain, Richie Smallwood, who came close to leveling the score with a dangerous free-kick. Sam Stubbs’ header from Smallwood’s set-piece was denied by the Middlesbrough goalkeeper, preventing the equaliser.
Nevertheless, the Bantams found their equaliser shortly after. Alex Pattison intercepted the ball inside Middlesbrough’s box and set up Andy Cook, who made no mistake in finding the net, restoring parity.
Middlesbrough relied on their counter-attacking strategy and was awarded a penalty just before the half-hour mark. Alex Gilbert converted the spot-kick, regaining the lead for his team.
City’s determination paid off again before half-time as Cook headed in Clarke Oduor’s enticing cross, levelling the score at 2-2.
In the second half, Bradford City continued their high-pressing approach, and it resulted in another goal. Smallwood’s free-kick found Cook, who completed his hat-trick with a well-placed header, putting City in the lead.
The home side continued to pile on the pressure, coming close to adding a fourth goal through a combination involving substitutes Bobby Pointon and Emmanuel Osadebe. Unfortunately, Osadebe narrowly missed connecting with the cross from Brad Halliday.
Middlesbrough struggled to create meaningful chances in the second half, but they managed to salvage a draw just before the final whistle. Daniel Nkrumah found himself through on goal and slotted the ball past City’s goalkeeper, Harry Lewis, levelling the score once again.
The match ended in an exhilarating 3-3 draw, leaving both teams with a hard-fought point each.