Harambee Stars midfielder Clarke Oduor's sparkling form contrasts with coach's discontent in loss to Sutton United

©Bradford City

STARS ABROAD Harambee Stars midfielder Clarke Oduor's sparkling form contrasts with coach's discontent in loss to Sutton United

Festus Chuma 11:20 - 29.10.2023

Kenyan Clarke Oduor assists, but Bradford's first-half struggles lead to a slim loss to Sutton United, disappointing caretaker manager Kevin McDonald.

Clarke Oduor's coach at English League Two side Bradford City Kevin McDonald expressed his disappointment with his team's first-half performance, as the Bantams suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Sutton United.

Despite Oduor providing an assist, McDonald felt that the team did not create enough chances or pose a significant threat to their opponents in the initial 45 minutes, resulting in a one-goal deficit at halftime. 

McDonald acknowledged that changes made during halftime injected new life into the team's attack, but ultimately, a late goal sealed their fate.

“I thought in the first half, we were poor,” he said. “We deserved to go into the break as we did, a goal down. We just tweaked a couple of things at the break that we thought would give us more joy going forward, and it did.

“We managed to get on top in the game after that and got the goal. We probably should have scored more than the one. Then, it was a big blow to concede when we did, especially with the manner we were playing in the second half," he said.

One of the few positives from the match for McDonald was the return of Andy Cook to the scoresheet, marking his first goal under McDonald's temporary stewardship. The Scot commended Cook's hard work and honesty, highlighting the missed opportunity when Cook hit the bar with a superb volley.

“It was good for Cooky to get back on the scoresheet today,” McDonald added. “He is a very honest guy and works so hard. On another day, he scores another goal - the one where he hit the bar, which he took so well on the volley. If that goes in, it changes the whole outcome of the game. We need to look at what we can do better to prepare for the next game.”

In the early moments of the match, Kevin McDonald's men found themselves trailing as Josh Coley struck just four minutes into the game, beating Harry Lewis at his near post. However, after a sluggish first half, Bradford emerged for the second half with renewed determination and attacking intent.

Andy Cook became the catalyst for their resurgence, capitalizing on a corner in the 57th minute, where he met Kenya international Clarke Oduor's inswinging delivery with a precise header, drawing City level.

Cook's efforts nearly bore more fruit as he came close to adding to his tally on two occasions, one of which involved a tense duel with home goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis.

Bradford's threat from set-pieces kept Sutton United on their toes throughout the game. Despite the late equalizer, the home side managed to secure all three points with a late winner, as Sutton's captain, Harry Beautyman, headed in the decisive goal.

While the result was not what Kevin McDonald's side had hoped for, their second-half performance demonstrated their potential to compete at a higher level. The disappointment of the defeat will undoubtedly fuel their determination to bounce back in their next outing.

Bradford City fans will be eagerly awaiting the team's response as they continue their journey in the English League, with Kevin McDonald at the helm, determined to fine-tune the squad's performance and secure more positive outcomes in the matches to come.