Walsall 3-3 Bradford Player Ratings: missing McArdle?

10 out of 10 for Roberts – expressandstar.com

A remarkable comeback from three goals down saw Walsall earn a point against Bradford. How did players on both teams fare? Here’s our ratings.

Walsall

Gillespie – made no obvious gaffes but let in three goals from a small selection of shots on target. Could have commanded his area better. 4

James Wilson – quelled Bradford’s threat down his side and made some good defensive headers. Might have done better for the second goal. 5
Shaun Donnellan – stopped Wyke from getting beyond him but wasn’t able to stop him laying the ball off. Suffered from a lack of defensive protection just before half-time. 4
Jon Guthrie – struggled to get out to Gilliead in the first half. Looked a little timid at times. 3

Nicky Devlin – didn’t make too many overlapping runs in the first half, but showed a lot more confidence after the break. Put in an excellent cross for Leahy’s goal. 7
Adam Chambers – might have offered better protection for Bradford’s first two goals but fought valiantly in the second half, when his leadership qualities came to the fore. 6
Kieron Morris – will feel disappointed not to score his big chance. Added energy but not much more. 4
Joe Edwards – his ability to run quickly from deep areas makes him a difficult player to pick up and we saw that with his third man runs. Some nice link-up play with Bakayoko. 7
Luke Leahy – if he missed a good chance in the first half and then scored an own goal, it didn’t show for the remainder of the match. Scored a well-timed header then crossed for Roberts’ goal and was a key threat down the left. 7

Amadou Bakayoko – his finishing touch was lacking in the first half but his persistence paid off. Always looked to stretch play with his runs and deserved to score that late equalizer. 7
Erhun Oztumer – got into some good areas in the first half but was guilty of passing sideways. His creative skills were better used in the second half when he had two strikers to pick out. 6

Tyler Roberts (on 53) – changed the complexion of the game with his pace, movement, creativity and eye for goal, which he showed by heading in Leahy’s cross. On this evidence, he won’t stay in League One for long. 10

Bradford City

Colin Doyle – A poor performance. If Rouven Sattelmaier plays well while the Irishman is away on international duty, it could be a while before he gets back in the team. 3

Tony McMahon – didn’t offer much attacking width. He at least made up for that by being solid in the first half, but after the break, he gave Leahy too much space. 3
Matt Kilgallon – was among Bradford’s best players in the first half and his header early in the second led to the third goal. He couldn’t apply that aerial dominance to his own box though. 5
Nathaniel Percival-Knight – bailed out by Kilgallon a couple of times in the first half, but his frailties were soon exposed. Not brave enough defensively and misjudged almost every cross that came his way. 2
Tom Field – made a reasonable contribution to the second goal, but his attempts to stop Devlin’s crosses from the right were almost non-existent. 3

Nicky Law – remains mobile despite his advancing age and at times, when Bradford were under pressure, he carried the team up the pitch with his forward runs. Created a couple of chances even in the second half, when no-one else performed. 7
Jake Reeves – some decent passes in the first half, but went missing after the break. Perhaps more suited to situations in which Bradford are in control, rather than needing to fight for control. 4

Alex Gilliead – Ran with speed every time he got the ball, causing problems for Leahy and Guthrie. Shouldn’t have been taken off. 7
Shay McCartan – won a free-kick in a good area in the first half and scored the opener from close-range. A little lightweight at times but as with Gilliead, Bradford missed his pace when he came off. 7
Dominic Poleon – scored the second goal, but didn’t do too much else. Needed to track back more often to help McMahon contain Leahy. 4

Charlie Wyke – assisted the opener and held onto the ball for long enough to be due some credit. Bradford should not have played so many long balls to him though, because they looked better when they attacked the wide areas at pace. 7

Daniel Pybus (on 55) – gave the ball away far too easily and didn’t replace McCartan’s mobility. 3
Luke Hendrie (on 59) – has limited experience at this level and it showed. 4
Lachlan Barr (on 77) – hardly the experienced centre-back you’d want closing out an important three points. Would Bradford have lost this game if they still had Rory McArdle? 4