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Bantams prepare for Royals rumble

Bradford City head to Reading tonight to fight for a place in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley.

Bantams prepare for Royals rumble Credit: Press Association

The Bantams held the Championship side to a goalless draw at Valley Parade earlier this month and will need a strong performance at the Madjeski Stadium to have any hopes of facing the holders Arsenal.

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Bantams could face FA Cup holders Arsenal in semi final

Bradford City will face Arsenal in the FA Cup semi final at Wembley, if they can get past Reading in the quarter final replay.

Bradford City will have to battle past Reading to face Arsenal Credit: Press Association

The Bantams beat the Gunners in the League Cup quarter final two seasons ago on their way to the final of the competition.

They will face each other again in London, if City can beat Reading next Monday.

'We showed a really professional approach', says Bradford City manager

Bradford City's incredible FA Cup adventure still has more chapters to be written after the Bantams held their Championship opponents Reading to a 0-0 draw in today's quarter final tie at Valley Parade.

It means there will be a nail-biting replay for City fans desperate for a trip to Wembley.

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson spoke to ITV Calendar after the match.

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Stead: FA Cup tie was "a dogfight"

Bradford striker Jon Stead was disappointed his side could not battle past Reading and into the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Bradford City's Jon Stead Credit: Press Association

The teams will have to do it all again at the Madejski Stadium after a hard-fought clash ended in a 0-0 draw in West Yorkshire.

After the highs of victories over Chelsea and Sunderland, Bradford were left frustrated, with Stead telling BT Sport:

It was a dogfight.

We are disappointed because we feel we can do better. In the second half we pinned them in for long spells but we needed a goal. We limited them to a few chances.

We're still in the hat but there's a little bit of disappointment that we haven't gone through. It's half a job.

We've still got to go and do the business down there. There's great belief in the players and the staff and we'll give it everything we've got.

– Jon Stead
  1. Chris Dawkes

FA Cup: Full time report

The sun poured down on Valley Parade as the players entered the field for the second half and the heat was immediately turned up following a tepid first half. Bradford's Filipe Morais was first to threaten but he couldn't wrap his foot around the ball at the far post. Whereas Reading's Nathaniel Chalobah saw his tame volley roll the other side of Ben Williams' upright.

Bradford City's Billy Clarke and Reading's Nathaniel Chalobah challenge Credit: Press Association

With Bradford attacking the Kop end the fans were in full voice and were doing their best to suck the ball into the net. But a succession of corners and free kicks from the home side failed to produce anything tangible.

Morais looked most likely to produce anything and with the twin threat of the giant James Hanson and strike partner Jon Stead the Bantams were the team in the ascendancy. But Reading's back 4 stood firm and the were rarely breached until Stead broke through. Only a last ditch tackle preventing the former Sunderland striker a shot on goal. And it was Bradford again who were next to threaten. Stead turning provider for Hanson, who's effort rolled just the wrong side of Adam Federici's post. It looked as if one goal would win it.

Bradford City's James Hanson and Reading's Daniel Williams challenge Credit: Press Association

Reading came close to scoring when Pavel Pogrebnyak appeared to handle the ball in a goalmouth scramble but some solid last ditch defending from Bradford kept the tie in the balance and their dreams of a home victory alive.

It wasn't to be though, and despite a lengthy stoppage in play due to a blood injury for Reading's Alex Pearce in added time, neither side could produce enough to decide the tie, which will now go to a replay at Reading.

Bradford City FA Cup clash in pictures

Bradford City manager Phil Parkinson before the game Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Bradford City fans show their support in the stands before the game Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press
Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak (left) and Bradford City's Andrew Davies battle for the ball in the air during the FA Cup Sixth Round match at Valley Parade, Bradford. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Bradford City's Billy Clarke and Reading's Nathaniel Chalobah challenge Credit: Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport
Reading's Jamie Mackie and Bradford City's James Meredith (left) in action Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Bradford City decorative shortbread in the press room Credit: Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport
  1. Chris Dawkes

FA Cup: Half-time report

The last time Bradford City were in the quarter finals of the FA Cup was in 1976 and the Valley Parade pitch was like a throwback to those times.

Phil Parkinson Credit: Press Association

Needless to say the opening exchanges were scrappy with neither side able to put any meaningful passing moves together on the uneven surface. The crowd at least were lively even though the football wasn't with City fans encouraged to bring their scarfs to the game to create a unique sea of claret and amber around three sides of the ground.

Both sides were guilty of committing a number of needless fouls which interrupted the flow of the game and it wasn't until 24th minute when Jamie Mackie's cross come shot was deflected into the arms of Ben Williams that either side remotely came close to opening the scoring.

Bradford City's pitch has played a big part in how the game was played Credit: Press Association

However just 2 minutes later Mackie again burst free down the right. His cut back was controlled by Pavel Pobrebnyak, but the big Russian's shot rebounded off the post and bounced to safety.

10 minutes later it was Bradford's turn to scrape the paint off the woodwork - Gary Liddle's cross evading everyone but the post once again denying the opening goal.

It remained goalless until the referee signalled the end of the first 45 minutes. In a half with very few goalmouth incident posts at either end denied both Bradford and Reading the advantage in this quarter final.

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