Derby County 3 Bradford City 2

Last updated : 13 April 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Bradford manager Bryan Robson admitted that his team had lost their fight against relegation after a cruel own goal sent them crashing to defeat at Derby.

Bradford had battled back from two goals down but six minutes from the end an attempted clearance struck goalkeeper Alan Combe on the back and flew into the net.

Robson knew the consequences of this defeat and admitted: "The writing is on the wall, we were relegated today." Derby are still in there with a chance although they remain in the bottom three after teams above them also picked up vital points.

But they came desperately close to throwing this match away after Leon Osman and Ian Taylor had given them a two-goal cushion.

Injuries forced Derby to reorganise at the back but it was still an unconvincing second-half performance that showed how edgy George Burley's team were.

The first half was disjointed and lacking in quality until Osman put Derby into a 36th minute lead with a dipping left-foot shot from the edge of the area after he had dribbled past two defenders.

Paul Peschisolido should have scored a second before half-time, but drove a right-foot shot at Combe when he was clear and Bradford threatened to turn the game around after the break.

Rob Wolleaston was denied by a vital block from Youl Mawene in the 53rd minute and then Dean Windass put an unmarked header over.

Lee Grant produced a superb one-handed save to foil Michael Branch in the 57th minute before Taylor was left unmarked eight yards out to head an Osman free-kick inside Combe's left-hand post.

But Bradford hit back with Peter Atherton scoring from close range when Windass headed a free-kick back across goal and a sliced clearance from Richard Jackson set up Wolleaston who scored at the second attempt.

But Derby grabbed the victory they badly needed when Osman drove a right-foot shot towards goal and as Wolleaston cleared, Combe was in the line of fire and Bradford were heading for Division Two.