Goalscorers: Rory Delap 1, Branko Strupar 6, Dean Windass 11, 18, 44, Peter Beagrie 27 PEN, Craig Burley 36 PEN, 52 PEN
Bradford City: Matt Clarke, John Dreyer, Gunnar Halle, Wayne Jacobs (Isaiah Rankin 77), Andy O’Brien, David Wetherall, Ashley Westwood (Dean Saunders 71), Stuart McCall, Peter Beagrie, Robbie Blake, Dean Windass
Derby County: Mart Poom, Horacio Carbonari, Tony Dorigo, Jacob Laursen, Steve Elliott, Craig Burley, Rory Delap (SENT OFF), Seth Johnson, Darryl Powell, Malcolm Christie, Branko Strupar (Georgi Kinkladze 65)
Referee: Alan Wilkie, Attendance: 18,276
Neither Bradford, nor Derby were safe from the threat of relegation in the closing weeks of the 1999-2000 Premier League season. It was the Bantams who were under more genuine risk when the sides met and shared an eight-goal thriller on Good Friday 2000.
Bradford manager Paul Jewell will have been horrified by his team’s sluggish start as they conceded two goals inside the opening six minutes of this must-win match. Rory Delap opened the scoring after just 23 seconds. Darryl Powell’s shot was saved by Matt Clarke but the ball fell perfectly for Malcolm Christie, who unselfishly squared the ball to Delap for the midfielder to tap home. It got worse when Branko Strupar drilled a free-kick home from the edge of the penalty area. Bradford had it all to do but Dean Windass enjoyed one of those afternoons where everything he struck ended up in the back of the net.
With the home side’s first genuine attack of the match, Windass superbly controlled the ball on the half-volley and squeezed his shot past Mart Poom’s left-hand post. Amazingly, it was 2-2 just seven minutes later. Windass pounced on a poor clearing header from Steve Elliott and the striker’s confidence was sky-high. He smashed a shot into the back of the net from at least 35-yards out.
Bradford’s transformation was completed when they took the lead for the first time on 27 minutes through controversy. The hosts thought they had scored again from a well-worked free-kick. However, referee Alan Wilkie disallowed the goal and after further consultation from his linesman, gave Bradford a penalty instead. In the process, Delap had been red-carded for a deliberate handball. Although Poom went the right way, Peter Beagrie made no mistake, finding the bottom corner.
The lead lasted just nine minutes. Strupar’s flick-on into the box found Christie who was tripped in the penalty area by Ashley Westwood. Craig Burley’s penalty was spot-on to haul the 10-men back onto level terms. Just before half-time, Bradford scored the seventh goal of a dramatic first 45 minutes. Robbie Blake picked out Windass who completed his maiden Premier League hat-trick. It was the only the second time in Premier League history that seven goals had been scored in the first half.
There was more drama after the restart but just one further goal. John Dreyer handled in the area and referee Wilkie gave his third penalty of the match – all absolutely justified. Burley stuck away his second penalty of the match to make the scoreline 4-4. Then, the Rams received yet another spot-kick chance when Powell was fouled by Blake. This time round, Burley went for power and was denied by Clarke who made a fine save.
The point was better for Derby’s survival prospects and an Easter Monday victory over Southampton virtually confirmed their safety. Bradford rallied from this draw and three victories from their last four matches also meant they would be playing Premier League football in 2000-2001.