SUSPENSIONS, injuries and refereeing calls are all part of the twisting and turning emotions that come with supporting a football club.

But stats rarely lie. Swindon Town were outfought, outbattled and outwitted against a competent Bradford City side whose home support refused to lose faith in their team when the going got tough.

To be honest, going for the hosts rarely exceeded the soft side of good – Jerry Yates’ excellent equaliser on 74 minutes was perhaps one of three moments in the game that gave home boss Gary Bowyer reason to be concerned.

Kaiyne Woolery should have done better when glancing Lloyd Isgrove’s in swinging cross wide of home ‘keeper Richard O’Donnell’s far post at the start of the second half.

Goalscorer Yates wasn’t immune to errors himself. While easy to write, he really should have scored at the death to rescue a point. But a downwards header from Woolery’s cross instead bounced agonisingly high of the hosts’ crossbar.

Promising moves from Ellis Iandolo and Yates to get to the byline at the conclusion of the first half were simply dealt with by promotion chasing City too – O’Donnell hardly had to move from his six-yard box to make a pair of comfortable catches.

Tactically, Richie Wellens made the decision to play one man (Jerry Yates) up front in Eoin Doyle’s absence.

Yates’ lack of support was noticeable. Rarely did Town pierce the Bantams’ penalty area – Isgrove, Jordan Lyden or Keshi Anderson were more often than not dispossessed prior to entering the final third.

It led to frustration – that’s both on and off the field. Lyden picked up a poor yellow card when illegally charging down Harry Pritchard’s free kick mid-way into Town’s half.

Iandolo was another to needlessly go into the book. After being instructed to back track for a throw-in, the full-back proceeded to re-take his second throw from the same position – and was deservedly booked.

Manager Wellens was booked too. Frustration was understandably rife as Tom Nield rarely allowed the game to flow and follow its natural path.

But Nield’s’ calls cannot be blamed for the hosts’ 15 shots compared to Town’s six. Bradford possessed that urgency Town fans witnessed at Leyton Orient only four weeks ago.

Furthermore, Town’s record against the division’s current top half teams grants reason for all fans to be a tad concerned.

Draw, draw, lost, won, lost, lost – five points from six isn’t a great record and simply must be improved upon if Wellens’ side are to stand any chance of winning promotion.

It’s timely then that Town’s next two games are against teams keen to win promotion themselves – that’s Plymouth Argyle and Crewe.

On the plus, new recruit Gabriel Zakuani looks to be a strong addition.

With Dion Conroy set to miss a substantial part of the season, possibly its entirety, an experienced centre half like Zakuani is essential and he has immediately slotted into the squad well.

Three changes were made by Wellens ahead of kick-off, two enforced as Eoin Doyle (ineligible) and Dion Conroy (injury) missed out while Danny Rose was dropped to the bench.

In came Jordan Lyden, Keshi Anderson and new recruit Gabriel Zakuani.

Bradford started the game far brighter – three clear chances in the game’s opening 11 minutes were squandered.

Following the initial lull, Town found their feet in the game. But counterattacking opportunities were cut out, Grant found that out on the half-hour mark when his advances were halted by O’Connor.

In truth, Bradford setup well to combat any counterattacking move Swindon delivered – three men were kept back for free kicks.

An opening for City was inevitable. And it came on 38 minutes when Ismail met Wood’s flicked on cross from the left.

But the winger could only direct his effort onto McCormick’s near post, Town escaped.

Unsatisfied by Anderson’s sprints, Wellens took Town’s top No.10 off at half time. Michael Doughty entered play.

Following Woolery’s wide glancing header, City at last opened the scoring - or so they thought.

The all action Ismail was denied what would’ve been a deserved goal, but he was flagged for offside after receiving the ball from Donaldson unmarked at the back post.

Nine minutes later, and Bradford were ahead. Donaldson stung McCormick’s hands from range and Akpan was there to pick up the pieces - nodding the rebound in off the underside of the crossbar.

This sparked a frantic 10 minutes of play.

First, Yates superbly equalised when turning on the penalty spot and placing his off-balance effort into the hosts’ bottom left corner.

But travelling fans’ joy turned to despair when impact City substitute Shay McCartan leathered the hosts back in front.

His low right-footed effort cannoned off of McCormick’s left post to restore City’s one-goal lead.

Twine and May came on to no great effect. But Yates was left with his hands in his head when his downwards header in the dying minutes bounced over O’Donnell’s crossbar.

That proved to be Town’s last chance - their first defeat on the road this season.