Derek Adams’s side got back to winning ways in impressive fashion with a 3-1 away victory over an in-form Swindon side. Despite only having 26% possession, the Bantams were clinical going forward, and were defensively solid, and deservedly left Wiltshire with all three points.
Following a slow start during their midweek fixture against Hartlepool, it was Bradford who managed to strike early in this game. Oscar Threlkeld’s long throw into the box was flicked on well by Alex Gilliead who found Caolan Lavery in the centre of the box. Lavery managed to beat the defender to the ball, steering the ball expertly into the far corner past Jojo Wollacott to put the Bantams ahead after just 16 minutes.
Swindon failed to respond to going behind, and City very nearly doubled their lead in fortunate circumstances. Levi Sutton picked up the ball on the half way line and drove at the Swindon defence. He played a pass out to Lavery on the left edge of the Swindon area who quickly made a left-footed cross into the area. Swindon defender Romoney Crichlow almost scored an own goal, but his clearance went narrowly over the bar.
However, City were able to double their advantage just five minutes later. Matty Foulds’ floated ball into the middle evaded the whole of the Swindon defence, so Andy Cook was able to scramble an effort towards goal which hit the post. Swindon’s defence were caught on their heels, as Levi Sutton was first to react to score a simple tap in to put Bradford two up.
Bradford’s back three and wing backs were able to keep the Swindon attackers very quiet in the first half, so most of the 425 travelling fans were confident that their side could see out the victory going into the second half.
The story was very much the same at the start of the second half, with Swindon having lots of the ball, but failing to make it count, with Bradford looking to breakaway on the counter attack.
Just before the hour mark, City should have put themselves further ahead. First, following a smart reverse pass from the right, Caolan Lavery shot way over Wollacott’s goal. Minutes later, Andy Cook was able to shrug off Rob Hunt in the area, again, only to put his effort high over the bar.
Although, the Bantams didn’t feel sorry for themselves, and with 15 minutes remaining were able to score their third of the afternoon. Matty Foulds played a simple pass to Theo Robinson who, with his first touches of the ball since entering the field of play, was able to fire an effort over Wollacott and into the far top corner.
It appeared as though the result was settled, but Swindon were given a glimmer of hope just a minute later, when Paudie O’Connor handled the ball in the area. Former Bradford man Jack Payne stepped up to take the penalty, and slotted the ball past Richard O’Donnell into the bottom right of the goal.
Bradford’s defence were unfazed by conceding, and remained solid throughout the final ten minutes and injury time, limiting the hosts to just one clear chance before the final whistle. A cross in from the left found Harry McKirdy with time and space in the penalty area, but his headed effort was well saved and cleared by O’Donnell.
Soon after, the referee blew his whistle to signal full-time. The victory ended Bradford’s poor run away from home, which saw them go winless on the road since the opening month of the season. This performance was one similar to what many Bradford fans were expecting when Derek Adams was announced as manager, defensively solid and clinical on the counter attack, something the Bradford fans haven’t seen enough since August. Every Bradford player on the pitch had a good game, and Adams will be pleased that Caolan Lavery and Theo Robinson were able to get their first goals for the club. The Bantams will be looking for another victory this Saturday, at home to league-leaders Forest Green.