Second half goals from Andy Cook and Paudie O’Connor sealed the victory for Derek Adams’ men against Salford. The Bantams were trailing at half time, after Brandon Thomas-Asante put the visitors ahead. However, the game swung in Bradford’s favour after Thomas-Asante received a red card just before the break, for an elbow on O’Connor.
Bradford started the game brightly, and created their first real opportunity 23 minutes into the contest. Jamie Walker received the ball, and drove into Salford’s penalty area. Walker made himself some space, and audaciously attempted to chip Tom King in the Salford net. However, King managed to deny Walker a goal on his Bradford debut, parrying the ball behind for a corner.
Despite Bradford’s bright start, Salford grew into the game, and took the lead ten minutes before the break. Brandon Thomas-Asante latched onto the end of a long ball after Niall Canavan slipped. Thomas-Asante took full advantage of the City skipper’s slip, firing the ball past Sam Hornby from the edge of the area.
Although, less than ten minutes later, Brandon Thomas-Asante’s game was finished. After a long kick forward by Tom King, Thomas-Asante challenged Paudie O’Connor in the air. The Salford forward led with his elbow, knocking O’Connor’s front tooth out, leaving the referee no choice but to show him a red card.
This red card changed the course of the game, with Bradford coming out in the second half with a new-found intensity. For the first 10 minutes after the interval, Salford were unable to get out from their own half.
Although, with Bradford throwing men forward, Salford were eventually able to counter, and should have gone two goals ahead. Ashley Hunter ran the length of the pitch, but dragged his effort wide of the target.
And in their next attack, Bradford punished Salford. After some great pressure from Jamie Walker, Alex Gilliead was able to loop the ball into the area. Andy Cook headed the ball downward, and saw his effort ricochet off the heel of Salford’s Ryan Watson into his own net.
Following the equaliser, the pace of the game slowed dramatically. But, Bradford remained patient, and with seven minutes remaining they took the lead.
Callum Cooke’s corner was cleared, but the ball made its way back out to him on the right flank. Cooke drove at the Salford defence, before playing an intricate cross into the area, which Paudie O’Connor expertly flicked past King to give City the lead.
Despite having a man less, Salford pushed for an equaliser, but Bradford were able to keep the visitors at bay. The atmosphere at full time was much happier in comparison to last week at Carlisle. With two wins in three games in 2022, Bradford fans will be hoping their side has turned a corner. Bradford remain six points from the Playoff places, but still have a game in hand on some of the teams above them.