Mark Hughes finally claimed his first home victory as Bradford manager, after his side defeated already-relegated Scunthorpe 2-1. The Bantams got off to a flyer, with goals from Jamie Walker and Charles Vernam putting City two up after just five minutes. However, Alex Bass’ own goal before the break made the second half much nervier than it should have been.
Just 18 seconds into the game, and as fans were still taking their seats, Jamie Walker gave City a very early lead. Charles Vernam played a low cross into the area, which Jamie Walker appeared to have lost control of. No Scunthorpe players reacted to Walker’s poor first touch, allowing him to turn and finish with his weaker left foot.
The early goal certainly unsettled the visitors, and City took full advantage, doubling their lead in the fifth minute. Scunthorpe failed to clear Alex Bass’ long ball, allowing Charles Vernam plenty of time and space to assess his options. Vernam elected to shoot, and was able to curl the ball past Rory Watson into the bottom right corner.
After a number of chances to further increase their lead, City conceded in school boy fashion. Alex Bass attempted to control a back pass, but under pressure, hit the ball against Scunthorpe’s Rekeil Pyke. The ball ricocheted back onto Bass and into the empty net.
City almost immediately reclaimed their two-goal advantage through Charles Vernam. The City winger carried the ball for 40 yards, before sweetly striking the ball against the crossbar.
After a very good first half performance, City fans were eager to see their side come out flying in the second half. Although, they were made to feel slightly disappointed, as Scunthorpe had the better of the second half.
Many were awaiting the almost inevitable late equaliser from Scunthorpe, but Alex Bass made up for his previous error, producing a great dive and catch to keep out Ryan Delaney’s header with time running out.
City did manage to see out the victory successfully, but the second half performance rather papered over the many cracks that are still evident within the playing squad. Hughes will no doubt be happy to have finally claimed his first win at Valley Parade, but the poor display in the second 45 again acted as a reminder that there’s a lot of work to do ahead of next season.