Crawley Town 1 Bradford City 3: Reds suffer first defeat

Bradford City's James Hanson scores against Crawley (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140820-000041002
Bradford City's James Hanson scores against Crawley (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140820-000041002

Crawley Town suffered their first defeat of the season when visitors Bradford handed them a lesson in finishing.

The Reds had looked the more promising in a quiet first half but this all became a distant memory as Bradford fired in three second half goals by James Hanson, Billy Knott and Mason Bennett.

Crawley Town's Brian Jensen makes his presence felt against the Bradford City attack (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140820-000006002

Crawley Town's Brian Jensen makes his presence felt against the Bradford City attack (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140820-000006002

Joe Walsh had replied for Crawley to briefly put them on level terms before the punishment at the other end continued, leaving Bradford the clear vwinners.

Crawley made the early inroads with a Jimmy Smith free-kick deflecting off the wall and forcing a fine save by Bradford ‘keeper Jordan Pickford.

Gwion Edwards showed good pace for Reds on the break but he was brought down with a shirt pull just inside the visitors’ half by Filipe Morais who was shown a yellow card.

The Reds displayed good link-up play when from a long ball forward by Brian Jensen, Izale McLeod supplied strike partner Gavin Tomlin who lifted his shot over the bar.

Reds made one change to the side which beat Swindon Town 1-0 on Saturday with Bobson Bawling making his league debut start replacing Conor Henderson who was on the bench.

Bradford made three changes with Filipe Morais, striker Aaron McLean and Alan Sheehan coming in for Mason Bennett, James Meredith and Mark Yeates.

Former Crawley player Billy Clarke was not included due to a tweeked hamstring.

Bradford replaced striker McLean with Mason Bennett at the start of the second half.

The game sprung into life with two goals in the opening nine minutes after the restart.

Bradford took the lead five minutes into the second half when Stephen Darby crossed to James Hanson who smashed the ball into the net from short range.

Crawley soon got back on to level terms as Joe Walsh went forward for a corner and headed substitute Conor Henderson’s set-piece into the net.

But parity only remained briefly before Billy Knott played a clever one-two with Morais and blasted the volley in superbly off the post to make it 2-1 in the 62nd minute.

Bradford kept Crawley on the backfoot and went close again when Jason Kennedy hit the crossbar.

City sealed the three points in the 77th minute when James Hanson set-up substitute Mason Bennett who chipped keeper Brian Kenson and scored.

REDS: Jensen, Oyebanjo, Dickson, Leacock, Bradley (Banya 72), Edwards (Henderson 57), Smith, McLeod, Walsh, Bawling, Tomlin.

Unused subs: Henderson, Young, Banya, Essam, Rose, O’Connor, Richefond

BANTAMS: Pickford, Darby, Davies, Sheehan, McLean (Bennett 46), Liddle, Hanson, Knott, Kennedy, Morais (Yeates 72), McArdle.

Unused subs: Meredith, Dolan, Williams, Yeates, Routis, McBurnie, Bennett

REFEREE: Carl Berry

ATTENDANCE: 2,225 (284 away)

MAN OF THE MATCH: Lanre Oyebanjo