The Bantams were comprehensively beaten in the 1st Round of The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy by Colin Cooper’s League 2 outfit. A first half strike from Luke James was followed up by second half goals by Jonathan Franks, Christian Burgess and former City players Jack Compton and Nialle Rodney.
City started the game relatively brightly with Garry Thompson and Rory McArdle both going close to opening the scoring inside the first 20 minutes. Despite a positive start it was the hosts who struck first; former Park Avenue winger Michael Duckworth managed to dig out a cross which was headed back across goal by Jack Compton to leave Luke James with the easiest of finishes.
From this point onwards Hartlepool began to stamp their authority on the game and debutant goalkeeper Connor Ripley had to pull off an outstanding save to keep Andy Monkhouse’s headed effort at bay.
Phil Parkinson’s men were seeming to fail to defend set pieces and crosses which seemed relentless at times with Ricky Ravenhill on the line at the right time to deny Walker a goal on the stroke of half time from Compton’s corner.
Early in the second half United doubled their lead through Jonathan Franks; a long ball had put him through on goal but after seeing his initial shot blocked he swept his second attempt home emphatically.
Before long it was 3-0 to the hosts when City failed to defend a Compton set piece once more allowing Middlesbrough loanee Christian Burgess to head home from a wide free kick.
Three minutes later and City were really being taken to the sword when Compton got on the score sheet himself, adding a 4th goal. The impressive Luke James got the better of Ravenhill in the area before being brought down for a penalty; Compton made no mistake from 12 yards.
The Bantams forced Scott Flinders into a relatively comfortable save when Kyel Reid latched onto Alan Connell’s knock down to fire a firm half volley towards goal but a minute later and things got even worse for the visitors when former Bradford striker Nialle Rodney added a 5th with a superb overhead kick.
So City were now out of The Johnstone’s Paint Trophy as well as The Capital One Cup of which they had been edged out by Huddersfield Town at the first hurdle back in August leaving The FA Cup as the last remaining cup competition.