Tuesday 11 March 2014
Sky Bet League 1
Colchester United 0
Bradford City 2 (Hanson 15, Bennett 56)
Kick Off: 7.45pm
at the Weston Homes Community Stadium
Attendance: 2,605 (281 visitors)
The Bantams recorded a welcome away win at Colchester United this Tuesday thanks to a goal in each half.
James Hanson's header from a Matthew Dolan corner gave City a deserved half-time lead before Kyle Bennett's first goal for the club after the break completed the scoring.
The win - City's first on the road since November - is their third in the last five games and sees Phil Parkinson's men move back into the top half of the League 1 table.
After passing a morning fitness test, Hanson joined Dolan, who was in for the ill Gary Jones, Andrew Davies and Adam Drury in the City side as one of four changes made by Parkinson from Saturday's match at Brentford.
Hanson's importance to City's attack became evident as early as the 15th minute when the giant striker swooped over by the far post to power a header home from Dolan's flighted corner delivery for his twelfth goal of the season.
In truth, City could have been further ahead before the half-time interval with Aaron Mclean, who enjoyed probably his best game in a City shirt, at the heart of more than one promising opening.
The striker's best scoring opportunity came just before the break when he was played into space by Bennett just inside Colchester's area.
With only Colchester shot-stopper Sam Walker to beat, Mclean connected sweetly with the ball - but could only watch on as his left-footed drive whistled narrowly past the post.
After coming close on more than one occasion to doubling their lead in the first half though, City did net a second in the match just over ten minutes after the restart when Bennett latched onto a mis-directed header by Craig Eastmond.
Bennett surged into the open space in front of him and headed towards the byline before drilling in a fierce drive from around eight yards that flew past Walker at his near post and into the far corner.
Colchester thought for a second they had a goal back five minutes later but Marcus Bean was cautioned for flicking the ball past Jon McLaughlin and into the net using his hand.
Parkinson's side had to ensure some spells of home pressure as The U's pushed for a way back into the game in the closing stages but City never truly looked over-worked as they moved seamlessly to the win.
FT: Colchester United 0 Bradford City 2
90+5min: Bonne hooks for goal after the ball had dropped into his path from a late Colchester corner but the effort sails comfortably wide.
90+4min: YELLOW CARDS - Wilson and Mclean both receive a booking each after appearing to square up following the award of a Colchester free-kick just inside City's own half.
90+2min: YELLOW CARD - Gilbey is booked for a late tackle on Thompson midway in Colchester's own half.
90+1min: Sears strikes for goal after the ball rolls into his path but the attacker's connects is weak and the ball trickles comfortably into McLaughlin's path.
90min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
86min: Gilbey tries his luck from distance but his effort is straight at McLaughlin.
86min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Carl McHugh for Drury.
80min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Garry Thompson for Bennett.
75min: SUBS - Colchester bring on Macaulay Bonne and Alex Gilbey for Morrison and Bean respectively.
74min: Adam Reach's low cross-come-shot is repelled by Walker at his near post.
70min: City can't quite the free-kick delivery into the area that follows but McLaughlin is eventually able to dive on the ball and end the brief scramble in the Bantams' area.
69min: YELLOW CARD - Darby is booked for bringing down Sanchez Watt as the Colchester attacker surged dangerously forward in City's half of the pitch.
66min: McLaughlin has to sprint to the edge of his area to claim a teasing through-ball from Eastmond narrowly ahead of a surging Sears.
63min: A Wilson free-kick into the area isn't properly cleared by City and Doyle has to head over his own bar from close range for a corner after Okuonghae had hooked the ball back across the six yard box.
61min: YELLOW CARD - Colchester think they have a goal back for a second when McLaughlin is beaten to a cross and ball nestles in the back of his net. The home celebrations are cut short, however, when a handball is spotted and the player in question, Bean, is booked for pushing the ball past McLaughlin.
56min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!! Colchester United 0 Bradford City 2 - Bennett doubles City's lead with his first goal for the Bantams! After finding himself in space over on City's right flank, the winger drives towards the byline before drilling in a fierce strike that whistles past Walker and into the far corner.
49min: Walker has to race from his goal to narrowly beat a lurking Mclean to an under-hit back-pass from Eastmond and kick it out for a throw-in.
47min: Dolan's flighted ball into the area from the free-kick delivery that follows is headed narrowly wide by Davies.
46min:YELLOW CARD - Dickson is booked for bringing down Bennett midway into Colchester's half.
46min: Colchester begin the second period.
HT SUB - Colchester bring on Craig Eastmond for Wright before the restart.
HT: Colchester United 0 Bradford City 1
45min: There will be one minute of time added on at the end of first half.
43min: City miss a promising opportunity to double their advantage through Mclean. Bennett does well to rob Dickson of the ball midway into Colchester's half before striding forward into space. Bennett plays the ball across to the waiting Mclean, who is unmarked on the edge of Colchester's area. Mclean strikes the ball with pace but can only watch as the left-footed effort flashes wide of Walker's far post.
36min: Brian Wilson's free-kick delivery from deep into the area is headed clear by Andrew Davies as far as the waiting David Wright, who fires in a looping half-volley from just outside the area that bounces wide of McLaughlin's goal.
35min: A long kick forward from Jon McLaughlin is flicked on by Hanson into Mclean's path but the strtiker's first-time effort on his left foot from the edge of the area sails high and wide of its intended target.
34min: Mclean latches onto a deflected Adam Drury cross into the area before turning away from Magnus Okuonghae and firing in a bobbling drive that Walker saves down low to his right.
33min: Mclean fires in an angled strike with real venom from just inside the penalty area but Walker shows great hands to cling onto the powerful effort first time.
30min: Bennett moves inside from his right flank position and towards the area with real intent but his curling shot from just outside the box sails well wide of Walker's goal.
30min: Doyle is back on the pitch now after a spot of treatment from Head Physio Matt Barrass and able to carry on in the match.
28min: Doyle is down receiving treatment after appearing to take a knock to his head while challenging for the ball in the air with Sanchez Watt.
15min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Colchester United 0 Bradford City 1 - City take the lead thanks to a powerful header from Hanson at the far post following Matthew Dolan's corner delivery.
14min: Kyle Bennett's low cross into the area is cleared only as far as the lurking Nathan Doyle on the edge of the area, who forces Sam Walker into a decent save low to his left with a well-struck drive.
13min: Clinton Morrison tees up Sears for another shooting opportunity - this time just outside the box - but again the Colchester attacker's effort goes over the bar.
11min: Freddie Sears runs with menace to the edge of City's penalty area after picking up the ball from deep but his eventual shot for goal sails over the bar.
7min: Marcus Bean's little flick into the area finds the marauding Ryan Dickson but the former City loanee's header on the stretch floats wide.
1min: Less than twenty seconds gone, Aaron Mclean latches onto a ball helped on by James Hanson but his snap-shot from just inside the area is repelled by Sam Walker.
0min: The Bantams kick off the match.
COLCHESTER UNITED LINE UP
Walker, Wilson, Okuonghae, Eastman, Dickson, Wright, Bean, Massey, Sears, Watt, Morrison
Subs: Cousins, Eastmond, Gilbey, Olufemi, Vose, Sesay, Bonne
Colchester United changes:
Eastmond for Wright (46), Bonne for Morrison (75), Gilbey for Bean (75)
Colchester United cautions:
Dickson (46), Bean (61), Gilbey (90+2), Wilson (90+4)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Davies, Drury, Bennett, Doyle, Dolan, Reach, Hanson, Mclean
Subs: Bentley, Gray, Thompson, Yeates, McHugh, Bates, Atkinson
Bradford City changes:
Thompson for Bennett (80), McHugh for Drury (86)
Bradford City cautions:
Darby (69). Mclean (90+4)
Referee: D Whitestone
Assistant Referee: A Dale
Assistant Referee: P Harris
Fourth Official: R Kendall