Andy Cook scored a hat trick in the first half as Bradford claimed his unbeaten start to the League Two season by beating Stevenage in the Valley Parade.
It was Stevenage’s first loss of the season, having previously won three in a row – two in the League and one in the League Cup.
Bradford got off to a perfect start, with Cook giving them the lead in the first minute. Charles Vernam fed left-back Liam Ridehalgh on the overlap and Cook found his cross from the left unmarked at the far post to give the Bantams the lead.
Stevenage equalized in the 17th minute against the course of the game when the Bradford defense couldn’t clear and Elliott List hit with a low shot from 15 yards.
Bradford had a great chance of restoring the lead in the 30th minute when they were awarded a penalty after Luther Wildin Vernam stumbled in the penalty area.
Lee Angol, who scored Bradford’s last-minute winner against Oldham Bradford last Saturday, saw his penalty saved by Joseph Anang.
The miss was not expensive, however, as the ball went to the left and when the visitors defense failed to clear, Cook scored Bradford’s second goal with a left-footed shot through an overcrowded goal.
Cook completed his hat-trick – the first by a Bradford player in nearly four years – with a right-footed shot in the 38th anang.
Cook and Callum Cooke almost extended the Bantams lead in the second half before defender Niall Canavan sealed the well-deserved win with a fourth goal – a header from an Ollie Crankshaw cross from close range when Cooke’s corner was only partially cleared.
Match report from PA Media.
- 24Cousin dawsonBooked at 13 minutes
- fifteenlearnedReplaced byLaveryat 79 ‘protocol
- 9CookReplaced bySongo’oat 90 ‘protocol
- 19thEnglishReplaced bycrankshaftat 70 ‘protocol
- 5CuthbertReplaced byProsserat 40 ‘protocol
- 14thLinesReplaced byOsborneat 50 ‘protocol
- 7thListReplaced byReidat 64 ‘protocol
Referee: Martin Coy
Number of participants: 14,257
Match ends, Bradford City 4, Stevenage 1.
The second half ends, Bradford City 4, Stevenage 1.
Jake Taylor (Stevenage) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Callum Cooke (Bradford City).
Replacement, Bradford City. Yann Songo’o replaces Andy Cook.
Corner, Stevenage. Admitted by Paudie O’Connor.
Gate! Bradford City 4: 4, Stevenage 1. Niall Canavan (Bradford City) tries to head into the middle of the goal from very close range. Assisted by Oliver Crankshaw following a corner.
Corner, Bradford City. Granted by Terence Vancooten.
Corner, Bradford City. Granted by Luke Prosser.
Jamie Reid (Stevenage) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Dangerous piece by Paudie O’Connor (Bradford City).
Foul by Jake Taylor (Stevenage).
Callum Cooke (Bradford City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Ben Coker (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Oliver Crankshaw (Bradford City).
Replacement, Bradford City. Caolan Lavery replaces Charles Vernam.
Charlie Carter (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Paudie O’Connor (Bradford City).
Attempt failed. Jake Reeves (Stevenage) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Handball by Jamie Reid (Stevenage).