Bradford City got their first away win in the league since October thanks to two screamers as they beat Grimsby 2-1 at Blundell Park.
For the second game in a row temporary managers Mark Trueman and Connor Sellars named an unchanged side who got their first win in 10 games on the weekend against Cambridge United.
The hosts Grimsby Town who beat local rivals Scunthorpe on the weekend named three former Bantams in their starting 11, Kyle Bennett, Luke Hendrie and Filipe Morais all started against their old club.
Luke Hendrie seemed determined to score against his old club he had a shot from outside the box but it was an easy save for Richard O’Donnell.
Then a bit of brilliance from Lee Novak. He was fed the ball from Callum Cooke, he controlled the ball well on his chest and looped the ball over everyone and into the top corner. A certain contend
er for goal of the season.
In similar fashion, another screamer of a goal doubled Bradford’s lead. On the stroke of half time following a goal kick from O’Donnell, Levi Sutton broke through the Grimsby and had the presence of mind to see the keeper of his line and chip him from outside the box.
That topped off a brilliant first half for the Bantams. They’d shown that same grit and desire that had been seen over the past three games under Trueman’s management and capped it off with two fantastic goals.
Ian Holloway changed the front two with Matt Green and Owura Edwards coming on, which was testament to how well City’s two centre backs had played.
Although Grimsby started brightly and got a goal back after a cross from Bennett, Substitute Edwards pulled it back and it fell to Harry Clifton who smashed the ball home.
The Mariners were starting to pressure the Bantams but City dealt with the pressure well and did not let it rock them in composure and were patient in their play.
It was this patience that created a chance for City. A Harry Pritchard pass found Billy Clarke. He worked the angle but Jason McKeown in the Grimsby net blocked it at his near post.
Holloway’s men were still on the attack but were getting caught out by quick breaks from the away side, This time Clarkes long ball found Pritchard onside behind the defence. The ball didn’t come down for him but he held it up well for Callum Cooke but his shot was just wide.
As the game edged closer to the end the character of Bradford City was certainly under pressure as Grimsby were coming forward at every opportunity but City were resilient in their defence of the lead.
The Bantams could have wrapped up the 3 minutes before added time after some great work from substitutes Clayton Donaldson and Kurtis Guthrie, Guthrie crossed it evaded Donaldson but found Cooke in acres of space but his shot was saved crucially by McKeown.
It was all about game management for City. They weathered the storm and got the three points.
Another committed performance from the Bantams sees them achieve a well deserved win on the road. The win puts City 18th in the league and 7 points of the relegation zone but also continues the unbeaten run under caretakers Trueman and Sellars. It was certainly an early Christmas present for all involved with the club. The players can rest easy till boxing day’s clash with Tranmere
Man of the Match: Lee Novak
A very well taken goal to lift City when they were under pressure and just all around worked hard tonight for the team. Put the Grimsby back line under constant pressure and took his chance when it fell for him.