An Andy Cook Double sealed Bradford City a fine 2-0 victory over automatic promotion hopefuls Cheltenham Town.
After Tuesday’s night win over promotion chasing Morecambe, Interim Managers Mark Trueman and Connor Sellars named an unchanged 11 from the 2-1 victory over the Shrimps.
Cheltenham Town, who sit 3rd, made one change from their victory away against Walsall on Tuesday. Will Boyle was replaced by Lewis Freestone due to an injury.
Like on Tuesday City started brightly and fashioned the first chance. Connor Wood found himself in a crossing opportunity, his cross was attacked by Andy Cook and Cheltenham Goalkeeper Josh Griffiths, Both missed the ball but it fell to Levi Sutton who’s half volley was way over,
The Bantams quick start soon paid off though. From a corner, Wood swung in, Griffiths came but clashed with a Cheltenham player and missed the ball. Andy Cook who was free at the back post tucked the ball in to give the visitors the lead.
The Ben Tozer throw ins added with the windy conditions where certainly going to cause problems for Bradford, and as the first of long throws came in keeper Sam Hornby fumbled the throw, Cheltenham players swung a leg at it, it fell to the edge of the box to Chris Hussey but his shot was well over the bar.
A free kick on the edge of the area set up an opportunity for the hosts. It was taken short to Alfie May who leathered towards Hornby’s goal but it just bent wide.
A foul from Connor Wood led to another free kick on the left hand side of the Bradford area. Chris Hussey swung it in, the wind caught the free kick and guided onto the top of the crossbar.
A short throw this time from the Robins saw the ball come into the box, The ball was bouncing around the box but the Bantams managed to scramble the ball away.
The referee’s whistle brought the end to a windswept first half where it had been a hard first half for both but City had certainly adapted more to the conditions than their opponents.
Half Time: Cheltenham Town 0-1 Bradford City
Cheltenham’s half time team talk looked to have worked its magic with the hosts applying the pressure but the Bantams but crashed the second half plans as Callum Cooke set up Andy Cook through one on one with goal, he rounded keeper Griffiths and tapped his second of the afternoon.
The Robins looked to respond quickly with Alfie May’s push and run charge but his shot was just wide.
Down the other end identical to City’s second but this time Andy Cook flicked for Charles Vernam who burst through on to the ball but he shot went past the post.
Elliot Watt fancied his chances with the wind in City’s sails and used the conditions to his advantage to power his shot towards goal, Griffiths palmed the wind driven shot over the bar.
The West Yorkshire side had another chance to wrap up the game. A 2 on 3 break saw Callum Cooke carry the ball forward. With Vernam to his right, Cooke opted to shoot but his curler inches wide of the far post.
Substitute Ollie Crankshaw for Bradford fancied his chances with the Wind. His turn and shot just flashed wide.
Cheltenham substitute Andy Williams had a great chance to get the home side back in the game in stoppage time but he blasted over from 8 yards out.
But in the end City came out with the three points. A very professional performance from the Bantams against a very good Cheltenham side. City controlled the majority of the game and used the windy conditions to their advantage and adapted well. The visitors took their chances when they came.
Cheltenham will be disappointed as their opportunity to move into first was wasted. They had chances to get back into the game through May and Williams but didn’t take them. If they had gone in it could have been a different game entirely.
After the victory City move into 13th in League two sitting 7 points of the play off positions. Cheltenham stay third 1 point behind local rivals Forest Green Rovers and 5 points of leaders Cambridge United.
Full Time: Cheltenham Town 0-2 Bradford City
Man of the Match: Callum Cooke