TOWN 2 BRADFORD 1
Vaughan opens his account
James Vaughan bagged himself a brace against Bradford to send Town through to the second round of the Capital One Cup.
The 25 year-old scored with a low shot outside the area and a powerful header from the edge of the box to earn Town a deserved victory.
Nahki Wells scored the pick of the goals in the 90th minute to give City a lifeline, but that is all it proved to be as Town secured their place in the next round.
Mark Robins elected to test a new formation ahead of Saturday’s league clash with Queens Park Rangers and lined Town up 3-5-2.
The move saw Anthony Gerrard and Oliver Norwood make their first starts of the season, while Jake Carroll made his debut on the left wing.
Jack Hunt was playing on the opposite side to Carroll and created the first half chance of the match when he found James Vaughan unmarked in the box, but he was unable to hit the target with an acrobatic volley.
Martin Paterson tried for Town in the 15th minute before Alex Smithies was called into action for the first time four minutes later to collect Raffaele De Vita’s tame header.
Alan Connell was the Bantams only recognised striker in their starting XI and unsurprisingly they struggled in the final third. They did, however, look dangerous from balls over the top of Town’s back three and on two occasions make-shift striker Garry Thompson failed to capitalise when well placed.
At the other end, Town continued to look dangerous with Adam Clayton and Anthony Gerrard both seeing efforts go wide before Paterson missed a good opportunity from Oliver Norwood’s superb pass.
A lapse in concentration cost Town against Forest and another almost gifted Bradford the lead on 35 minutes. Hunt inexplicable gave the ball away on the edge of the area, allowing Connell a chance to swing a ball across Smithies’ box, but Vaughan was on hand to clear superbly.
Town finished the half strongly, though, and after Jonathan Hogg had hit wide and Clayton had a shot cleared off the line, Vaughan opened the scoring. The striker picked up the ball outside the box and hit a low shot past the sprawling Jon McLaughlin.
Adam Hammill replaced Jack Hunt during the half-time interval and made an immediate impact to help Town double their tally. The winger supplied a superb ball from the right, which the unmarked Vaughan planted home with his head.
The deficit was very nearly reduced back to one a minute later, though, when Thompson latched onto Connell’s knock down and fired a low shot at Smithies, which the stopper collected at the second attempt.
City made a triple change to try and alter the course of proceedings – two of those included the introductions of James Hanson and Nahki Wells – however the Bantams were struggling to reproduce the form that had seen them reach the final last season, as Town continued to dominate.
Paterson could have made it three from close range, but was marshalled well by the City defence before Thompson failed to connect cleanly at the back-post with James Meredith’s deep ball.
Just as Town thought they had the job done and dusted; Wells illustrated his quality with a finish from at least 25 yards, which flew past Smithies to give his side a glimmer of hope.
Town’s team (3-5-2):
Alex Smithies; Joel Lynch, Anthony Gerrard (Murray Wallace, 84), Peter Clarke (c); Jake Carroll, Adam Clayton, Oliver Norwood, Jonathan Hogg, Jack Hunt (Adam Hammill, 46); Martin Paterson, James Vaughan (Jon Stead, 62)
Ian Bennett, Sean Scannell, Cristian Lopez, Danny Ward
Bookings Town: Adam Clayton 90+2