ANALYSIS: James Vaughan shows his class as Bradford City end long wait for a home win

James Vaughan impressed in Bradford City's 3-0 home win over Oldham Athletic. Picture: Getty Images
James Vaughan impressed in Bradford City's 3-0 home win over Oldham Athletic. Picture: Getty Images
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Bradford City recorded a first home victory since March 9 on Saturday afternoon, beating Oldham Athletic 3-0 at the Utilita Energy Stadium.

After seven matches without a win on their own patch, the Bantams got up and running for 2019/20 with their new-look strike-force very much to the fore.

Last season's top-scorer Eoin Doyle left the club for Swindon Town just 24 hours before kick-off, however with skipper James Vaughan and Clayton Donaldson both on target against the Latics, the blow of his departure was softened somewhat.

And while it was the latter who was named as the sponsors' man of the match, it was Vaughan who really showed his class, guiding his team through a difficult period in the first half and on towards what was, in the end, a comfortable three points.

The former Everton striker's predatory instincts were there for all to see just four minutes in as he arrived in the right place at the right time to break the deadlock, though there was much, much more to his performance than just that goal.

At 1-0 and with Oldham piling on the pressure, Vaughan twice appeared inside his own six-yard box, meeting dangerous deliveries with important clearing headers.

The 31-year-old then went up the other end and helped get City back on the front foot, displaying some clever touches and using all his experience to get his body in-between defenders and the ball, drawing fouls and disrupting Athletic's rhythm.

He almost had a second of the afternoon and ended the game as a contest when he climbed superbly to nod against the woodwork in the 36th minute before picking up where he left off after the break.

One lovely piece of play early in the second half saw him dance past a couple of opponents in midfield before sending Donaldson through on goal.

It was then his crunching sliding-tackle close to the halfway line that led to his side's third of the day.

By the time he limped off to a standing ovation in the 74th minute, nobody inside Valley Parade will have been left in any doubt as to the quality of the man that the club have leading the line this term.

And as boss Gary Bowyer plots a return back to League One at the first attempt, it is unlikely that anyone will be more crucial to the Bantams' chances of realising that ambition.

They'll need to start winning more matches at home if they want to do so, but when such an issue is on the agenda, what better than an early goal to settle the nerves?

Some fans were still taking their seats when Bradford attacked down the left and Connor Wood delivered a cross that Vaughan came around the back to meet, prodding home from close range.

Despite the early set-back, Oldham grew into the contest and slowly took charge of proceedings with their hosts struggling to generate much by way of forward momentum.

It looked as if the Latics were going to be rewarded for a sustained spell of pressure when Mohamed Maouche beat Richard O'Donnell with a neat 21st-minute effort from just outside the box, however the ball bounced back off the inside of the post.

City took full advantage of that bit of good fortune just after the half-hour mark, the unmarked Donaldson getting on the end of Kelvin Mellor's long pass forwards and slamming a half-volley into the back of the net.

It was then the turn of Bowyer's men to rattle the woodwork just moments later.

Ben Richards-Everton did well to keep Anthony O'Connor's free-kick alive close to the byline and hooked over a cross from the left that Vaughan rose well to meet at the back post, only to see his header cannon back off the cross-bar.

Having started and finished the opening period on top, Bradford looked comfortable during the early stages of the second, Oldham failing to make any real inroads in the final third.

And with gaps beginning to appear as the visitors sought to commit more numbers forward, a third goal began to look increasingly more likely.

It arrived in the 72nd minute, Donaldson doing brilliantly down the right before slipping a pass inside to Sean Scannell, who took a touch then rifled a shot across the face of goal, past Woods and into the roof of the net.

There were chances for a fourth in the closing stages, substitute Shay McCartan blazing over the top before forcing a good stop from Woods following the marauding Mellor's clever back-heel.

The damage, however, had already been done.