Head coach Michael Collins demanded a response from Bradford City’s players after their 2-0 defeat at Southend on Saturday and he got it as the Bantams ended their three-match losing run with this victory over Burton Albion at Valley Parade.
It took a smart piece of opportunism by Huddersfield Town loanee Jack Payne in the 32nd minute to settle this evenly fought contest.
Sean Scannell’s right-wing cross was diverted into Payne’s path and the midfielder darted beyond two visiting defenders before beating Stephen Bywater with a low, right-foot shot just inside the post.
Bradford had two chances to increase their lead in the 36th minute when Hope Akpan volleyed straight at Bywater from Ryan McGowan’s cross.
Captain Josh Wright then retrieved the ball on the right and crossed to the far post where Eoin Doyle headed wide.
Marvin Sordell missed a great chance to equalise two minutes after half-time when McGowan’s attempted clearance landed at his feet 10 yards out, but he fired over the bar and Burton went close to levelling the scores on other occasions.
However, their best chance fell to Lucas Akins in the last minute stoppage time.
The Bradford defence failed to clear defender John Brayford’s long throw and when the ball landed at Akins’s feet he fired wide from 10 yards with what turned out to be the last kick of the match.
Bradford City: O’Donnell, Mellor (Riley 68), McGowan, O’Connor, Chicksen, Scannell, Akpan, Wright, Payne (Colville 88), G Miller (Gibson 68), Doyle. Unused substitutes: Wilson, Bruenker, Knight-Percival, Hudson.
Burton Albion: Bywater, Brayford, Buxton, McFazdean, Turner, Fraser, Akins, Templeton (Harness 74), Fox, Sordell (Hodge 81), Boyce. Unused substitutes: Campbell, Allen, W Miller, Hutchinson, Beardsley.
Referee: Chris Sarginson.