Acrrington Stanley 3 Bradford City 1: Hopkin left angered by decisive penalty

David Hopkin, manager of Bradford City
David Hopkin, manager of Bradford City
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BRADFORD CITY’s week went from bad to worse after being put to the sword at Accrington Stanley.

The Bantams’ 3-1 defeat was their third in seven days after being beaten at home by both Sunderland in League One and Oldham in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Eoin Doyle got David Hopkin’s side back in it after Billy Kee’s penalty and Offrande Zanzala put the hosts two up.

But any thoughts of a comeback were thwarted four minutes later when Sean McConville put the game to bed across the Pennines to leave City firmly in the relegation zone.

“Mistakes are killing the team, it’s schoolboy stuff,” admitted Hopkin, whose Bantams have failed to beat Accrington in 11 attempts.

“You score a goal and you’re back in the game. You put David Ball on to try to get to 2-2.

Mistakes are killing the team, it’s schoolboy stuff. I repeat myself every week.

David Hopkin

“Then it’s one mistake again – I repeat myself every week.”

The hosts made the early running as McConville twice fired off target.

A lacklustre first-half sprung into life with a contentious penalty decision.

Ryan McGowarn certainly handled, but the Bantams believed he was pushed into the ball.

Hopkin was yellow carded for protesting the decision, with Billy Kee blasting the spot kick down the middle on 39 minutes.

Zanzala doubled Accy’s advantage nine minutes after the restart, racing clear of the defence to bury his effort.

Just after the hour the Bantams were back in the game as Doyle thumped past Jonny Maxted.

Any hopes of a late revival were short-lived when McConville added a third four minutes after Doyle’s strike.

The 29-year-old’s fifth of the season came with a well-taken finish from the edge of the box.

“I’m going to contest that yellow card,” said Hopkin, in relation to the penalty award that he believed changed the course of the contest.

“Because the fourth official doesn’t see it, the stand-side linesman doesn’t give it, it’s the furthest linesman who can’t see anything gives the penalty.

“It’s frustrating and your whole team talk changes at half-time. You go in at 0-0 and you’ve got a chance.”

Accrington Stanley: Maxted, Johnson, Hughes, Ihiekwe, Anderton, Clark, McConville, Finley, Barlaser (Hall, 82), Zanzala (Brown, 82), Kee. Unused substitutes: Warner, Richards-Everton, Sykes, Mingoia, Charman.

Bradford: O’Donnell, Riley (Miller, 52), McGowan, O’Connor, Mellor, Knight-Percival, Wood, Payne, O’Brien, Doyle (Wright, 73), Brunker (Ball, 58). Unused substitutes: Sykes-Kenworthy, Isherwood, Goldthorp, Jones.

Referee: K Johnson (Somerset).