Bradford City 3 Accrington Stanley 0: Jack Payne excels as Bantams continue revival

PULLING THE STRINGS:  Bradford City's Jack Payne. Picture: Tony Johnson.
PULLING THE STRINGS: Bradford City's Jack Payne. Picture: Tony Johnson.
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Bradford City’s revival continued with their fourth win in five matches.

The Bantams, bottom of League One less than a month ago, have scored 13 goals in their last five matches and conceded only one – that coming in the defeat at Sunderland on Boxing Day.

Once again, midfield player Jack Payne, on loan from Premier League Huddersfield Town, was a major influence.

Payne, who manager David Hopkin would like to keep at Valley Parade despite interest from League One rivals Sunderland, Luton and Peterborough, laid on two of the three goals.

The first against the run of play came in the 21st minute when he found fellow Terriers’ loanee Lewis O’Brien unmarked on the edge of the box, from where he scored with a left-foot shot.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men five minutes later when Offrande Zanzala was sent off for a challenge on O’Brien, which resulted in the 19-year-old goalscorer having to be substituted.

OPENING STATEMENT: Bradford City's Lewis O'Brien limped off having earlier put the host ahead at Valley Parade. Picture: Tony Johnson.

OPENING STATEMENT: Bradford City's Lewis O'Brien limped off having earlier put the host ahead at Valley Parade. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Bradford took advantage of having the extra man in the 30th minute when Eoin Doyle hammered the ball in from 15 yards.

The Bantams put the result beyond doubt in the 49th minute when Payne laid the ball into the path of substitute Connor Wood, who scored with a superb left-foot shot into the top corner.

Bradford City: O’Donnell, Caddis, McGowan, O’Connor, Knight Percival, Chicksen, Ball, O’Brien (Wood 35), Payne (Goldthorp 86), Miller (Bruenker 80), Doyle. Unused substitutes: Wilson (gk), Devine, Isherwood, Maltby.

Accrington Stanley: Ripley, Johnson (Richards-Everton 45), Ihiekwe, Hughes, Anderton (Hall 45), Clark, Zanzala, Finley, Barlaser, McConville, Kee. Unused substitutes: Maxted (gk), Brown, Sykes, Sousa, Conneely.

Referee: Paul Marsden (Blackpool).