CHARLIE WYKE’S first hat-trick in a Bradford City shirt brought a deserved victory for Stuart McCall’s side in front of the live Sky cameras.
The Middlesbrough-born striker took full advantage of a Bristol Rovers’ side who displayed a total inability to deal with high balls into their own penalty area throughout a one-sided contest.
His opener on 14 minutes came via a Romain Vincelot flick-on from a Tony McMahon corner that Wyke volleyed in at the back post.
The Bantams forward doubled the home side’s lead just after the hour, a corner again proving Rovers’ undoing as the Middlesbrough-born striker rose highest to head in from six yards out.
Jake Reeves created the third with a left wing cross that Wyke nodded in from close range to claim his first hat-trick since November last year, when he helped Carlisle United thrash Mansfield Town 5-2 at Brunton Park.
Billy Bodin pulled one back for the visitors nine minutes from time after tapping in the rebound but there was never going to be a repeat of last week, when City threw away a three-goal lead at Walsall to leave with just a point.
Richard Sutcliffe's Analysis: City benefit from Rovers' sloppy defending
All eyes were on the City defence after the debacle that had been last weekend’s second half at Walsall, when a three-goal lead was wiped out by near identical moves involving a wide ball into the area and unmarked header.
It was, however, Bristol Rovers who struggled all afternoon to deal with good delivery from out wide.
The opening 24 minutes brought no less than three gilt-edged chances for the Bantams against a defence missing Ryan Sweeney and Tom Lockyer on international duty.
Charlie Wyke netted from one of those opportunities with a back post volley but Nicky Law and Romain Vincelot were guilty of squandering their own openings. Wyke then headed in twice from close range.
At the other end, Bradford - without new signing Adam Thompson, away with Northern Ireland - were much more solid with Nathaniel Knight-Percival in imposing form at the back.