Manager Stuart McCall hailed the talent of 20-year-old left-back Tyrell Robinson as the former Arsenal trainee scored the winning goal for the second time in his brief Bradford City career.
Last month he came off the bench to score a stoppage-time winner at leaders Wigan Athletic and his 78th-minute goal settled this seven-goal thriller – his first full League match after five substitute appearances.
Tyrell has always got that threat. He showed great character to go forward and score. It was a fantastic counter attack.Stuart McCall
Robinson’s goal came only three minutes after former Bradford striker Steven Davies, on as a substitute, had equalised at 3-3.
Charlie Wyke played Robinson through down the left and he took the ball round the advancing Josh Lillie and slotted it into the net.
“Tyrell has always got that threat,” said McCall. “He showed great character to go forward and score. It was a fantastic counter attack.”
The win – City’s first in five home League matches – ended a run of three home defeats and McCall said: “That was a big three points for us and it was certainly entertaining. It had everything.”
Defender Matt Kilgallon put Bradford in front in the eighth minute after Nat Knight-Percival headed down Tony McMahon’s free-kick to him. Rochdale missed the chance to equalise in the 13th minute when Rouven Sattelmaier saved Ian Henderson’s penalty after the goalkeeper had brought down Oliver Rathbone.
Then came a dramatic four goals in six minutes. Wyke scored Bradford’s second after 40 minutes with a looping header from McMahon’s free-kick before Henderson pulled a goal back for Rochdale a minute later after Callum Camps’s shot was deflected into his path.
Dominic Poleon restored City’s two-goal advantage in the 42nd minute, turning in Alex Gilliead’s cross at the near post, but Henderson scored in stoppage-time with a smart volley.
Bradford City: Sattelmaier, McMahon, Knight-Percival, Kilgallon, Robinson (Hanson 87), Gilliead, Vincelot, Law (Thompson 77), Taylor, Wyke, Poleon (Hendrie 66). Unused substitutes: Raeder, McCarten, Gibson, Patrick.
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, McGahey, Daniels, McNulty (Williams 45), Ntlhe, Rathbone (Cannon 58), Camps, Henderson, Done (Davies 73), Andrew. Unused substitutes: Moore, Slew, Inman, Gillam.
Referee: D Bond (Lancashire).