Bradford City 2 Mansfield Town 0 – James Vaughan double has Bantams well-placed at halfway stage

DOUBLE DELIGHT: Bradford City's James Vaughan scored both goals in the win over Mansfield Town.  Picture James Hardisty.
DOUBLE DELIGHT: Bradford City's James Vaughan scored both goals in the win over Mansfield Town. Picture James Hardisty.
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Bradford City ended the first half of the season in fourth place in League Two after a hard earned home win over Mansfield Town.

It was a scrappy but full-blooded encounter in which eight players were booked.

Bradford City manager, Gary Bowyer. Picture: James Hardisty.

Bradford City manager, Gary Bowyer. Picture: James Hardisty.

The result extended Bradford’s unbeaten run to six matches – two wins and four draws – and they will happy to be in a play-off place at this stage of the season following relegation from League One last May.

The match was settled by two penalties from captain and leading scorer James Vaughan.

The visitors dominated the early stages, penning the home side in their own half with some enterprising attacking play and Alex MacDonald forced goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell into a diving save with a 20 yard shot in the fourth minute.

However, the game changed in the 13th minute when MacDonald fouled Matt Palmer after Dylan Connolly’s right-wing cross had caused problems for the Mansfield defence and Vaughan put City in front from the spot.

Mansfield, without a win since the end of October, dominated much of the second half with lots of aerial balls into the box.

However, while they put the Bradford defence under pressure, they managed few direct efforts on target and the home side put the result beyond doubt with a second penalty in the 83rd minute.

Pacey winger Connolly was brought down by Matt Preston as he raced into the box in a rare Bradford attack and Vaughan scored his ninth of the season.

Bradford City: O’Donnell, Henley, P O’Connor, A O’Connor, Richards-Everton, Wood, Connolly, Reeves (Cooke 74), Palmer, McCartan (Taylor 65), Vaughan (Oteh 86).Unused substitutes: Sykes-Kenworthy (gk), Ismail, Gibson, Anderson.

Mansfield Town: Logan, Clarke, Preston, Sweeney (Pearce 38), Benning, MacDonald, Khan (Mellis 61), Tomlinson, Hamilton, Rose (Maynard 72), Cook. Unused substitutes: Olejnik (gk), Bishop, Davies, Knowles.

Referee: Ross Joyce (Middlesbrough).