BRADFORD City’s Roots Hall hoodoo continued last night as they were soundly defeated by Southend United.
The Bantams had not won at the Blues’ home in 13 previous attempts and two goals in either half ensured another miserable night in Essex for the visitors.
Bantams goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin made a good save to deny Graham Coughlan but he was beaten from the penalty spot on 29 minutes after Harry Crawford was brought down by Luke O’Brien.
McLaughlin guessed the right way but 19-goal Southend top-scorer Barry Corr’s spot-kick went in the bottom left-hand corner.
Michael Flynn had a tame shot easily held by Southend’s Glenn Morris before City found themselves 2-0 down on 43 minutes.
Anthony Grant squared a free-kick to Ryan Hall, whose 25-yard shot deflected off Jon Worthington and into the bottom right corner beyond McLaughlin’s dive.
Bradford made the better start to the second half and saw Tom Adeyemi’s effort from the right turned out by Morris before the Blues goalkeeper nicked the ball off Scott Dobie’s feet as he tried to round him.
City manager Peter Jackson made a double substitution on 63 minutes after Southend weathered the storm, sending on Leon Osborne for Adeyemi and Jake Speight for Dobie.
But Southend added a third goal on 66 minutes when Ryan Hall crossed from the left and Kane Ferdinand headed home from 12 yards.
Things went from bad to worse three minutes later when Hall latched onto a long pass from Grant, took a touch and added a fourth goal from an acute angle, prompting chants of “You’re not fit to wear the shirt” from the 163 travelling fans.
Robbie Threlfall went closest to reducing the arrears, hitting the crossbar with a free-kick and then seeing Morris save his shot.
Southend United: Morris; Clohessy, Coughlan, Barker, Prosser (Nesbitt 75); Grant, Easton (Asante 83), Ferdinand; Hall, Corr, Crawford (Sturrock 70). Unused substitutes: Soares, Comminges, Evans, Woodyard.
Bradford City: McLaughlin; O’Brien, Bullock, Oliver, Threlfall; Adeyemi (Osborne 63), Worthington, Syers, Evans (Rowe 83); Dobie (Speight 63), Flynn. Unused substitutes: Chilake, Robinson, Flett, Pidgeley.
Referee: Mark Brown (East Yorkshire).