Pulse 2 MatchDay:LIVE
Luton Town 4 vs 0 Bradford City
Full Match Report
BRADFORD City fell to a heavy 4-0 defeat at the hands of Luton Town at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday evening following a devastating three-goal nine-minute spell in the first-half.
The Bantams, buoyed by Saturday’s 2-0 win over Oxford United, started well and nullified any threat posed by the high-scoring hosts during the opening quarter.
But three quickfire strikes – Justin James and Elliot Lee (2) – in the space of nine minutes did the damage, with Kai Bruenker missing a gilt-edged chance to reduce the arrears on the stroke of half-time.
Doyle’s header early in the second-half looked to have thrown David Hopkin’s men a lifeline, however the linesman flagged for an offside infringement by David Ball.
An improved second-half showing by the Bantams brought no reward and it was the hosts who would register the games fourth and final score through Harry Cornick to seal a miserable night’s work for the visitors.
Head Coach David Hopkin was forced into making three changes to the side that saw off Oxford at the Northern Commercials Stadium on Saturday, following Nathaniel Knight-Percival’s three-match suspension being upheld on appeal.
Kelvin Mellor, Ryan McGowan and Connor Wood all returned to first-team action against the high-flying Hatters, as the Bantams made the trip down the M1 in search of a second successive victory.
Only West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City had scored more goals than Luton Town in England’s top four leagues heading into their clash with City but the patched-up visiting defence stood firm in the opening exchanges.
It was Justin James who gave Nathan Jones’ side the lead following a period of sustained pressure, firing home following an initial save by City keeper Richard O’Donnell.
That lead was quickly doubled but it was not without controversy - Luton keeper James Shea regathered his attempted restart which fell to Eoin Doyle, with Hopkin furious that referee Antony Coggins failed to award his side a free kick for the infringement.
Elliot Lee was the beneficiary of the referee’s decision to allow play to continue, finishing a clinical counter attack to rub salt into the wounds of the visiting side.
It went from bad to worse soon after, with Lee grabbing his second of the game, taking advantage of some generous City defending to all but seal victory for the home side.
Bruenker could have reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time but the German forward could not direct his header on target following a Luke O’Brien cross.
David Ball had the ball in the back of the net for City early on in the second-half but the visitors’ joy was short-lived with the linesman flagging for offside on the far side.
A much-improved second-half showing from Hopkin’s men yielded no reward, with Doyle denied by a goal-line clearance on more than one occasion.
The Hatters would get the fourth and final goal of the game against the run of play, with Harry Cornick taking advantage of a Ryan McGowan mistake to further add to City’s woes.
Luton Town: James Shea, James Justin, Sonny Bradley, Matty Pearson, Jack Stacey, Elliot Lee, Andrew Shinnie, Harry Cornick, Glen Rea, Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, James Collins. Subs: Marek Stech, Dan Potts, Danny Hylton, Jorge Grant, Aaron Jarvis, Lloyd Jones, Alan Sheehan.
Bradford City: Richard O’Donnell, Adam Chicksen, Ryan McGowan, Kelvin Mellor, Paul Caddis, Connor Wood, Luke O’Brien, Karl Henry, David Ball, Kai Bruenker, Eoin Doyle. Subs: Jim O’Brien, Jack Payne, George Miller, Ben Wilson, Daniel Devine, Thomas Isherwood, Luca Colville.
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