Southend United 1-3 Bradford City: Evans brace sees off Shrimps in Bantams victory
Southend attack through Elvis Bwonomo (Source: Jacques Feeney, Getty Images)

Bradford City would travel to bottom of the league Southend United with the ambitions of extending their six game unbeaten streak.

Mark Trueman named an unchanged Bantams eleven who were able to muster a point against top of the league Cambridge United at the weekend.

Meanwhile for the home side, the Shrimps were having a dreary season at the foot of the table, but did hand a debut to new centre-back Tyler Cordner.

  • Teams

Southeme United:

Oxley; Bwonomo, Hobson, White, Cordner, Hart, Hackett-Fairchild, Taylor, Demetriou, Nathaniel-George, Akinola.

Bradford City:

Hornby; Cousin-Dawson, P O’Connor, A O’Connor, Wood, Watt, Sutton, Evans, Cooke, Clarke, Rowe.

  • Story of the match

The away side began the contest dominant, with early chances from Levi Sutton and Danny Rowe forcing strong saves from Southend shot-stopper Mark Oxley.

Southend weren’t phased by the Bantam’s impressive unbeaten streak, as Simeon Akinola weaved his way into Bradford’s box and collided with Anthony O’Connor, but referee Trevor Kettle waved away his claims.

However, it was Bradford who grasped the opener, as Gareth Evans netted his first since returning to the club. Callum Cooke powered his way through some poor Southend defending, before Oxley chased down his original strike, but could do nothing about Evans’ follow up as the 32-year-old fired into the empty net to give the Bantams the lead at Roots Hall.

Southend refused to back down however, as some poor control from Connor Wood was pounced on by Elvis Bwonomo, who blasted the ball past Sam Hornby to immediately find an equaliser for the home side.

Heading into the second half, it was once again City who looked the more confident, as Rowe performed some clever footwork on the edge of the box, before rocketing his strike against the crossbar- a major let off for Southend.

Rowe was evidently desperate for his first goal in City colours, as he struck an audacious effort from 30-yards out first time, to force a heroic save from Oxley.

And finally, the former Oldham man got his deserved goal. A quick counter-attack spearheaded by Cooke, as the midfielder and Rowe squared off against the single Southend defender before Cooke generously played Rowe in behind, who could calmly slot past Oxley to prompt the celebrations of his first goal dawning the claret and amber of Bradford.

Southend had come back from a goal down once before, and looked to do so again, as the loose ball fell to Reeco Hackett-Fairchild in the box but he evaded the target.

But any glimmer of hope the Shrimps had was squashed, as Evans netted his second and the Bantams third. Cooke was once again at the centre of some excellent counter-attacking from Bradford, as he controlled and spun his man before playing Evans in behind, who was composed in smashing the ball past Oxley.

With a two goal cushion and a calm rundown at the end of the game, Kettle called the contest to a close with the points heading home to West Yorkshire.

  • Takeaways

Bradford fans will be delighted with a thoroughly professional performance; travelling so far on a Tuesday night and not looking fatigued or phased by the pressure of losing to bottom of the league, it was an excellent display from the Bantams
The unbeaten streak now extends to seven, meaning they rise to 18th in the table and extend the gap from the relegation zone even further.

Southend on the other hand will be frustrated to lose yet another game, but were undone by counter-attacking and looked a bit disorganised at the back.

  • Stand-out player

​​​​​​​There are a number of Bradford players who deserve recognition for their brilliant attacking display, such as Danny Rowe and Gareth Evans who will be pleased with their first goals for the club. However, Callum Cooke was hugely influential in the three points, with two assists and contribution tremendously in the opener, he deserves the plaudits he gets.