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Bradford City 3 Cheltenham Town 1
City came from behind to deservedly claim their first win in five games and end Cheltenham’s unbeaten away record.
Nahki Wells took his goal tally to nine with a couple more but the best effort came from left back James Meredith at the end of a superb team move.
It was just the pick-me-up the Bantams needed and they certainly earned the three points against in-form opponents who had started the day in third spot.
Loan signing Craig Forsyth came straight into the side and was heavily involved in the opening minutes. But his first effort on goal – a free-kick from 25 yards – curled harmlessly into the Kop.
The game took a while to get going but burst into life after 27 minutes when Scott Brown turned away James Hanson’s header. Garry Thompson, making his first league start since the opening day, crossed back in but Hanson put his second effort wide.
And City were behind within a minute as Cheltenham skipper Marlon Pack sent Jon McLaughlin the wrong way with a penalty after Andrew Davies had pushed Jermaine McGlashan.
Wells went down under Russ Penn’s challenge looking for a penalty at the other end. Cheltenham were unimpressed with the appeal and both managers squared up on the touchline.
Referee Brendan Malone was becoming the central figure and flashed his yellow card four times in as many minutes. Three of them were to the visitors, including one for handball against right back Sido Jombati which allowed Wells to fire City level from the spot in added time at the end of the half.
The Bermudian almost had another soon after the re-start, flicking a header wide from James Meredith’s cross.
Nathan Doyle hassled a mistake out of Steve Elliott to go clear but the defender just recovered in time to get a toe in. Zavon Hines replaced Forsyth for the final half hour hoping to repeat his supersub antics from the previous week.
And the winger had an assist within eight minutes, heading down for Wells to force home City’s second goal from close range.
The home side were now well on top and made sure with a third goal seven minutes from time.
After a superb passing move, Will Atkinson flicked into Meredith’s path and the defender took a touch on his chest before half-volleying into the roof of the net.