THERE was plenty of noise in the car journey back to the north-east - and not just because Andy Cook’s beloved Newcastle were winning handsomely.

Alex Pattison had avoided the silent treatment from his travelling partner.

Things would have been very different if he hadn’t put away his second goal in as many City games.

Cook was screaming for the pass to open his own account when Pattison opted to go it alone.

And, just as it was at Accrington four days earlier, the result was equally emphatic as the midfielder hammered the ball past Colchester keeper Owen Goodman.

Relief and joy all round Valley Parade - and the guarantee that the banter would be flowing again back up the A1.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Alex Pattison runs to the crowd after scoring City's secondAlex Pattison runs to the crowd after scoring City's second (Image: Tom Pearson)

“Cookie told me we wouldn’t have been speaking on the way home if I hadn’t scored,” smiled Pattison afterwards.

“It would have been a very long trip home just the two of us in the car - so it’s a good job I put it in.”

Cook may still be waiting to get off the mark - and he certainly had the opportunities in the season’s first home outing - but City have three points on the board.

That’s three more than Tuesday’s opponents Stockport whose second loss of the fledgling campaign again underlined the uncertainty of the early weeks. Only three sides in League Two have got maximum points.

This was far from the most convincing Bantams victory. There were awkward moments, particularly when trying to play out from the back, and the odd scare.

But with the annual call for an improvement in home form, played one, won one is the perfect base to build from. And they did deserve it on the balance of play.

Colchester looked a livelier threat than the team that have stumbled around the dangerous end of the division for the past couple of seasons. Ben Garner has assembled a young, energetic outfit prepared to have a go.

But City’s biggest problems at Valley Parade were generally of their own making - none more so than a goal that will haunt Harry Lewis.

The crowd were still applauding Sam Stubbs for a cool piece of footwork on the touchline before laying off a back pass to his keeper.

Joe Taylor, having chased down the centre half, refused to give it up and continued his run towards Lewis.

Closer and closer he came until City’s number one, to his horror, found the Colchester striker right on top of him blocking the clearance.

The ball squirted out into the box where Mauro Bandeira won the arm-wrestle with Richie Smallwood and Taylor jabbed home to the astonishment - and shocked boos - of the home crowd.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Mark Hughes is booked by referee Marc EdwardsMark Hughes is booked by referee Marc Edwards (Image: Tom Pearson)

Nine minutes in and a goal down on the back of that demoralising opening day at Crawley. The definition of the pressure that Mark Hughes had urged his players to “embrace”.

The fact that they did so readily, “dusted themselves down” in the manager’s words, and set themselves the task of rectifying such a self-inflicted handicap deserves credit.

There was only one occasion last season when they came from behind at home to win the game - Grimsby on April Fool’s Day. Ironically, that also followed a mistake from a dithering Lewis.

But at a time when a fair section of the fanbase are questioning this squad’s capabilities in a League Two more competitive than ever, character came to the fore as City fought back.

No heads dropped, not even the keeper despite one or two subsequent wobbles. He redeemed himself late on with an excellent strong-handed save to keep out Junior Tchamadeu.

The Bantams were taken the distance in a contest that dragged on until 5.14pm. Fans might have to get used to catching a later train as the new guidelines extend matches well into tea-time.

Referee Marc Edwards tacked on nine minutes at the end of each half of a game that had kicked off late anyway after he had ordered the visitors to change the colour of their socks.

After that, it was a case of City pulling their own up to ensure that all eventually ended well.

Like the home side, the official’s performance improved as he calmed down.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Clarke Oduor was an attacking threat whenever he got the ballClarke Oduor was an attacking threat whenever he got the ball (Image: Tom Pearson)

Having booked Jamie Walker early for a shirt pull, then ignoring similar sanction for the same offence minutes later, Edwards flashed a yellow card in Hughes’ direction after a Colchester player hit the deck to prevent a City quick throw.

You feared another one of “those” referees as the audience became increasingly hot under the collar. But as City got more into the game, the spotlight thankfully shifted away from the man in the middle.

The pre-match revelation that Hughes had changed his wing backs, jettisoning regular duo Liam Ridehalgh and Brad Halliday for Gilliead and the suspension-free Daniel Oyegoke indicated a more go-forward approach.

Once the sting from Colchester’s early sucker-punch had cleared, the chances started to rack up.

With Pattison and Clarke Oduor buzzing around with intent, an equaliser was always on the cards.

Cook’s opportunities came and went and then he set up Matty Platt for a close-range header that Goodman did well to tip over the bar.

But any prospect of a sticky reaction to the half-time whistle was avoided when Tyler Smith, an early change for the hobbling Walker, latched onto Cook’s flick-on and cut in on goal.

He fired towards the near post where Goodman parried - and the ball flew straight onto the head of the incoming Oduor.

The midfielder had promised a first goal was coming, though maybe not quite in that manner. But it was a reward for gambling and being in the right place at the right time.

Oduor was denied a second by a fine save from Goodman, pushing it onto the bar, although the referee bizarrely awarded a goal kick.

But the second goal arrived just before the hour.

Alex Gilliead, who covered so much ground in his first start of the season, fed the ball over halfway where it was met by a delicious flick from Oduor to send Pattison scampering.

With Cook signalling for the set-up to his left, Pattison had only one thought in his mind - and drilled the ball inside the near post.

Hughes made late changes, including the addition of Kevin McDonald for the first time, to shore things up as the game dragged on past the 100-minute mark.

But with Lewis regaining his mojo to thwart Tchamadeu, City saw out the Colchester flurry to make sure of a good trip home for all.