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Charlie Wyke's Hat-trick Defeats Rovers At Valley Parade

Bradford City 3-1 Bristol Rovers

2 September 2017

Three goals from striker Charlie Wyke ended Rovers' run of four straight victories in both league and cup competitions, as Bradford defeated Rovers by a 3-1 scoreline.

Wyke opened the scoring just thirteen minutes into the contest, with the striker on hand to force home a finish at the far-post after being found by a glanced header from skipper Knight-Percival.

Byron Moore had an effort deflected clear off the line just minutes before the half-time break, as the winger latched on to a clear pass across goal from Ellis Harrison, but was unable to beat the numerous Bradford defenders who were crowding the goal mouth.

Charlie Wyke added two goals in the second half, both with instinctive finishes from close-range, as Rovers fell to defeat at Valley Parade.

Heading into the lunchtime kick-off, Manager Darrell Clarke named five of changes from the side that started Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy tie against Wycombe Wanderers.

In came Lee Brown, Daniel Leadbitter, Chris Lines, Billy Bodin and Ellis Harrison, with Joe Partington, Rory Gaffney, and Marc Bola dropping to the bench.

In the early stages, Rovers had to withstand early pressure from the hosts. An early chance fell to Alex Gillead, who blasted a left-footed effort well off-target and finding some space in behind the Rovers defence. Gillead's chance was quickly followed by a close-range header from Romain Vinclelot, with the Bradford skipper rising to meet a corner from the left and directed a forceful header just wide of the target, which many in the ground thinking that the header had in fact gone in.

The deadlock was broken in the 13th minute, as an inswinging corner from the right was helped to the far-post by Romain Vincelot, where Charlie Wyke was on hand to fire home a left-footed effort from close-range to open the scoring.

Bradford continued to create chances, with Dominic Poleon attempting to test Sam Slocombe from range, with the striker connecting well with an effort that forced the Rovers 'keeper into pushing the ball into the ground to take the sting out of the shot, before claiming the ball at the second attempt.

It was from another corner where the hosts threatened to extend their lead, as a deliberately aimed set-piece to the near post found Nicky Law unmarked, with the midfielder lifting his close-range header narrowly over the crossbar. 

Rovers' best chance of the half came through a deep-cross from Lee Brown, which looked like it may have been hit with too much power, but Ellis Harrison refused to give up on the delivery, with the striker deflecting the cross back into a dangerous position. Byron Moore was in the right place to benefit to Harrison's pass, but with the ball reaching the winger at an awkward height, Moore had to his body to send a header goalwards, but his effort was blocked on the line.

As half-time approached, a left-footed effort from Ollie Clarke looked to have Doyle panicking in the Bradford goal, as the midfielder's effort just veered off-target, flying past the right-hand post from twenty yards out.

Following the break, Rovers continued to show signs of improvement, as Ellis Harrison pounced to take advantage of a slack piece of play from Tony McMahon, with the striker advancing towards goal before checking his run and holding off a number of challenges and firing a right-footed effort that was deflected away by the hosts.

On the hour mark, Bradford managed to extend their slim lead, with Wyke again the goalscorer. In an exact replica of the first goal, a corner from the right caused the Rovers defence problems, as Wyke was able to rise the highest in the congested area to head home past Slocombe to double the hosts lead.

Wyke had to wait just ten minutes to complete his hat-trick, as trickery down the left by Jake Reeves allowed the midfielder to dig out a cross to the far-post where Wyke was waiting to add this third goal of the afternoon.

There was time for Rovers to pull a late goal back, as Tom Nichols managed to curl an effort from the edge of the area that evaded Colin Doyle and bounced back clear off the bar, where Billy Bodin was on hand to side-foot the ball into the empty net to register a late consolation goal for the visitors. 

Rovers face Walsall at the Memorial Stadium next Saturday, in what signals the start of the two home games in four days, with Oldham visiting BS7 the following Tuesday,  

Bradford City: Colin Doyle, Adam Chicksen, Jake Reeves, Matthew Kilgallon, Romain Vincelot (C), Nicky Law, Charlie Wyke (77' Alex Jones), Dominic Poleon (71' Omari Patrick), Alex Gilliead, Nathaniel Knight-Percival, Tony McMahon.

Substitutes: Lukas Raeder, Tom Field, Luke Hendrie, Daniel Devine, Paul Taylor.

Rovers: Sam Slocombe, Daniel Leadbitter, Jonny Burn, Tom Broadbent, Lee Brown, Chris Lines, Liam Sercombe, Ollie Clarke (C), Billy Bodin, Byron Moore (57' Tom Nichols), Ellis Harrison (71' Rory Gaffney).

Substitutes: Alexis Andre-Jr, Tom Nichols, Rollin Menayese, Dom Telford, Marc Bola, Joe Partington, Rory Gaffney.

Attendance: 19,284 (395 away)

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