Mark Hughes’ Bantams had a successful start at the University of Bradford Stadium, securing a 2-1 victory against Colchester United. The team’s debutants in claret and amber, Alex Pattison and Clarke Oduor, contributed the first goals, granting City all three points in response to an early lead taken by Joe Taylor on behalf of the visitors.
Despite the Bantam’s promising beginning, it was the opposing side that made an impact just prior to the 10-minute mark. The U’s regained possession within City’s penalty area, resulting in Taylor expertly guiding the ball into the net after applying high pressure. This gave the visitors an initial advantage.
The hosts were eager to retaliate and nearly equalised shortly after through an impressive run by Oduor. City’s number 12 launched a left-footed strike, only to have Owen Goodman make a crucial save, with the subsequent scramble leading to the ball being cleared.
Undeterred, the Bantams continued their offensive efforts. Oduor remained central to the action, setting up Alex Gilliead on the left flank. Gilliead’s cross found Andy Cook, whose attempt was thwarted by the goalkeeper’s save.
As the first half approached its final five minutes, City had a prime opportunity to level the score, were it not for a remarkable save by Colchester’s goalkeeper. Cook’s header, redirected by Smallwood’s set-piece delivery, met Platt’s head, but Goodman’s acrobatic dive prevented the goal.
In the closing moments of the first half, during a prolonged injury time, the Bantams finally equalised with Oduor’s first goal for the team. A substitute, Tyler Smith, elicited another impressive save from Goodman, but Oduor capitalised on the rebound, using his head to guide the ball into the empty net.
Entering the second half with great momentum, City pressed forward, earning several corners in their pursuit of taking the lead. Oduor seized an opportunity for a powerful half-volley, only for the crossbar to deny him.
Hughes’ team remained relentless, exploiting gaps in the U’s defence. Capitalising on open space, Alex Pattison claimed his first goal for City, propelling the Bantams ahead for the first time. Oduor delivered a well-timed pass, allowing Pattison to fire a right-footed shot into the bottom corner past the goalkeeper.
Moments later, City came close to extending their lead by two goals. A counterattack following a Colchester corner saw Oduor deliver a back-post cross from the right wing, narrowly evading Andy Cook’s boot.
Despite the pressure, Colchester persisted and almost levelled the score again in the final stages, were it not for a brilliant save by Harry Lewis at the front post. Junior Tchamadeu’s right-footed effort was met with a strong response from City’s goalkeeper, resulting in a corner and preserving the home side’s lead.
Throughout the additional time in the second half, the home team remained potent on the counterattack. A late opportunity to add a third goal emerged, with Tyler Smith nearly opening his account for the Bantams after receiving a well-placed through ball from Cook. Unfortunately, his effort struck the side netting.
As Goodman initiated a goal-kick from the ensuing attack, the referee’s whistle signified the end of the match, granting the Bantams their first three points of the season. Their triumphant homecoming at the University of Bradford Stadium was realised.