Bradford City secured a hard-fought initial league victory under the management of Graham Alexander, triumphing 1-0 against Accrington Stanley at the University of Bradford Stadium.

Following a goalless first half, City took the lead shortly before the 60th minute when Tyler Smith executed a skillful lob, clinching a valuable three points.

The Bantams initiated the match strongly, posing a constant attacking threat and having an opportunity to break the deadlock through Smith. Capitalizing on an Accrington free-kick, Alex Gilliead’s pass found Smith in space. However, City’s No.14 encountered a block on his shot as the hosts aimed to establish momentum.

The visitors came close to scoring just after the 15th minute, with Kody Adedoyin’s powerful attempt saved by Harry Lewis at his near post as they sought an opening goal.

As the first half concluded, Stanley maintained pressure on City, but a remarkable save by Lewis denied Adedoyin, ensuring both teams entered the break on equal terms, with City proving superior in the initial 45 minutes.

Alexander’s team continued to press Accrington in the second half, and they nearly doubled their advantage from a Richie Smallwood free-kick. City’s captain delivered a cross to the far post, meeting the head of Andy Cook, but his attempt narrowly missed the target.

Shortly thereafter, City’s persistence paid off as they broke the deadlock with a superb lofted effort from Smith. A long ball from Ciarán Kelly, flicked on by Cook, reached City’s No.14, who delicately chipped his left-footed shot over Jon McCracken. This goal not only gave the hosts a deserved lead but also increased Smith’s season tally to seven, with six in his last six matches.

City continued to apply pressure, almost securing a second goal through Kelly. A well-executed play by Jamie Walker on the edge of the box created space for Brad Halliday to deliver a cross. Kelly rose high, but his header was saved by McCracken, maintaining the score at 1-0.

Throughout the second half, Accrington persistently sought an equalising goal, but City’s defense thwarted their attacking efforts, rarely troubling Lewis.

The hosts successfully saw out the remainder of the game, securing all three points ahead of their Tuesday night fixture against Forest Green Rovers.