Sutton United 0 Bradford City 2 (Cook 37, Banks 51)
Unable to build on a promising start, Sutton suffered a third defeat in four home league games as goals either side of half time saw Bradford continue their excellent away form that has seen them pick up six wins and a draw in their last seven games away from Valley Parade. There wasn't much wrong with Sutton's performance, particularly in the first half when U's could feel aggrieved to be going in at the break behind, but a second goal early in the second half left U's with too much to do and Bradford saw the game out relatively comfortably.
They were distinctly uncomfortable in the early stages, though, with Andy Cook booked inside the first three minutes for an aerial challenge on Louis John, and Yann Songo'o joining him in referee James Oldham's book soon afterwards for crudely ending one of several promising runs from Will Randall. It was an encouraging start, and chances to capitalise came around the half hour mark as Randall's low shot from the edge of the penalty area after Craig Eastmond had cleverly allowed the ball to run past him was pushed round the post by Harry Lewis, Eastmond saw a goalbound shot blocked in the six yard box and some fine defending by Songo'o and Crichlow denied Donovan Wilson after Kylian Kouassi had headed back a cross from the right.
Against the run of play, however, Bradford took the lead eight minutes before the break as a mix up between Joe Kizzi and Eastmond allowed Richie Smallwood and Scott Banks to find Abo Eisa on the left, and he cut in and hit a shot which deflected off Enzio Boldewijn and was touched in by Cook with Jack Rose, restored between the posts for U's, helpless and optimistic offside appeals falling on deaf ears.
Bradford might have gone in to the dressing rooms in an even better position as an Eastmond error allowed Harry Chapman to exchange passes with Cook and lift the ball over Rose, but Rob Milsom scrambled back to clear brilliantly off the line. However it was only a brief respite as five minutes after the break Chapman and Banks worked a short corner move that ended with Banks swinging a cross-cum-shot in to the top far corner of the net with Rose again having no chance.
Banks almost had another soon afterwards with a free kick that was just too high, and also forced Rose in to action after a battling run and a poke towards goal that the keeper pushed away, and while Sutton rang the attacking changes in an effort to get back in to the game, apart from one run on the right by Josh Neufville which ended with a cross that was too strong for the unmarked Kouassi U's never seriously threatened the Bradford goal. There was time, though, for Bradford substitute Vadaine Oliver to pick up one of the season's more bizarre bookings for time wasting when he headed the ball back in to the Bradford supporters after they had thrown it back.
Sutton: J Rose, J Kizzi, R Milsom, J Neufville(sub T Fadahunsi 81) C Eastmond, L John, E Boldewijn, A Lovatt, D Wilson(sub C Kendall 74), K Kouassi(sub K Thomas 74) W Randall. Subs n/u L Ward, L Gambin, C Dundas, S Hart.
Bradford: H Lewis, B Halliday, M Foulds, Y Songo'o, R Crichlow, R Smallwood, S Banks, H Chapman(sub D Pereira 78), A Cook(sub V Oliver 79), A Eisa(sub L Angol 62) A Gilliead. Subs n/u C Doyle, L Hendrie, T Odusina, R East. Booked: Cook, Songo'o, Chapman, Oliver
Referee: James Oldham
Attendance: 3,323 (755 away)