James Hanson, a key figure when Bradford City reached the final of the Capital One Cup two season ago, made another decisive contribution as they progressed to the third round in a Yorkshire derby that featured a remarkable climax.
Leeds, reduced to 10 men for the final hour, led through a header from Matt Smith in the 84th minute, but City responded in a manner reminiscent of the spirit shown when they progressed all the way to Wembley.
They were level within two minutes through Billy Knott’s splendid effort from 20 yards and two more minutes brought the winner, nodded in by Hanson as he dived forward to reach James Meredith’s cross, increasing the likelihood that the Leeds manager David Hockaday will be out of a job before the weekend.
Leeds were reduced to 10 men by the dismissal of Luke Murphy after only 31 minutes – but he should have departed much earlier for an outrageous late challenge on Gary Liddle. Another late tackle on James Meredith brought his second yellow card.
Bradford, without a win against Leeds in 14 games spread over 28 years, took time to settle, but Aaron Mclean went close to putting them in front from Alan Sheehan’s free-kick in the 16th minute.
And, alarmingly for Hockaday, Leeds failed to find their earlier authority following Murphy’s exit and were fortunate that no Bradford player was able to get a decisive touch to Mclean’s low cross seven minutes from the interval.
City should have been ahead six minutes after the break. Meredith did well down the left wing and delivered a cross which fell perfectly for Jason Kennedy, who sidefooted wide from six yards.
Billy Clarke had earlier shown that the game still possessed a nasty edge when he clashed with Rory McArdle near the touchline, prompting City manager Phil Parkinson to get involved.
For a moment, Parkinson had his hands round Sharp’s neck and was lucky the referee again took a lenient view.Reuse content