Date: 3rd September 2017 at 7:29pm
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When I wrote the preview a few days ago, I started off if we could see a hat trick of Rovers defeats at Valley Parade this season having already lost to Doncaster and Blackburn. I’ve a feeling Charlie Wyke read my article and just saw the words ‘hat trick’ and took that as an omen. Bristol Rovers was always going to be a tricky tie, but a tie I had full confidence in us coming over and getting the 3 points on the board and return to winning ways at home in the league.

Hat trick hero
Charlie struck just before the quarter of an hour mark making the half time score 1-0 in favour of the Bantams and then a nice little brace half way through the 2nd half giving us for the 2nd league game in a row a 3-0 lead, but rather than conceding a goal within 5 minutes as we did against Walsall, it took Bristol Rovers just under 10 minutes to get onto the scoreboard giving them a glimmer of hope of getting a further 2 with about 10 minutes to go to the whistle. This never happened and Wyke’s first hat trick since an away day in the FA Cup at Welling in the FA Cup back in December 2015 during his Carlisle days gave City the 3 points lifting us back into the final play off place of 6th.

Of note also, this is Wyke’s first hat trick in a league game and also making Bradford City only the 2nd club he has scored in double figure for having already scored 39 for Carlisle in all competitions. The 3 goals also gets Charlie off the mark for the season making him City’s leading scorer in the league with 3, 1 ahead of Dominic Poleon who has scored twice in the league, but with a goal in the league cup, both men are heading the City strikers so far after 7 games.

What is still impressive, Wyke has scored 10 goals in 22 games since joining last season, and early stats indicate we might have finally replaced Nahki Wells. What will be interesting is who will be the leading scorer come May in Poleon or Wyke.

Are Bristol Rovers contenders?
This was a massive win for City in more ways you can imagine, this was an answer that we needed after our first home league loss since the Cretaceous Period and an inform Rovers rolling on the back of 4 straight victories. But what is worth looking at with Rovers, this is their 3 loss in the league to a team in the current top 6, the other 2 away to Charlton and at home to our next opponents, table toppers Peterborough United. I won’t ignore the fact Rovers did beat Fleetwood who now sit in 8th.

How about the back?
We are better, we only let in a single goal against a free scoring Bristol Rovers who had scored 17 goals in their previous 5 games, we didn’t cave in in the 2nd half and throw away a lead, but we are still struggling to keep a clean sheet, conceding in 6 of the 7 games so far this season. Our last 4 home games last season we denied the opposition, so this is something we need to work on.

Better, not perfect, but a lot better, then again, 3 points is more important than any other stats. Vincelot received a yellow, and with him already serving a 3 match ban due to a sending off in his previous game, I just hope he Romains on the pitch for the remaining games.

Now let’s do the same at London Road come Saturday.

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