Exeter City slipped to their third away defeat on the spin in an action-packed game at Bradford City.
The Grecians were reduced to nine men in the 2-0 loss, with both Jake Taylor and Tom Parkes seeing red, while the hosts also had a man sent-off, Callum Cooke, for two bookable offences.
That ill-discipline will have been an annoyance to manager Matt Taylor as well as some sloppy defending that saw them fail to deal with routine balls into their box for Bradford’s first and second goals.
The City manager kept with the same starting XI that had beaten Plymouth so convincingly last Saturday and the Grecians started the game well.
Harry Pritchard did fire an early warning shot as he hit an effort against the outside of the post after seven minutes, but from that point on until the first goal it was City who held plenty of the territory and looked the more likely to score.
Nicky Law had a good chance to score on his return to Utilita Energy Stadium but miscued a volley at the far post and then Archie Collins hit a long-range effort, following a five-minute spell of pressure where the hosts couldn’t get out of their half, just over the top.
However, the hosts hit back and on the half hour took the lead against the run of play. It came from a cross from the right that was sent high towards the back post where Aramide Oteh bundled the ball home off Pierce Sweeney.
Not deterred though City pushed forward once more and came agonisingly close to an equaliser when Collins’ low shot took a double ricochet and bounced just over the crossbar with keeper Richard O’Donnell diving in the opposite direction.
So it was harsh on City when they conceded another just before the interval. However, it was of their own doing as the defence failed to clear a bouncing ball in the area allowing James Vaughan to sneak in and prod the ball past Jonny Maxted.
The Grecians started the second half brightly with Lee Martin and Jake Taylor having close range efforts blocked before Pierce Sweeney sent a shot into the side netting.
However, on the hour mark, came the sending off as Jake Taylor slid into a challenge near the throw-in and received a straight red for the tackle.
The game was evened up a 10 versus 10 moments later though as Callum Cooke was shown a second yellow for a challenge on Nicky Law.
At that point City started to get control again, with Tom Parkes having a header tipped over and Nicky Law sending a shot, from 20 yards, just over the crossbar.
The chances kept coming as well and Randell Williams played a ball across the six yard box that Ben Seymour should have turned home at the back post. However, City’s chances of getting back into the match were then hit as Tom Parkes pulled down Dylan Connolly as he tried to race onto a through ball and he was shown a straight red being the last man.
Bradford: O’Donnell, Richard-Everton, O’Connor, Prtchard (Devine, 73), Ismail (Connolly, 77), Vaughan, Akpan (Anderson, 87), Henley, Wood, Oteh, Cooke. Subs: Sykes, Kenworthy, Mellor, O’Connor, Patrick.
Yellows: Connolly, Cooke
Exeter City: Maxted, Sweeney, Woodman (Richardson, 84), Aaron Martin, Lee Martin (Seymour, 70), Law, Williams, Bowman, Parkes, Taylor, Collins. Subs: Visser, Atangana, Jay, Fisher, Moxey.
Reds: Taylor, Parkes,
Attendance: 14,002 (371, away)