05 August 2023

Will Wright fires Crawley to opening victory over 10-man Bradford

05 August 2023

Ten-man Bradford suffered a blow in their opening match of the new season as a first-half strike from Will Wright condemned them to a 1-0 defeat at Crawley.

City, who were beaten in the League Two play-off semi-finals last season, have now won only one of eight visits to Broadfield Stadium after failing to recover from Wright’s early effort and the 41st-minute dismissal of Dan Oyegoke.

Crawley boss Scott Lindsey went into the curtain raiser scoffing at predictions making his side relegation favourites and insisting his new-look squad gives him what he needs to achieve his goals this season.

And the Reds, unbeaten in their last eight home games under Lindsey, made a great start when debutant defender Wright gave them the lead in the 14th minute.

The former Gillingham man struck with a free-kick from 25 yards, the ball beating the outstretched left hand of keeper Harry Lewis into the bottom corner.

Crawley threatened again midway through the half when Kellan Gordon saw a deflected shot go over after a move involving Danilo Orsi and Dom Telford.

Reds keeper Corey Addai saved shots from Jamie Walker and captain Richie Smallwood before Bradford were reduced to 10 men just before the break when Oyegoke picked up his second booking for a foul on Orsi.

The Bantams had a lucky escape on the stroke of half-time when a fierce shot from Orsi rebounded off the crossbar.

Bradford keeper Lewis did well to keep out a goalbound shot from substitute Klaidi Lolos as Crawley looked more threatening after the interval.

City rarely looked like rescuing a point, although Addai saved a Liam Ridehalgh header in stoppage time.

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