Bradford City piled the pressure on head coach David Hockaday as they knocked 10-man Leeds United out of the Capital One Cup at the second round stage at Valley Parade.
The Whites looked close to pulling off a battling victory when despite playing from the 30th minute with 10 men they went in front eight minutes from time through Matt Smith. But in a dramatic turn round within four minutes they were behind and went on to lose 2-1.
Luke Murphy became the latest red card victim following two poor challenges in the first half and left his team-mates with some hard work to be done against opponents desperate to beat United for the first time since 1986.
They defended well and showed some spirit despite their poor recent form only to fall to the old one-two in the shape of a strike from distance by Billy Knott and a header from James Hanson.
Leeds started brightly with the recalled Matt Smith getting a header in after just 40 seconds.
The tall striker headed wide again on four minutes after meeting Murphy’s corner before Stephen Warnock had a decent chance only to chip the ball wide from an angle after Billy Sharp had only just been foiled trying to get on the end of a Smith knock down in the box.
Bradford fashioned their first chance on 16 minutes as Aaron McLean headed wide after getting free in the box to meet a free-kick by former Leeds defender Alan Sheehan.
But Leeds were soon back in the other box with Sharp unable to get a meaningful shot away trying to turn in the box following another knock down by Smith.
However, all the Whites’ good early work was undone on the half-hour when Murphy was late onto a challenge on City left-back James Meredith and received his second yellow card to become the fourth Leeds player sent off already this season.
From that point United were not seen in the opposition half up to the break, although Bradford struggled to create much aside from a Jason Kennedy volley from a tight angle that hit the side netting and a Gary Liddle shot from outside the box that was comfortably saved by Stuart Taylor.
The hosts did have a great opportunity early in the second half, but Kennedy stabbed the ball wide from close in after a Meredith cross dropped in the box.
Leeds needed a great save from keeper Taylor to stay level as he foiled Billy Clarke from close range and Jason Pearce had to clear as the ball rolled along the goal-line with no-one able to supply the killer touch.
But the visitors remained fairly comfortable and when they finally managed a break they came up with a shock goal that looked like it could have been the winner. First Sharp held the ball up well and found strike partner Smith who waited for support to arrive in the form of David Norris who then supplied a perfect cross for Smith to head home.
There was no time to celebrate, however, as Bradford went straight down the other end and within two minutes forced a corner from which they equalised when Knott found the net with a screamer from 20 yards out.
Within another two minutes they were in front as Hanson’s header went between Taylor’s legs to send the home fans delirious.
A delay followed as fans spilled onto the pitch, but even with nine minutes of added-time United could not hit back, although Smith had a chance in the last minute, heading over from a free-kick.
Bradford City 2
(Knott 84, Hanson 86)
Leeds United 1
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Capital One Cup, round two
Bradford City: Williams, Darby, McArdle, Sheehan, Meredith, Liddle, Kennedy, Knott (Dolan 90+5), Clarke, McLean (McBurnie 70), Hanson.
Leeds United: S Taylor, Wootton, Pearce, Cooper, Warnock, Tonge, Bianchi, Murphy (sent-off 30), Norris (Poleon 90), Sharp, Smith.
Referee: Graham Scott.