Southend United 1 (Ranger 75)
Bradford City 2 (Poleon 9, Wyke pen 90)
Saturday 16th December 2017 | Sky Bet League One | Roots Hall
Charlie Wyke was the hero as he has been on many occasions this season, keeping his cool to dispatch a 90th minute penalty. City were well on top in the first half and deservedly led through Dominic Poleon's early goal, but the hosts came back into the contest in the second half. Nile Ranger equalised for the hosts before City's number nine scored the winner in front of a jubilant 400 or so travelling supporters.
City were bright out of the traps and clearly buoyed by recent form and Dominic Poleon latched onto an Alex Gilliead pass before being denied by Mark Oxley from a tight angle. Poleon only had eyes for goal even though Charlie Wyke was stood in the middle and screaming for the ball.
The pressure continued to be applied on Phil Brown's men and after Tyrell Robinson was denied and Tony McMahon went close, the opening goal did come for the Bantams. Charlie Wyke has been playing his hand in a large portion of City's goals recently and after threading a pass through to Nicky Law, his low centre found Dominic Poleon who scored a tap-in from close range.
Despite all of City's pressure in the early stages, Southend still missed a glorious opportunity to equalise midway through the first half. Stephen McLaughlin whipped a cross into the box from the left-hand side and Anthony Wordworth rose unmarked to head the ball straight at Rouven Sattelmaier, when he really should have scored.
McLaughlin himself then had a chance as he ran into the box down the left-hand side but his eventual shot defelcted off a recovering Tony McMahon before bouncing narrowly wide of the post. There wouldn't have been a great deal that Sattelmaier could do to stop that one finding the back of the net, had it been on target.
City went into the half-time interval deservedly ahead, there was no real question about that, but the hosts certainly started the second half on the front foot. Nile Ranger capitalised on a gap in City's defence to surge into the box and towards goal, but as he looked to unleash a shot, Matthew Kilgallon produced a tremendous challenge.
John White stayed forward from the back to see a first time shot held onto by Sattelmaier after Anthony Wordsworth had threatened, and Southend's next opportunity fell to skipper Ryan Leonard but he skewed a shot well wide from distance.
The momentum seemed to be moving towards the hosts and they found an equaliser with fifteen minutes left on the clock. Substitute Jermaine McGlashan delivered a cross from the right-hand side and at the far post the duo of Stephen McLaughlin and Nile Ranger forced the ball into the back of the net with the latter being credited with the goal.
Substitute Shay McCartan almost had an immediate impact with a shot that flashed across goal and then Wyke saw a header cleared off the line by Demetriou after he had connected with McMahon's corner into a crowded penalty area.
With seconds left of the ninety minutes, Ryan Leonard made a desperate challenge to try and halt Nicky Law from getting onto the end of Wyke's pass to leave the referee with no other option but to award City a penalty and Leonard a second yellow card. Up stepped Wyke to hammer the ball into the roof of the net and send his side en route to another away victory.
McCartan was denied excellently by Mark Oxley as he looked to put the icing on the cake in the dying seconds of added time, but two goals were enough to send Stuart McCall's men to an excellent victory. Another unbeaten home record ruined by the Bantams and more importantly, another three points!