The Bantams ended another home campaign with three points with a narrow win against Barnsley thanks to Jon Stead’s well-taken first half goal. The win was fitting of the occasion, where we remembered the lives lost in the Valley Parade fire, with the 30th anniversary approaching. Before the game wreaths were laid on the memorial outside the ground, notably by England manager Roy Hodgson and FA Chairman Greg Dyke.
Barnsley started the game the brighter of the two teams, enjoying the lion’s share of possession, but despite Conor Hourihane going close for the visitors, it was City who took the lead. Billy Knott’s cross into the area was a delightful one, and it was steered past Adam Davies on the volley by Jon Stead for his 11th of the season in claret & amber.
Christopher Routis could have doubled the lead a minute later, but after latching onto James Hanson’s cross, he could only fire narrowly wide of the target, under pressure from a Barnsley defender.
Hourihane was at the heart of most of the visitors’ early play, and after cutting inside Routis on the edge of City’s area, he hit a shot horribly wide of the target on his weaker right foot.
Billy Clarke had a similar opportunity, but it was on his favoured left foot, after picking up Tony McMahon’s quickly taken free kick, he hammered a shot a couple of yards wide of the target from 20 yards.
The Bantams were ahead at the break, despite an evenly fought opening period and it was the visitors who had the first chance of the second half. Hourihane squared the ball to Luke Berry on the edge of the area, but he put his shot wide of the target.
The second half was not a thrilling one, as Barnsley tried to get back into the game and City tried to hit them on the counter attack. Tony McMahon’s set-pieces were superb all afternoon, and after one had fizzed towards the far post, Routis could only head wide of the target - it was great opportunity for the Frenchman to put the game beyond all doubt.
Youngster Mason Holgate, who was receiving a fair bit of stick from the home crowd after going down under a challenge from Hanson which resulted in a booking for the latter; and he hit the side netting, following Hourihane’s dangerous cross which had gone through a crowd of players and found him at the far post.
Barnsley keeper Adam Davies went up for a couple of corners late on, as Lee Johnson’s men looked in search of a late equaliser. It wasn’t to be for the visitors, as George Maris saw a header in the last seconds, held onto by Ben Williams, and the Bantams ended the home campaign on a high. See you all at the Coral Windows Stadium next season!