Kick Off: 3.00pm
Bradford City 1 (Evans 12)
Southend United 0
Sky Bet League 1
Saturday 30 April 2016
at Roots Hall
Attendance: 8,571 (1,550 visitors)
The Bantams secured their spot in the end-of-season Play-Offs with a game of the regular campaign still to play thanks to a hard-fought away victory at Southend United.
In front of nearly 1,600 travelling City supporters, Lee Evans' fine finish from just outside of the box in the twelfth minute proved to be the all-important match-winner for Phil Parkinson's men.
Following Evans' opener, fellow midfielder Josh Cullen headed over from a decent position inside the box six minutes later, while Ryan Leonard forced Ben Williams into a good save from a free-kick at the other end.
Parkinson's side could have been given the opportunity to double their lead early in the second period but they saw two creditable penalty shouts turned down by referee James Adcock.
Stephen Darby was then at the heart of a good opportunity for the Bantams on the hour mark but he couldn't get a clean connection with the goal gaping after Tony McMahon had delivered the ball across the six yard box.
Southend threatened twice in quick succession later in the half but City survived both scares.
Shrimpers attacker Tyrone Barnett was at the heart of the first chance when his volley crashed against the bar after Piotr Malarcyzk had headed into his path from a Southend corner.
A minute or so later, Williams had to be alert to make a vital reaction save from close range after Noel Hunt had tried to bundle the ball home from a Leonard long throw.
City tried to put the result beyond doubt going into the final stages of the game but Jamie Proctor saw a good strike pushed around the post by Ted Smith and Paul Anderson sent in a looping drive that clipped the top of the bar.
For Anderson, it was his first appearance in the league since breaking his leg back in September.
FT: Southend United 0 Bradford City 1
90+2min: Proctor and then Hanson flick on from Meredith's throw-in down the line and Anderson arrives on the scene to fire in a looping drive from just inside the area that grazes the top of Smith's crossbar!
90min: There will be five minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
89min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Tom Thorpe for Evans.
88min: Proctor drives into the box with real purpose after receiving the ball from Anderson before firing in a fierce strike that Smith does well to tip round his near post.
86min: Leonard fires in a low drive from roughly twenty-five yards out that narrowly whistles past the post.
83min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Paul Anderson for Reid.
83min: SUB - Southend bring on Jamar Loza for Atkinson.
82min: YELLOW CARD - Darby is booked for a rash challenge on Barnett as the pair contest the ball in Southend's half.
81min: McMahon's free-kick into the box from midway into Southend's half drops into Reid's path just outside the area but his shot goes over the stand behind Smith's goal.
78min: Proctor heads the ball across goal from Evans' wide free-kick delivery but Burke's shot on the turn under pressure is fired over.
73min: Leonard's long throw-in into the box drops dangerously in City's six yard box, with Williams having to block with his legs from close range after Hunt appeared to poke the ball goalwards. The danger is still alive following Williams' save but City can eventually clear their lines.
72min: Southend hit the crossbar! Coker's corner is knocked down by Malarczyk and Barnett's shot on the turn crashes against the middle of Williams' bar.
71min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Jamie Proctor for Morais.
70min: SUB - Southend bring on Jack Bridge for Glen Kamara.
68min: SUB - Southend bring on Noel Hunt for Mooney.
64min: Meredith crucially kicks behind for a corner to clear a McLaughlin cross with Barnett lurking behind him.
60min: YELLOW CARD - McArdle is booked for pulling down Mooney as the striker looked to turn and chase the ball midway into City territory.
60min: McMahon's teasing delivery across the six yard box finds Stephen Darby but the defender cannot get a clean connection from close range as the ball bounces up at him and the chance is gone.
59min: Leaning back, Hanson heads over from McMahon's corner.
58min: Malarczyk flicks on Coker's free-kick into the box but Williams is able to gather as the ball bounces dangerously in the heart of City's penalty area.
57min: YELLOW CARD - Reid is booked for bumping into Mooney just inside City's half of the pitch.
56min: Another penalty shout for City turned down. Morais' cross into the box appears to hit the top of Coker's arm before going out. City's appeals are turned down for the second time though, with only a corner given.
54min: Barnett gets the better of McArdle to latch onto White's long forward pass. The striker tries to burst into the box with purpose but Reece Burke does just enough to force the ball behind for a corner.
53min: Morais goes down in the box after tangling with Barrett following Hanson's flick on. The Bantams bench appeal for a penalty but nothing is given.
52min: McLaughlin helps the ball back into the box following a Southend free-kick from deep before Barrett fires for with an aerobatic effort which is held by Williams.
50min: Play is halted briefly as Leonard is given treatment for a bang to the head following an aerial clash with McArdle as the pair contested a City corner.
49min: Morais lays the ball off to McMahon just inside the box but the midfielder's low angled drive is blocked behind for a corner thanks to a diving tackle from Adam Barrett.
46min: Southend restart the match.
HT: Southend United 0 Bradford City 1
45+1min: John White's searching cross over to the far post is headed down by McLaughlin but Williams is able to comfortably dive on the effort.
45min: There will be one minute of time added on at the end of the first half.
38min: McMahon's free-kick into the area from just inside Southend's half drops down into the path of Reid just outside the box but the winger's first time strike sails a good distance over Smith's bar.
32min: YELLOW CARD - McLaughlin is booked for catching Morais with a late tackle over by the far touchline midway into Southend's half of the pitch.
24min: Leonard's cross into the box is knocked down by Barnett into the path of Stephen McLaughlin but the midfielder's hooked shot on the turn goes over.
21min: Rory McArdle's header from a McMahon wide free-kick into the box drops into the path of Evans but his half-volley into the ground is repelled by Ted Smith.
20min: Following good wing play from City, James Meredith fizzes the ball dangerously across the six yard box but no-one in a claret and amber shirt is on hand for a potential tap-in.
18min: Kyel Reid's hanging cross into the box is helped back across goal by a header from Tony McMahon. Filipe Morais flicks the ball over his shoulder into the path of Josh Cullen but the midfielder's header from roughly six yards out loops over.
17min: From Leonard's long throw into the box, Tyrone Barnett times his run well to send the ball goalwards via a glancing header but the effort is held by Williams.
16min: Ben Coker tees up Ryan Leonard from a Southend free-kick and the midfielder's drive from roughly twenty-five yards out is tipped over by Ben Williams.
- 12min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Southend United 0 Bradford City 1After a bright start from Phil Parkinson's men, City take the lead through Lee Evans! James Meredith steps in to intercept a forward pass from Piotr Malarczyk, leading to the ball dropping into the path of Evans just outside the area. The Welshman takes aim before curling a well-placed low drive into the bottom corner.
0min: The Bantams kick off the match.
SOUTHEND UNITED LINE UP:
Smith, White, Barrett, Malarczyk, Coker, Atkinson, Kamara, Leonard, McLaughlin, Mooney, Barnett
Subs: Bentley, Thompson, Hurst, Hunt, Deegan, Loza, Bridge
Southend United substitutions:
Hunt for Mooney (68), Bridge for Kamara (70), Loza for Atkinson (83)
Southend United cautions:
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
Williams, Darby, McArdle, Burke, Meredith, McMahon, Cullen, Evans, Reid, Morais, Hanson
Subs: Cracknell, N Clarke, B Clarke, Morris, Proctor, Thorpe, Anderson
Bradford City substitutions:
Proctor for Morais (71), Anderson for Reid (83), Thorpe for Evans (89)
Bradford City cautions:
Reid (57), McArdle (60), Darby (82)
Referee: J Adcock
Assistant Referee: G Russell
Assistant Referee: S Butler
Fourth Official: N Cooper