Kick Off: 3.00pm
Bradford City 0
Wigan Athletic 1 (Vuckic 81)
Sky Bet League 1
Saturday 19 March 2016
A late winner from Wigan Athletic substitute Haris Vuckic left City with nothing to show for following a determined and enterprising performance from Phil Parkinson's men at the home of the much-fancied Latics.
Vuckic netted nine minutes from the end of normal time when he latched onto a loose ball inside the City penalty box before rounding Ben Williams and slotting home from a tight angle.
The goal was harsh on Parkinson's side after some disciplined defending had seen City keep Wigan at arms' length for long periods.
Talented winger Yanic Wildschut hit the post for Wigan in the opening ten minutes but Parkinson's men more than held their own in a competitive first period.
City's best chance of the half came when the hard-working Jamie Proctor headed a free-kick across the box but Lee Evans unfortunately slipped as he went to fire for goal from a decent position.
Attacking towards their estimated away support of over 3,000 after the restart, Parkinson's side could easily have took the lead barely a minute into the second half.
Proctor intercepted a Stephen Warnock throw-in before moving into the box and crossing low into the middle. The centre presented Billy Clarke with an inviting opportunity but the Irish attacker could only scuff an effort wide of the far post from roughly six yards out.
Following that let-off for the hosts, Wigan enjoyed good spells of territorial pressure as the half progressed but City's defence were looking comfortable as they dealt with the Latics' expensively-assembled side.
With the impressive Proctor leading the line with purpose once again, City also enjoyed some bright attacking moments on the break as well.
The game looked to be heading towards a goalless conclusion until Vuckic - introduced just before the hour mark by Wigan boss Gary Caldwell - struck the decisive blow for the Latics.
Nathan Clarke tried to nip possession away from Craig Davies as Wildschut played a low cross into the box but the ball broke free. Vuckic was able to get onto the loose ball ahead of Reece Burke before darting past a grounded Williams and firing into an unguarded net from a tight angle.
In response, Parkinson made a triple substitution - James Hanson, Mark Marshall and Wes Thomas all entering the field shortly after Vuckic's goal.
Evans tried to engineer something for City with two testing crosses late on but Wigan were able to see out the remaining time for three valuable points towards their own promotion push.
FT: Wigan Athletic 1 Bradford City 0
90+3min: With Hanson and Daniels wrestling for space inside the box, Evans curls in an inviting in-swinging cross that bounces not too far away from Jaaskelainen's far post.
90+2min: YELLOW CARD - Davies is booked for standing in front of the ball as City look to take free-kick just inside their own half of the pitch.
90min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
87min: With men in the box, Evans plays the across the six yard box but a grateful Jaaskelainen is able to cling onto the ball.
86min: Wildschut bursts in-field, running with the ball at pace, before firing in a strike from outside the box that sails comfortably wide.
86min: Meredith's hanging ball into the box from just inside Wigan's half is headed down by Hanson towards Thomas but the attacker's ambitious effort - an overhead kick - isn't cleanly struck and the ball drops comfortably into the path of Jaaskelainen.
84min: SUBS - The Bantams bring on Wes Thomas, Mark Marshall and James Hanson for Billy Clarke, Cullen and Proctor.
82min: Wildschut drives to the byline after beating Darby but his cross is held by his near post by Williams.
81min: GOAL - Wigan Athletic 1 Bradford City 0 - Wigan take the lead through the substitute Vuckic. With Wildschut prodding a pass into the box from wide, Nathan Clarke tries to nip in ahead of Davies but the ball runs free deep inside the box. Vuckic latches onto the ball before rounding Williams and tapping in from a tight angle.
80min: SUB - Wigan bring on Craig Davies for Colclough
79min: Proctor does brilliantly to beat Barnett to a ball forward before striding deep into Wigan's half of the pitch. Now in the box, Proctor turns into space and lays off to Billy Clarke but the Irish attacker's drive from just outside the box is blocked by Morgan.
77min: Tracked by Evans, Colclough moves in-field from his right flank position before firing in a low left-footed drive from outside the box that dribbles harmlessly wide of goal.
76min: SUB - Wigan bring on Leon Barnett for Daniels.
73min: McMahon's driven shot-come-cross deflects off Warnock and into the path of Proctor inside the Wigan box. Proctor chests the ball off in the direction of Billy Clarke but the ball is just too far in front of the Irish attacker and a grateful Morgan can kick clear.
72min: Billy Clarke's loose pass gives the dangerous Wildschut a chance to open his legs and drive towards the Bantams' penalty area. Moving in-field onto his favoured right foot, Wildschut tries to threaten City's goal but he is dispossessed by a well-timed tackle from Cullen.
71min: From a wide free-kick, McMahon plays the ball across the pitch to Josh Cullen but the midfielder's drive from just outside the box rises a good distance over the bar and into the sea of City fans behind Jaaskelainen's goal.
68min: Reid moves away from Wabara down City's left flank before clipping in a cross into the middle. Daniels heads away as far as the waiting Evans just outside the box but the Welshman's effort direct from a volley sails comfortably over by some distance.
64min: City break forward with pace as Proctor is released into space down the Bantams' right flank. Now in the box, Proctor turns away from Daniels but his shot-come-cross into the middle to headed away by Wabara with Reid lurking behind.
63min: YELLOW CARD - Evans is booked for catching Warnock with a late challenge as the pair looked to contest a loose ball midway into Wigan's half of the pitch.
60min: Vuckic's first touch is from a free-kick just outside City's box but his direct effort from the set-piece is easily held by Williams.
59min: SUB - Wigan bring on Haris Vuckic for Sam Morsy.
57min: Wildschut receives the ball in space inside City's half before he runs dangerously towards the Bantams penalty box. Wildschut eventually tries to play Grigg in behind the City defence but Williams is out quickly to gather up the attempted pass.
46min: What a chance for City at the start of the second period! A loose throw-in from Warnock sees Proctor rob Perkins of the ball before the attacker moves into the box. Proctor plays the ball low across the box, finding Billy Clarke in space barely six yards from goal. The striker is right in front of goal but his right-footed effort is scuffed across goal and the ball agonisingly bobbles wide of Jaaskelainen's far post.
46min: Wigan restart the match.
HT: Wigan Athletic 0 Bradford City 0
45min: There will be one minute of time added on at the end of the first half.
45min: Will Grigg gets a glancing header on Power's in-swinging cross into the box but the effort drops comfortably wide of Williams' far post.
43min: There is a brief break in play here as Warnock appears to be winded slightly following a tangle in the air with McMahon as the pair went up for a header. Warnock is soon back to his feet as Proctor is ordered to kick the ball back to Wigan.
36min: Williams punches away Stephen Warnock's corner delivery into the middle before Power fires the ball back goal-wards from inside the box. The ball deflects off a group of players, with Mr Deadman eventually deciding the last touch came off a City player and giving another corner to Wigan. From the following corner, Donervon Daniels keeps the attack alive with a header on inside the box towards an unmarked Wildschut but the Wigan attacker is flagged offside before he fires the ball past Williams and into the net.
30min: From Power's pass out to Wigan's right flank, Colclough turns in-field and shoots for goal from the edge of the box but his low angled drive on his left foot is simple enough for Williams to gather up.
22min: The resulting free-kick into the box is heading across goal by Jamie Proctor but the ball drops just past McMahon. Behind him, Evans looks to be striding onto the ball for a shot from deep inside the box but he slips at the crucial moment and Wigan can clear.
21min: YELLOW CARD - After avoiding a booking earlier in the half for barging into Reid as the winger to looked to drive into Wigan territory, Latics skipper Morgan is booked for bringing down Billy Clarke as the Irishman tried to surge into space just inside the hosts' half of the pitch.
20min: Despite appearing to clatter into Nathan Clarke as the pair tangle for an aerial ball, Wildschut escapes with nothing more than a stern telling-off from match official Darren Deadman.
15min: Colclough and David Perkins work a short corner for Wigan before the former crosses into the box. Max Power gets his head on the ball but the effort drops wide of goal.
11min: Lee Evans' long throw-in into the box eventually drops into the path of Josh Cullen but his strike from around the edge of the area is deflected wide of goal and out for a corner.
10min: Wigan hit the post! Yanic Wildschut is played into a pocket of space just outside the City penalty box and the attacker moves inside onto his favoured right foot before crashing in a low drive that smacks against the base of Ben Williams' near post. Colclough tries to capitalise on the loose ball but a well-timed tackle inside the box by Tony McMahon sees the ball go out for a corner.
5min: Ryan Colclough plays the ball dangerously low across the six yard box and a watchful Stephen Darby has to put behind for a Wigan corner.
2min: Jamie Proctor robs Craig Morgan of possession just outside Wigan's penalty area before feeding the ball wide to Kyel Reid. From a tight angle inside the box, Reid goes for goal and Jussi Jaaskelainen has to bundle the ball behind by his near post for a City corner.
0min: The Bantams kick off the match. They will defend the end holding their large away support in the first period.
WIGAN ATHLETIC LINE UP:
Jaaskelainen, Wabara, Morgan, Daniels, Warnock, Morsy, Perkins, Power, Colclough, Wildschut, Grigg
Subs: Nicholls, Kellett, Davies, Chow, Barnett, Vuckic, Hendry
Wigan Athletic substitutions:
Vuckic for Morsy (59), Barnett for Daniels (76), Davies for Colclough (80)
Wigan Athletic cautions:
Morgan (21), Davies (90+2)
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP:
Williams, Darby, N Clarke, Burke, Meredith, McMahon, Evans, Cullen, Reid, B Clarke, Proctor
Subs: Cracknell, Marshall, Hanson, Knott, Morris, Routis, Thomas
Bradford City substitutions:
Thomas for B Clarke (84), Marshall for Cullen (84), Hanson for Proctor (84)
Bradford City cautions:
Referee: D Deadman
Assistant Referee: I Dudley
Assistant Referee: G Liddle
Fourth Official: J Johnson
Fourth Official: J Johnson