Bradford City 3 (McMahon pen 29, 85, Marshall 45+3)
AFC Wimbledon 0
Saturday 22nd April 2017 | Sky Bet League One | Northern Commercials Stadium at Valley Parade
The Bantams eased to a routine home victory against AFC Wimbledon to confirm a place in the end of the season play-offs and make sure of a full league campaign unbeaten at home. Josh Cullen was felled by Jonathan Meades to give Tony McMahon a chance he took with aplomb to give the hosts the lead from the penalty spot. Mark Marshall's cross-shot on the stroke of half-time flew into the far corner to give Stuart McCall's side a healthy lead going into the interval and the win was confirmed with five minutes remaining as Tony McMahon lashed a shot into the bottom corner from a tight angle after being played in by Marshall. The play-offs now confirmed and all to look forward to going into the next few weeks.
AFC Wimbledon came into this one with the pressure off, knowing that no matter what the outcome of the remaining two fixtures, they would be a Sky Bet League One side next season. City knew that to make sure of a play-off place, they needed a point from the final two fixtures, preferably with the job done and dusted going to Rochdale on the final day of the season. The first chance of the game came to Alex Jones who came back into the starting line-up after Monday's defeat at Sheffield United; he headed into the ground and over the bar after connecting with Mark Marshall's cross from the left-hand side.
Marshall was instrumental once again for the Bantams and his supply of crosses seemed endless in the early stages of the game; his delivery this time was flapped at by AFC Wimbledon stopper Joe McDonnell, fortunately for him the ball came back into his grasp after deflecting favourably off Darius Charles.
Approaching the hour mark, City were awarded a penalty after Josh Cullen was bundled over carelessly in the box by Jonathan Meades. McDonnell guessed the right way but Tony McMahon's penalty kick was executed to perfection to give the Bantams the lead.
Nicky Law saw an attempt from 25 yards held onto by McDonnell before Charlie Wyke saw a low drive go a yard or so wide of the target after he'd engineered himself an opening just outside the box. On the very stroke of half time City doubled the advantage and what a goal it was, bizarre of not sublime. Mark Marshall twisted and turned away from Sean Kelly and with the angle looking favourable, only for a cross, the City number seven hammered the ball across the six yard box, over McDonnell, and into the back of the net.
AFC Wimbledon started the second half pretty well and Andy Barcham was denied a goal with a shot from the edge of the area after Colin Doyle held onto the ball and then the Dons winger threatened again shortly afterwards, weaving his way between Tony McMahon and Romain Vincelot before being denied by an important intervention from Rory McArdle.
Lyle Taylor, is Wimbledon's leading marksman and he missed a presentable opportunity as Neil Ardley began to sense a way back into a game they had very much been second best in, skewing a shot well over the bar from 12 yards after Jake Reeves had picked him out.
Marshall continued to threaten down the right-hand side and his cross created problems for Wimbledon once again; his delivery aimed for Timothee Dieng fell invitingly to Nicky Law who got underneath a bouncing ball to skew one into the Kop.
Charlie Wyke went in search of his 8th goal in City colours and he connected with Tony McMahon's corner into the box to head narrowly over the bar. Billy Clarke came on in place of Alex Jones and he almost got himself on the scoresheet with his first opportunity, but he lashed a shot inches over the bar from 10 yards out after the ball had fallen to him fortuitously.
Five minutes remained on the clock and there was still time for McMahon to score his second goal of the afternoon and City's third. Marshall once again played a starring role and he played the ball into the path of the overlapping full-back and he slammed the ball past McDonnell from a tight angle and dedicated his celebration to former Middlesbrough teammate Ugo Ehiogu who tragically passed away this weekend.
Urged to shoot and on a hat-trick, McMahon fired a shot harmlessly over the bar from distance and then Josh Cullen had a chance to make it four in added time, but he dragged his attempt wide from inside the box after McMahon's corner had been worked into his path.