As we prepare to enter a new calendar year, let's take a look back at an eventful and profitable previous twelve months for the Bantams.
The Bantams' entertaining 3-2 victory over Oxford United on Saturday ensured City their ended 2017 fixtures with the same result they begin the year with - a victory.
McCall's side kicked off the year with a win at Northampton Town, with City going on to secure a spot in the play-off final in May.
Thanks to a number of positive results throughout the calendar year, City managed to maintain a spot in the play-off positions for virtually all of the year.
The Bantams began the year with a come from behind away victory at Northampton Town. The Cobblers took the lead through Alex Revell before goals from Mark Marshall and Jordy Hiwula completed the turnaround and five days later Stuart McCall’s men completed a routine home victory against Chesterfield. Progression in the Checkatrade Trophy was ensured with a narrow victory at Cheltenham Town just days before a home stalemate with Millwall. Rory McArdle’s late goal helped City to victory at Oldham Athletic and on transfer deadline day, Charlie Wyke was signed from Carlisle United on the same evening as a Checkatrade Trophy exit at Oxford United.
Charlie Wyke scored on his City debut in a 2-2 home draw against Gillingham at the start of the month before playing a superb hand in Nicky Law’s goal in a 1-1 draw at Bristol Rovers a week later. The Bantams spent Valentine’s Night at Fleetwood Town and fell to a 2-1 defeat before being pegged back by Bolton Wanderers on Phil Parkinson’s return to Valley Parade a few days later. Another January signing, Alex Jones, scored the winner against his former club Port Vale at Vale Park in a 2-1 win for the Bantams before another 2-2 home draw – this time against MK Dons.
City began the month with a narrow home victory against Peterborough United with Alex Jones again on the scoresheet and the January signing from Birmingham City scored again the following weekend in a 2-0 victory at eventually relegated Coventry City. Timothee Dieng scored as City came from behind to earn a point on their travels at Charlton Athletic before a last gasp home victory against Swindon Town with Charlie Wyke the match-winner. The month was ended with a televised 3-2 defeat at Scunthorpe United as the chase for the play-off places began to intensify.
Four wins out of six in April saw the Bantams secure a place in the play-offs. Three wins in a row to begin the month against Walsall, Bury and Oxford United came before a drubbing at Champions elect Sheffield United. City rounded off the regular home league campaign with a 3-0 victory against AFC Wimbledon before a 1-1 draw at Rochdale on the final day of the season.
The season was to extend into May for Stuart McCall’s side who were paired with Fleetwood Town in the Play-Off Semi-Finals. Rory McArdle’s header gave City a slender advantage to take to Highbury Stadium before battling to a goalless draw on the Fylde Coast. It was a result that meant The Bantams would take on Millwall in the final at Wembley Stadium after they got the better of Scunthorpe United. Steve Morison’s late goal at the national stadium saw the Lions promoted.
City had just a month off after a season which extended into May and there was quite some turnaround in players over the summer months. Experiences pros such as Rory McArdle, Stephen Darby, James Meredith, Billy Clarke and Mark Marshall departed the club with Dominic Poleon, Jake Reeves and Shay McCartan the eye-catching signings. Also en route to Valley Parade, Paul Taylor, Omari Patrick, Adam Chicksen, Tyrell Robinson, Callum Gunner, Lachlan Barr and Joel Grodowski.
City began the campaign with a home victory against Blackpool, with Omari Patrick bursting onto the scene to score the winning goal. An exit at the first hurdle from the Carabao Cup at the hands of Doncaster Rovers was followed by a 1-0 victory on the road at Gillingham with Dominic Poleon’s goal proving decisive. Blackburn Rovers secured a narrow victory at Valley Parade before City surrendered a three-goal lead at Walsall to draw 3-3. Omari Patrick, Alex Jones (x2) and Jacob Hanson scored as the Bantams ended the month with a 4-2 Checkatrade Trophy victory at Chesterfield.
Seven games in the month of September and just one defeat in those seven games. Charlie Wyke scored a hat-trick in a televised 3-1 victory against Bristol Rovers before a victory of the same score-line on the road at Peterborough United. Romain Vincelot scored a last gasp goal to earn City a point away at Oxford United before narrow victories against Rotherham United and Northampton Town. The Bantams were beaten 3-0 at home by Fleetwood Town with former Bantams Jordy Hiwula and Devante Cole both on the scoresheet. The month was ended with a 2-0 home victory against Doncaster Rovers.
City crushed MK Dons at Stadium MK with a 4-1 victory but a week later fell to a 3-1 defeat at struggling Bury. Held by an in-form Oldham Athletic side a few days later, Stuart McCall’s side were beaten at home again, with Charlton Athletic this time edging to a narrow victory. The month was ended with two wins though, Manchester City U21s were seen off in the Checkatrade Trophy before the Bantams secured a 1-0 victory at Portsmouth thanks to a Matthew Kilgallon header.
November was a very mixed month for the Bantams. Progression in the FA Cup was secured with a 2-0 victory against League Two strugglers Chesterfield at Valley Parade before back to back defeats against Rotherham United in the Checkatrade Trophy and then Plymouth Argyle in the league. Tyrell Robinson’s stoppage time strike gave the Bantams a superb victory on the road at Wigan Athletic before Scunthorpe United’s 2-1 victory at Valley Parade. The month was ended and so was another unbeaten home run as City recorded a 1-0 win at Shrewsbury Town, previously unbeaten on their own patch.
The month began with an FA Cup victory against Plymouth Argyle before a Checkatrade Trophy exit at the hands of Oldham Athletic. Tyrell Robinson was once again the match-winner as he scored in a 4-3 victory against Rochdale at Valley Parade before securing a last minute victory at Southend United a week later, Charlie Wyke’s penalty proving decisive. Back-to-back defeats against AFC Wimbledon and Peterborough United were a blow, but City ended the month with a morale-boosting success over Oxford United at the Northern Commercials Stadium.