Northampton Town 0
Bradford City 1 (McMahon 34)
Saturday 23 September 2017 | Sky Bet League One | Sixfields Stadium
It had been a while since Tony McMahon last scored one of his trademark free kicks for Bradford City, but a stunning hit from 25 yards from the right back proved to be the decisive goal on City's trip to Northampton Town. The hosts had clearly been rejuvenated by the arrival of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in the managerial hot-seat after an awful start to the season under Justin Edinburgh and, although they knocked on the door in the second half for a share of the spoils, the Bantams held on for another win and another clean sheet.
The lion’s share of the first half chances belonged to the Bantams, and the first one of the game fell to Nicky Law. Matthew Kilgallon’s superb lofted pass landed into the path of Dominic Poleon’s run to break into the box; he tried to pick out Charlie Wyke in the middle and ball broke to Law who couldn’t find the power in his shot to test Matt Ingram with a first time effort.
Poleon was in the heart of the action again minutes later. On the score sheet just down the road in Peterborough a couple of weeks ago, he should really have been increasing his goal tally when he was picked out by Romain Vincelot’s low cross but the connection wasn’t the cleanest and Ingram in the Cobblers’ goal was left breathing a sigh of relief.
Nathaniel Knight-Percival has been excellent for the Bantams so far this season but a lapse in concentration meant that his back pass towards Colin Doyle fell short and Alex Revell capitalised on that to run through on goal. The central defender though recovered really well to halt the Town forward before he got a shot away.
City by now should have had the lead especially once Charlie Wyke had been denied by Ingram. He’s yet to score since his hat-trick against Bristol Rovers, Wyke brought down Law’s cross from the left-hand side on his chest and his close range attempt was kept out by the stopper who played under his Dutch manager at Queens Park Rangers.
Jake Reeves set his sights from 25 yards but his shot went wildly over the bar as City hunted an opening goal. The opening goal came from a similar distance but it was from a free kick, a Tony McMahon free kick. Ingram’s positioning was questionable and the City defender picked out the top left corner exquisitely to open the scoring.
Romain Vincelot came into this game with three goals in three appearances and he almost made it four in as many games moments later. Adam Chicksen delivered an excellent cross from the left-hand side the Frenchman attempted to get to the ball with a diving header at the far post, but he couldn’t quite get himself on the end of a dangerous delivery.
City were slow out of the traps in the second half as Northampton began to crank up the pressure somewhat. Aaron Pierre latched onto Ingram’s long punt down the field just after the hour mark to loop a glancing header comfortably over the bar.
Vincelot had another headed attempt after good work by the lively Alex Gilliead to tee up McMahon for a first time cross into the box but the City skipper couldn’t generate enough power to properly test Ingram with an effort. The Newcastle loanee, Gilliead conjured up a tremendous run down the right flank to fizz a low cross into the six-yard box which was almost turned into his own goal by Ash Taylor.
The Bantams had to dig in to get this victory, just as they did last weekend against Rotherham United and Alex Revell spurned a great opportunity at the far post with just three minutes left on the clock. David Buchanan’s cross was accurate but the big forward couldn’t make City pay.
Another imposing forward in the form of Marc Richards came on as a late substitute in an attempt to rescue his side a point and he missed a glorious opportunity with seconds left on the clock. Matt Grimes punted a hopeful ball forward and the ball dropped into his path but he lashed the ball over the bar to leave City with three points firmly in their grasp as they prepared to head back up the M1.