Charlie Wyke’s sending off at the end of Bradford City’s 3-2 home win over Oxford United only adds to manager Stuart McCall’s problems as he prepares his side for Monday’s visit to Fleetwood.
Already without six players for this match, he will miss his leading scorer for the next three games after Wyke was shown the red card for a foul tackle on Canice Carroll in stoppage time.
McCall said: “I don’t think we will be appealing. I think it’s just the way he’s lunged. Charlie hasn’t gone over the top of the ball – it’s just his momentum. Unfortunately, you can’t tackle like that these days.”
City’s win followed two defeats in four days and McCall said: “Some of our forward play was terrific – we had 30 attempts on goal – it was a really entertaining game, but it was a relief when the referee blew the whistle.”
Wyke put Bradford in front in the second minute after Simon Eastwood had saved Shay McCartan’s header. Eastwood, a loan player for Bradford from Huddersfield Town during McCall’s first spell as manager, then denied the Bantams with a string of fine saves to make sure Oxford were only 1-0 down at half time.
Carroll equalised with a header from Ricardinho’s corner five minutes after the interval, but two goals in five minutes put City back in charge.
McCartan restored their lead with a 25 yard shot after 55 minutes and Tim Dieng scored the third with a header from Tyrell Robinson’s cross in the 59th minute before Jon Obika pulled a goal back for Oxford in the 75th minute to set up a tense finish.
Bradford City: Sattelmaier, Hendrie, Knight-Percival, Kilgallon, Robinson, McCartan (Gilliead 72), Dieng, Vincelot, Law, Wyke, Taylor (Patrick 78). Unused substitutes: Raeder (gk), Thompson, Field, Hanson, Gibson.
Oxford United: Eastwood, Carroll, Martin, Mousinho, Ricardinho, Rothwell (Henry 10), Ruffels, Ledson, van Kessel (Payne 74), Thomas (Mehmeti 72), Obika. Unused substitutes: Shearer (gk), Williamson, Tiendalli, Mowatt.
Referee: E Ilderton (Newastle).