Sky Bet League 1
Bradford City 1 (De Vita 13)
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 (Henry 28, Stearman 32)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at the Coral Windows Stadium
Attendance: 18,044 (2,437 visitors)
Pictures kindly provided by Claire Epton
The Bantams fell to an unfortunate defeat at the hands of high-flying Wolverhampton Wanderers this Saturday.
Leading thanks to Raffaele De Vita's first goal for the club after 13 minutes, City were good value for their advantage in the early stages of the half but two goals in four minutes around the half hour mark from James Henry and Richard Stearman changed the game the visitors' way.
Aided by the half time arrival of Nahki Wells from the subs bench, Phil Parkinson's men pushed for an equaliser throughout the second period, dominating proceedings for large spells of the half as a result.
Wells was denied on three occasions by Wolves 'keeper Carl Ikeme after the restart, while Kyel Reid was controversially booking for diving after going down under the challenge of the visiting shot-stopper inside the area.
Parkinson went to three at the back in the game's closing stages in an attempt to see City pick up something up for their efforts but Wolves were able to repel the Bantams' pressure and cling on for the victory.
The loss is City's third defeat in four matches but that fact seems rather churlish given the Bantams' performance against their renowned opponents. Keeping playing like this and City will surely win more games than they lose.
With just over 18,000 inside the Coral Windows Stadium, the attendance figure narrowly beat the number tallying up for the Sheffield United game back in August to make it City's biggest crowd of the season.
After picking up his first league start for City in the creditable midweek draw at Preston North End, De Vita kept his place in the side for his first start in front of the home crowd.
The Italian marked the occasion in with the game's opener following a high-octane start to the match by Parkinson's men.
Reid's hanging cross eventually dropped into the path of De Vita by the far post. His first strike with his right was blocked on the line by Danny Batth but De Vita was on hand to smash home the rebound with his left.
The goal was the first time this season Wolves had conceded a goal in the opening half of a game. It was also the first time they had fallen behind away from home so far this campaign.
The lead was no more than the Bantams deserved after a forceful beginning to the match that saw City give Wolves no time at all to settle into a rhythm.
A clearly concerned Wolves boss Kenny Jackett responded to City's bright start by switching from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2 after only 24 minutes by bringing on well-known hitman Kevin Doyle.
The move did work for Jackett's men shortly afterwards - but City will be highly frustrated by the nature of Wolves' leveller.
A mix up between Gary Jones and James Meredith allowed Henry a clear sight of goal on the edge of the Bantams' penalty area.
Despite the danger, Henry's shot looked to lack the power and pace to beat McLaughlin in the City goal until the ball squirmed under the 'keeper's body and rolled into the net.
Worse was to follow for Parkinson's men when Henry whipped in a cross after his initial corner delivery was cleared and Stearman was on hand to glance the ball home with a header as McLaughlin came to punch clear.
Buoyed by their quickfire goals, Wolves looked a different animal as they became the stronger side in the game up until the half-time break.
With De Vita feeling his hamstrings during the interval, Wells was called off the bench for his first action in a month following a recent ankle problem.
Wells would go on to be at the heart of a number of City attacks as they pushed for a leveller in the second period, but all eyes were on Reid a few minutes past the hour mark when the winger was booked in debatable circumstances.
After being played in by Wells, Reid looked to round Ikeme inside the area but went to ground instead as the Wolves 'keeper dived at his feet.
The home fans in the bumper Valley Parade crowd screamed for a penalty but, much to the surprise of Reid, referee Graham Salisbury booked City's number seven for diving.
While the incident couldn't be described as a stonewall penalty, it did seem harsh to book Reid for diving. It also added further to City's frustrations regarding penalty claims for this season. Amazingly, despite at least of couple of clear shouts for spot-kicks, Parkinson's side still haven't been awarded a penalty all season so far.
In the last fifteen minutes of an entertaining contest, Wells enjoyed three bites of the cherry to score City's equaliser. Each time though his path was blocked by Ikeme.
Wells was firstly denied by Ikeme thanks to brave block at the striker's feet from close range after the Bermudian had been fed by Nathan Doyle. With less than four minutes of normal time remaining, the Wolves shot-stopper then repelled two efforts from the Bermudian in quick succession as City kept knocking at the door.
The defeat might be a hard one to take for many in the City camp, especially given the amount of play the Bantams had in the second half, but there is no doubt that there are many positives to take from their encounter with probably the biggest side in League 1.
FT: Bradford City 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2
90+1min: YELLOW CARD - McArdle is booked for hauling back Golbourne just inside City's own half after Wolves had threatened to go on the counter-attack.
90min: There will be four minutes of time added on at the end of the match.
89min: Henry drives into the City penalty area but his rising drive flies a yard or so wide of McLaughlin's near post.
87min: Jones' inswinging cross is headed down into the path of Wells, whose half-volley from a tight angle is blocked by Ikeme. With Wells grounded after his earlier effort, the Bermudian still strikes for goal with the rebound but that effort is also repelled by Ikeme.
86min: Wells sees a low curling effort from just inside the area deflect a yard or so wide of goal.
85min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Caleb Folan for Bates, meaning City will finish the game with only three at the back.
83min: Doyle strikes for goal with a looping half-volley from distance but the ambitious effort bounces comfortably wide of Ikeme's goal.
81min: Henry takes aim from around 20 yards out but McLaughlin has the effort covered as it bounces wide of goal.
79min: SUB - Wolves bring on Bjorn Sigurdarson for Griffiths.
76min: Doyle's clever through ball into Wells gives the striker a slight sight of goal. From a tight angle about six yards out, Wells shoots but his effort is smothered by Ikeme by his near post. Wells picks up the loose ball, however, finds Reid, who is also in space inside the box. The winger tries to twist and turn to find shooting space but his eventual shot is blocked out as far as the lurking Jones, who fires well over with a half-volley from just outside the penalty area.
75min: Scott Golbourne's hanging ball into the area eventually drops into the path of Griffiths, who fires a couple of yards wide of McLaughlin's near post with a low drive.
71min: YELLOW CARD - David Davis is booked for clipping Jones just inside Wolves' half as the City skipper looked to lead the Bantams forward on an attack.
70min: SUB - The Bantams bring on Mark Yeates for Thompson.
68min: Henry's effort from a short Wolves corner is kicked clear from right in front of his own goal by Jones.
66min: YELLOW CARD - A controversial moment here at Valley Parade! Wells plays Reid in behind Wolves' backline before the winger goes down as Ikeme comes to dive at his feet. The home fans scream for a penalty but Reid is instead booked for diving.
63min: A quick City free-kick plays Wells into space inside the area. The Bermudian drives the ball low across the Wolves six yard box but unfortunately no City player is on hand to fire home.
63min: Jones' far post delivery from a City corner is headed by across goal by Hanson. Bates and then Doyle tries to get shots away but both are blocked, eventually leading to Bakary Sako leading a dangerous Wolves counter-attack. Sako tries to play Doyle through on goal but his pass is crucially intercepted by Meredith.
59min: SUB - Wolves bring on Ethan Ebanks-Landell for Stearman.
59min: YELLOW CARD - Kevin McDonald is booked for checking Reid as the winger turned away from him just inside City's own half of the pitch.
56min: Reid's free-kick from just outside the area is blocked by Wolves' wall before the winger volleys the rebound comfortably over the bar from a similar position.
54min: Griffiths' low drive from just outside the area is well held by McLaughlin.
54min: Jones' inswinging cross is headed for goal by Hanson but the effort is straight at Ikeme.
47min: Reid's cross into the box is flicked on via the head of Wells but a diving Hanson by the far post can't quite reach the ball as he slides for it inside the six yard box.
46min: The Bantams restart the match.
HT SUB - The Bantams bring on Nahki Wells just before the start of the second half for De Vita. Thompson will move across to the right wing as a result.
HT: Bradford City 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2
45min: There will be three minutes of time added on at the end of the first half.
35min: Henry takes aim with a shot on the turn but his drive from outside the area flies a yard or so wide of goal.
32min: GOAL - Bradford City 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 - Four minutes after conceding Wolves' equaliser, the Bantams fall behind in the match for the first time. City only clear a Wolves corner back to the set-piece taker Henry, who whips in a secondary cross which is glanced home by Richard Stearman.
30min: Rory McArdle heads over from a decent position inside the area following Gary Jones' delivery from a wide free-kick.
28min: GOAL - Bradford City 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 - The Bantams surrender their lead in disappointing fashion. The ball falls into Henry's path just outside City's area after Jones and James Meredith seem to get in each other's way. Despite the communication problem, Henry's low drive for goal still doesn't look like it should find the net but it unfortunately squirms under McLaughlin's body and rolls in.
26min: Reid goes for an ambitious drive from distance but his low bobbling effort bounces kindly into the arms of Carl Ikeme.
24min: SUB - Wolves bring on Kevin Doyle for Lee Evans. After starting with only Griffiths up front, Wolves will now have two in attack following the introduction of Doyle.
24min: Henry's lofted ball over the top releases Griffiths into some space behind City's backline. The attacker is still someway off goal, however, and his eventual left-footer from the edge of the box trickles a couple of yards wide of McLaughlin's goal.
18min: As both Matthew Bates and Gary Jones both accidentally tangle in their eagerness to get a loose ball, James Henry picks up the loose scraps before surging forward towards City's penalty area. Henry eventually plays the ball wide to Leigh Griffiths, who fires a low drive from the edge of the area across goal and a few yards wide of Jon McLaughlin's far post.
13min: GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!! Bradford City 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 - City have the lead through a first Bradford goal for Raffaele De Vita! Reid's searching cross to the far post eventually drops into the path of De Vita. The Italian's first shot from an angle about six yards out is blocked on the line by Danny Batth before De Vita lashes home the rebound with his left.
6min: Stephen Darby's ball over the top is flicked on by James Hanson into the path of Kyel Reid to leave the winger with a clean sight of goal well inside Wolves' area. As Reid waits for the bouncing ball to come under his control though, Sam Ricketts comes across to make the vital interception.
0min: Wolverhampton Wanderers kick off the match. City will attack towards the T.L Dallas Stand end in the first half.
BRADFORD CITY LINE UP
McLaughlin, Darby, McArdle, Bates, Meredith, De Vita, Jones, Doyle, Reid, Thompson, Hanson
Subs: Ripley, Kennedy, Yeates, Taylor, McHugh, Folan, Wells
Bradford City changes:
Wells for De Vita (46), Yeates for Thompson (70), Folan for Bates (85)
Bradford City cautions:
Reid (66), McArdle (90+1)
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS LINE UP
Ikeme, Stearman, Batth, Ricketts, Golbourne, Henry, Davis, Evans, McDonald, Sako, Griffiths
Subs: McCarey, Edwards, Forde, Sigurdarson, Ebanks-Landell, O'Hara, Doyle
Wolverhampton Wanderers changes:
Doyle for Evans (24), Ebanks-Landell for Stearman (59), Sigurdarson for Griffiths (79)
Wolverhampton Wanderers cautions:
McDonald (59), Davis (71)
Referee: G Salisbury
Assistant Referee: G Hart
Assistant Referee: J Hull
Fourth Official: M Astley