Bradford City 1 Wolves 2
The Bantams fell to their second successive home defeat of the season at the hands of promotion favourites Wolves despite going ahead early on. Raffaele De Vita’s well taken strike gave the hosts a 13th minute lead but a defensive error allowed Millwall loanee James Henry to fire a shot under the dive of Jon McLaughlin from 18 yards out before he crossed for Richard Stearman to glance the visitors ahead 4 minutes after equalising. City dominated play in the second half but couldn’t find the equaliser against a resilient Wolves backline.
City would have to be at their best to get a result in this fixture and they certainly started brightly; James Hanson’s flick on saw Kyel Reid look set to fire a shot towards goal but hesitancy from the winger allowed Wolves’ skipper Sam Ricketts the chance to step and in and halt any danger.
Kyel Reid had been showing some real form of late and he delivered a cross into the area that made its way to Raffaele De Vita at the far post, his first shot was cleared off the line by Danny Batth before he fired in an unstoppable follow-up from close range to leave Carl Ikeme helpless.
Kenny Jackett’s men were growing into the game as the half wore on and the introduction of Kevin Doyle off the bench to replace midfielder Lee Evans had a major effect on the game and proved to be a turning point. Shortly after his introduction Leigh Griffiths fired a low angled shot narrowly wide following Henry’s incisive through ball.
Four minutes later however, Wolves were level. A lapse in concentration saw Gary Jones and James Meredith get in each other’s way attempting to get to a loose ball and this allowed Henry the chance to shoot; his shot wasn’t the best but it managed to squirm under the body of McLaughlin for the leveller.
Shortly after, the visitors went ahead. Henry’s corner was cleared back towards him and his second delivery was inch perfect as Stearman rose highest to glance the ball into the far corner past McLaughlin to stun the home crowd.
Nahki Wells was introduced as a half time substitute replacing De Vita to mark his return from a month out with injury and he almost got an immediate assist. Reid’s cross was helped on by the Bermudian and Hanson couldn’t quite reach the ball at the far post as it passed him by.
Leigh Griffiths always looked capable of a goal and forced McLaughlin into a smart save with his low goal-bound drive from 18 yards.
The Bantams thought they’d been awarded a penalty just past the hour when Reid got onto the end of Wells’ pass before tumbling to the ground under a challenge from Ikeme after he’d gone round him however, the ref didn’t agree with the penalty appeals and booked Reid for simulation.
City were well and truly on top going into the latter stages in search of an equalising goal and Wells saw an angled shot saved by Ikeme before Reid cut back for Jones to fire a shot well over the bar, the main chance in the situation was Wells’ but Ikeme produced some fine goalkeeping.
Carl Ikeme was to single-handedly keep Wolves’ lead in tact late on; first he tipped Wells’ low shot round the post for a corner kick and seconds later he made a great double save from City’s leading scorer.
It wasn’t to be for City who fell to successive home defeats for the first time since February albeit in a higher division, the next home game will provide another real test against a Coventry side in real form – a chance for the Bantams to show some true character.