Wolves 2 Bradford City 0
Despite being reduced to 10 men early in the game for the second successive match, City produced a spirited, hard-working performance despite falling to defeat at Molineux. Nathan Doyle was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the opening 28 minutes before Kevin McDonald scored on the stroke of half time. Nouha Dicko scrambled home a second in the second half to secure all three points for his side.
Wolves’ new signing Leon Clarke was making his debut and he almost got off to a flying start when after he’d charged down Rory McArdle’s attempted clearance he raced through on goal only to be denied by a last ditch block from Carl McHugh.
The hosts were looking to get on the front foot straight away and came close again when after Clarke had knocked McDonald’s cross down, Nouha Dicko was denied by a low save from Jon McLaughlin.
Richard Stearman scored in the reverse fixture at the Coral Windows Stadium and he came close to opening the scoring when he got on the end of Michael Jacobs’ cross but his header went straight at McLaughlin who made a routine save.
City’s first real effort of note came from the skipper Gary Jones. After the ball was worked to him he strolled forward before firing a rising drive about a yard or so over Aaron McCarey’s cross-bar.
On 28 minutes, Doyle received his second yellow card for a late challenge on McDonald after he’d picked up his first for bringing down Jacobs and all of a sudden the job in hand for City was made much more difficult. Shortly after this, the Bantams almost took the lead against the run of play as Adam Reach rattled the crossbar with a firm left footed strike from a tight angle.
The hosts barraged the City goal in an attempt to go into the half time interval with a lead and after Bakary Sako and Sam Ricketts were denied by McLaughlin, Sako turned provider as he teed McDonald up for a well-placed 20 yard shot that found the bottom corner right on the stroke of half time.
Early in the second half, City counter attacked excellently before Garry Thompson teed Stephen Darby up for a first time shot from just inside the area which came back off the post with McCarey well beaten.
Shortly after, Wolves went 2-0 up. Sako proved to be the provider once again as his low cross was scrambled in amongst a goalmouth melee by Nouha Dicko.
The hosts went looking for more goals and after Ricketts dug out an excellent cross, Clarke’s looping header at the far post landed on the roof of the net. Clarke went close again and after he’d dinked the ball towards goal, Darby back tracked excellently to stop the ball on the line allowing McHugh to mop up and make a vital clearance.
Substitute James Henry and Dicko went close as they looked for a third goal and City couldn’t produce any further notable chances in the game as they fell to a defeat. The players though can take a lot of credit from a very encouraging performance as they showed resilience and at time despite having 10 men, attacking instinct. Certain players were outstanding on the day including Darby and McHugh but the job was made even tougher when Doyle was dismissed early on.