Bradford City 1 (De Vita 13)
Wolves 2 (Henry 28, Stearman 32)
Wolves moved up to second place in the League One table after coming from behind to win a hard fought encounter with Bradford City at Valley Parade.
Richard Stearman came in for the injured Matt Doherty and David Davis returned taking the place of Jack Price who was suffering from migraine and vision problems. For the first time this season Jamie O’Hara figured as he took a place on the bench.
Wolves kicked –off defending the end of the ground that housed around 2,500 of their supporters and the game began at a brisk pace on a sunny Yorkshire afternoon.
Davis thwarted a potential chance for City when he dispossessed James Hanson on the edge of the box. Moments later home keeper Jon McLaughlin plucked a Leigh Griffiths cross out of the air as Lee Evans ran in at the far post.
A timely block by Stearman denied Kyel Reid a clear shot at goal with the one-time Molineux loanee needing treatment before he was able to continue.
But the 13th minute proved to be unlucky for Wanderers as they conceded an opening half goal for the first time in the campaign. Danny Batth cleared Raffaele De Vita’s shot off the line but the ball ran back to the Italian who thumped home a low shot from eight-yards.
McLaughlin had little difficulty in taking a James Henry corner and then, in Wolves’ next attack the keeper held a low cross from the winger at his near post.
Twice in a five minute spell Griffiths shot across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the back stick as the visitors went in search of an equaliser.
With just 24 minutes gone, Kenny Jackett decided it was time for a change and he sent on Kevin Doyle for Evans.
Just a minute after his introduction, Doyle could have unwittingly made the perfect start. Bakary Sako’s cross was headed out to Davis whose shot deflected off Doyle but straight to McLaughlin.
However, the keeper was at fault in the 28th minute as Wolves drew level. He appeared to have Henry’s 20-yard effort covered but the ball appeared to squirm beneath his dive and into the net (pictured).
Hanson sent a powerful header over the bar after Gary Jones had pumped a free-kick into the Wolves box. But, on 32 minutes, it was the away fans that were cheering their side’s second goal.
Henry’s corner was half cleared back to him and this time his cross into the heart of the goalmouth was met by Stearman whose glancing header flew past McLaughlin.
Henry almost added a third after a Sako corner was headed out to him but his rising drive from 25-yards went just the wrong side of the post.
Half-Time: City 1 Wolves 2
At the start of the new half Bradford introduced Nahki Well in place of De Vita – City’s leading scorer returning from injury.
Wells was soon in the thick of things as he headed on a cross from Reid with Hanson just failing to make contact before the ball ran out of play.
A great pass from Kevin McDonald picked out Sako on the left but his shot from the tightest of angles went over the bar before McLaughlin dived full length to cling on to a crisp drive from Griffiths.
McDonald was shown the yellow card after a challenge on Jones and then Ethan Ebanks-Landell went on in place of the limping Stearman.
In the 63rd minute Wells got to the by-line before driving the ball across the face of goal with no home player there to provide the touch needed.
More bookings followed with Reid yellow carded for simulation as he went over Carl Ikeme’s outstretched arm and Davis for his challenge on Jones.
Griffiths fired onto the side netting after Davis had crossed from the far side and, at the other end Carl Ikeme reacted swiftly to block as Wells ran in onto a flick on.
Henry tried to calm any nerves from the fans behind McLaughlin’s goal when he took aim from 22-yards with an effort that was literally inches wide.
Bradford pressed hard as the game approached its conclusion and it took three tremendous Ikeme saves to deny the Bantams with Wells the victim on each occasion.
Wells first effort was an angled drive from inside the box that the Wolves keeper turned behind. Then, twice in a matter of seconds, Ikeme made great stops, blocking each time, to frustrate the City striker.
In the 89thn minute Henry dribbled his way into the box before firing over the angle. There were four and a half minutes of added time but Wanderers held on to claim their tenth win from just 13 games.
City: McLaughlin, Darby, Meredith, Reid, Hanson, Thompson (Yeates 70), Jones (capt), De Vita (Wells 45), Bates (Folan 85), McArdle, N. Doyle.
Unused subs: Ripley, Kennedy, Taylor, McHugh.
Bookings: Reid (66 – simulation), Meredith (90+2 – foul).
Wolves: Ikeme, Stearman (Ebanks-Landell 58), Golbourne, McDonald, Batth, Ricketts (capt), Henry, Davis, Griffiths (Sigurdarson 79), Evans (K. Doyle 24), Sako.
Unused subs: McCarey, Edwards, Forde, O’Hara.
Bookings: McDonald (58 – foul), Davis (71 – foul).
Referee: G. Salisbury.