Wolves 2 (McDonald 45+3, Dicko 57)
Bradford City 0
Wolves moved back into the top two of League One after a comfortable victory over Bradford City at Molineux with both promotion rivals, Brentford and Leyton Orient, dropping points from their respective away fixtures.
The only change to the starting line-up saw Leon Clarke making his second Wolves ‘debut’ after his mid-week signing from Coventry. Dropping out was Lee Evans who was named as a substitute.
Wolves began the game by kicking towards the North Bank and Clarke almost made an instant impact as h won possession in the centre circle. He advanced on goal but the ball held up as he prepared to shoot and a defender managed to clear.
Clarke then nodded down a Michael Jacobs centre to Nouha Dicko but keeper Jon McLaughlin got down to turn away the striker’s low shot.
A Bakary Sako corner was headed out to Jack Price and he played the ball back to Sako whose driven cross was booted clear by a defender.
In the 17th minute a Clarke shot was blocked after Jacobs had set up the opportunity and then Nathan Doyle went into the book for a foul on Kevin McDonald. Jacobs’s free-kick was scrambled clear.
An excellent dummy from Sako in the centre circle completely wrongfooted his marker and allowed Clarke to run through but his shot was deflected wide.
From a Jacobs centre, Richard Stearman headed straight at McLaughlin and when Clarke fed Dicko the French man was inches wide with a shot on the turn.
Bradford were reduced to ten men in the 28th minute when Doyle was shown a second yellow for clattering into McDonald.
Andy Gray was stationed on the near post and he cleared a low Sako cross before Adam Reach almost gave City a shock lead with a terrific angled shot that bounced down off the underside of the bar before being cleared.
Wolves were soon back on the offensive and both Sako and skipper Sam Ricketts had shots saved by McLaughlin at the near post,
Just five seconds of the three minutes of added time remained when McDonald gave Wolves the lead. The Scottish midfielder took a pass from Sako and stroked the ball into the net from the edge of the box.
Half-Time: Wolves 1 Bradford 0
Three minutes after the restart, Danny Batth was penalised for obstructing Garry Thompson. The Bradford man took the free-kick himself but his effort from 30-yards was way too high.
The woodwork came to Wolves’ rescue once again after Stephen Darby took a return pass from Thompson and smashed a shot against the upright.
Seconds later Clarke, at full stretch, got his foot around a cross from Jacobs and the ball beat McLaughlin but trickled across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.
Wolves went two up in the 57th minute after a delightful ball from Jacobs found Sako on the right. His low cross was turned in by Dicko from close quarters as he slid in with Darby (pictured).
Sako was booked for a challenge on Jones when he clearly won the ball. The winger was replaced by James Henry shortly afterwards. Clarke then sent a looping header onto the roof of the net following a good cross from Ricketts.
Clarke was shown the yellow card and if the punishment had been harsh on Sako, then this was ridiculous. He made hardly any contact on Chris Atkinson who didn’t lose his footing and continued his run before venting his frustration at the whistle being blown.
Wolves continued to press and Dicko dummied a through ball from Henry which ran through to Clarke.
Although McLaughlin took the sting out of the striker’s shot the ball was still going in but just as it was about to cross the line Darby got his foot to it and Aaron McLean and Matthew Bates completed the clearance as Dicko ran in.
Wolves seemed comfortable with their two goal lead and whilst they continued to attack, they didn’t really overstretch McLaughlin.
Clarke headed a cross from Henry over the bar and a low centre from the former Millwall man needed just a touch as it flew across goal.
Just before the final whistle the City keeper smothered a shot from Dicko.
Wolves: McCarey, Golbourne, Ricketts (capt), McDonald, Batth, Stearman, Jacobs, Price, Dicko, Clarke, Sako (Henry 60).
Unused subs: Flatt, Doherty, Elokobi, Evans, McAlinden, Ebanks-Landell.
Bookings: Sako (58 – foul), Clarke (63 – foul).
Bradford: McLaughlin, Darby, Gray(McBurnie 67), Thompson (Graham 76), McHugh, Jones (capt), McLean (Atkinson 32), Bates, McArdle, Doyle, Reach.
Unused subs: Jameson, Taylor, Stockdill, Pollard.
Booking: Doyle (20 – foul)
Sending-Off: Doyle (28 – foul, second bookable offence).
Referee: S. Duncan.