Bradford City 1 (Donaldson 83) Wolves U21 1 (Samuels 60) | 5-3 to Wolves on pens
Wolves beat Bradford City on penalties to register their first two points of their 2020/21 EFL Trophy campaign.
In normal time, Austin Samuels’ predatory strike had Wolves on course for victory, only for Clayton Donaldson’s late effort to take the contest to penalties, where James Collins’ side prevailed.
The head coach was able to call on the experienced heads of John Ruddy and Ryan Bennett, as well as Ki-Jana Hoever, who were all given valuable minutes on the pitch at Valley Parade.
And the trio were part of an impressive opening 45 minutes, which should have wielded the opening goal, had Wolves’ finishing been more precise. The best of the openings fell to Taylor Perry, who, having been slipped in by Hoever’s through ball, fired at the legs of Sam Hornby.
Wolves’ new signing from Liverpool was enjoying plenty of joy down the right and, after some patient build-up play involving Theo Corbeanu, registered a shot on goal of his own, but Hornby saved comfortably at his near post.
Ruddy’s opening half’s work came more in the form of organisation and commandment, with the stopper only being required to catch a long-distance effort from Wolves Academy graduate Zeli Ismail.
In fact, it was in bizarre circumstances where Wolves almost scored on the stroke of half-time, as Samuels charged down Hornby and blocked his kick, only for the ball to cannon off the foot of the post.
While their first-half efforts went unrewarded, and after Hoever had blazed over a fine chance, Wolves took the lead through Samuels, who benefited from his striker’s instinct, pouncing after Hornby had kept out Otasowie’s header.
In truth, Samuels will have been disappointed with just the solitary goal he scored, after being played through by Mertian Shabani, but being foiled by a strong Hornby save.
That miss would prove costly too, as the Bantams equalised with just six minutes left on the clock, after Donaldson’s ran through and lofted the ball over Ruddy.
However, Wovles still enjoyed success in the shootout as Ruddy crucially kept out Connor Shanks' penalty to secure the bonus point.
- Samuels (Wolves) | SCORED | 1-0
- Pritchard (Bradford) | SCORED | 1-1
- Hoever (Wolves) | SCORED | 2-1
- Hosannah (Bradford) | SCORED | 2-2
- Shabani (Wolves) | SCORED | 3-2
- Shanks (Bradford) | MISSED | 3-2
- Corbeanu (Wolves) | SCORED | 4-2
- Scales (Bradford) | SCORED | 4-3
- Sanderson (Wolves) | SCORED | 5-3
The upcoming international weekend leaves the under-23s without a game until Sunday 18th October, when they host Aston Villa in the PL2 at Aggborough Stadium.
18/10 Aston Villa (H)
26/10 Crystal Palace (A)
01/11 Fulham (H)
06/11 Sunderland (A)
10/11 Doncaster Rovers* (A)
*indicates first-team opposition
Bradford: Hornby, Hosannah, Longridge, O’Connor, Pritchard, Donaldson, Ismail (Shanks 46), Cousin-Dawson (Staunton 72), Sikora, Scales, Mottley-Henry.
Unused subs: O’Donnell, French.
Wolves: Ruddy, Hoever, Sanderson, Bennett, Richards, Bueno, Otasowie, Perry (Campbell 90), Shabani, Corbeanu, Samuels.
Unused subs: Sondergaard, Estrada, Wan, Mayounga, Carty, He.