Bradford City 1-4 Bolton Wanderers

  • July 24, 2011 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/bbc54

Bolton made it three pre-season victories in a row with a flattering 4-1 success over Bradford City at Valley Parade.

Martin Petrov ensured Wanderers went in 1-0 up at the break after converting from the penalty spot and Darren Pratley douled the lead on 65 minutes.

Nialle Rodney pulled one back for the Bantams five minutes later, but late strikes from Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic completed a comfortable victory for Owen Coyle's side.

The Trotters, who had only landed back in the country on Saturday afternoon, started brightly, but it was the hosts who carved out the first opportunity of the game on eight minutes.

James Hanson sneaked in behind David Wheater and Mark Connolly at the heart of the Bolton defence, only to see his cross-cum-shot cleared by the latter as he made amends for a mistake.

Bolton's first sight on goal came six minutes later and it produced the opening goal of the game.

Gretar Steinsson's ball upfield picked out the run of Pratley, who went down inside the area under a challenge from Bradford goalkeeper Mark Howard. Petrov stepped up to take the resulting penalty and put Wanderers ahead.

The hosts never really threatened during open play, but did look dangerous from corner kicks, with Steve Williams and Chris Mitchell both having efforts blocked by Adam Bogdan in the Bolton goal.

Klasnic twice came close to doubling the lead with strikes from distance, before being inches away from a tap-in following superb build-up play involving Petrov and Mark Davies.

The Croatia international then sent Pratley clean through on goal five minutes before the break and after the former Swansea City man had rounded the goalkeeper, his shot was cleared off the line by Williams.

Neither side made any changes at the break and Bradford had the ball in the net eight minutes after the restart, only for it to be ruled out for a foul on Wheater by Guy Branston.

Coyle brought Ricardo Gardner and Temitope Obadeyi into play just before the hour and the changes seemed to work as Bolton doubled their advantage five minutes later.

Former Bantams favourite Robbie Blake had picked up possession just inside the penalty area and laid the ball off for Pratley, who fired the ball home from close range.

Despite falling two goals behind, Bradford continued to press and were rewarded for their efforts in the 71st minute when Rodney curled the ball into Bogdan's bottom corner from just outside the box.

That goal seemed to spark Bolton into life, with Petrov seeing a shot blocked before Gardner fired narrowly wide from fully 30-yards inside the final 15 minutes.

Bolton maintained their momentum, though, and added a third three minutes from time. Kevin Davies capitalised on a loose ball just inside the penalty area and sent a superb lob beyond the Bradford goalkeeper and into the net.

A surging run and shot from Obadeyi almost resulted in a fourth just a minute later, but it did some in stoppage time as Klasnic tapped in from close range following a superb reverse pass from Petrov.

With the new Premier League campaign less than three weeks away, pre-season preparations now step up for Bolton. Next on their agenda is a trip to Bury's Gigg Lane on Wednesday night.

Bradford City: Howard, Ramsden (Burns 67), O'Brien, Flynn, Branston, Williams, Rowe, Mitchell, Hanson (Hannah 83), Stewart (Rodney 67), Compton
Subs Not Used: McLaughlin, Wells, Bullock, Brown, Lacey, Dean
Goals: Rodney 71

Bolton Wanderers: Bogdan, Steinsson, Wheater, Connolly, Alonso, M Davies (Gardner 59), Pratley, Muamba (Obadeyi 59), Petrov, Blake (K Davies 74), Klasnic
Subs Not Used: Lainton, Robinson, Cahill, Knight
Goals: Petrov 15(pen), Pratley 65, K Davies 87, Klasnic 90

Attendance: 2,349

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