Report: Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Bradford City

Bolton Wanderers bowed out of the Carabao Cup at the first round after being edged out by fellow Sky Bet League Two outfit Bradford City.

The visitors took the lead through Lee Novak midway through the first half before Wanderers’ skipper Antoni Sarcevic levelled the contest less than two minutes after the half-time break.

But the Bantams put themselves into the next round when substitute Harry Pritchard looped in a header beyond the impressive Billy Crellin.

Head Coach Ian Evatt handed out ten debuts to his Wanderers side with Shaun Miller – his 17th signing of the summer – named among the substitutes.

The visitors started off brightly and Billy Clarke was denied a goalbound header when Ricardo Santos got in a timely block.

Buoyed by their bright start, Bradford, through Clarke, were once again thwarted when Crellin pulled off a smart save to keep out the Irishman’s chipped effort.

Wanderers responded to the early pressure and Santos, after a charging run, saw his shot from distance crash off Richard O’Donnell’s crossbar.

The Bantams keeper was then pressed into action to block Nathan Delfouneso’s effort, while further up the field Crellin once again showed his value by denying Novak who had burst through on goal.

The industrious Tom White, who shone on his debut, fired wide after getting into space.

But Novak broke the deadlock when he tapped home from close range on 26 minutes after he was picked out from the right hand side.

Wanderers were looking to cancel out the visitors’ opener and Eoin Doyle saw an effort deflect off Novak.

Defender George Taft then broke out of defence but his long range drive went over the bar.

Wanderers got on terms 90 seconds after the restart when Sarcevic got on the end of a rebound after Delfouneso had worked some magic on the flank.

The Manchester-born midfielder came close to doubling his tally and putting Wanderers in front when his shot from distance went narrowly wide.

With Wanderers looking the most likely to go on and claim victory, Bradford’s winner came against the run of play when, with 15 minutes of the tie remaining, Pritchard headed across goal to beat Crellin.

New signing Miller came on with just under ten minutes remaining to add some extra impetus in the Wanderers attach, but Evatt’s men were unable to alter the result.

Bolton Wanderers: Crellin, Gordon (Miller 81), Taft, Baptiste, Santos, Jones, White, Sarevic, Comley (Crawford 68), Doyle, Delfouneso
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Delaney, Hickman, Tutte, Amoateng

Bradford City: O'Donnell, P O'Connor, A O'Connor, Staunton, French, Watt, Cooke, Wood, Clarke (Pritchard 62), Novak, Guthrie (Donaldson 72)
Subs Not Used: Longridge, Richards-Everton, Ismail, Hornby, Scales

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