FRIENDLY: Wanderers 5 Bradford City 2

Ricardo Almeida Santos return

All five of Wanderers’ frontmen hit the target and captain Ricardo Almeida Santos made a welcome return as the Whites enjoyed an excellent work-out against Bradford City.

Ian Evatt’s men shared the goals around in a confidence-booster for the collective strikeforce as the Whites raised the bar against League Two opposition in the training-ground game at Lostock.

Dion Charles set the ball rolling as he returned to starting duty and Victor Adeboyejo also opened his account for pre-season when he made it 2-0.

A lapse before the break allowed Bradford to pull a goal back through last season’s top scorer Andy Cooke and City then levelled early in the second half through Tyler Smith.

Victor Adeboyejo pre-season

But Wanderers resumed control as substitutes Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Dan Nlundulu and Cameron Jerome also found the net with tidy finishes as the Whites stepped up their preparation.

“It was a really good performance,” said boss Evatt. “We still could and should have scored more and there were a few sloppy bits, conceding-wise.

“But in general it was another step forward. I’m really pleased that all the strikers scored today and pleased that we created a lot against a good benchmark, as well as having Rico back and getting some minutes in for him.”

Charles, being eased back to full speed after his international commitments earlier in the summer, started his second game of the pre-season campaign and was quickly back in the groove.

Jack Iredale’s through-ball split the City defence and Charles side-stepped advancing goalkeeper Colin Doyle before rolling the ball home.

Adeoyejo, who held the ball up well to link the play, had been denied by a fine save from Doyle but got off the mark when he steered home a low cross from Kyle Dempsey.

Dan Nlundulu pre-season

Charles, Aaron Morley and Randell Williams had further chances as Wanderers played some incisive football on an excellent playing surface showing the benefit of extensive summer works.

At the back, the return of Santos after missing two games was another major plus as the defender, recovering from illness, got through almost an hour.

Wanderers made a number of changes after the break, including the introduction of Bodvarsson, Nlundulu and Jerome, who all made the most of their chance.

Bodvarsson scored a trademark header to make it 3-2 when he guided an excellent Iredale cross into the bottom corner.

And as Wanderers continued to threaten down the flanks, a cross from Gethin Jones was parried only as far as Nlundulu to drill home the loose ball.

The ideal work-out, with friendlies to follow against Salford City, Everton and West Bromwich Albion, was then completed when Jerome got his second goal in three games when he slid in to convert a low delivery from Keiran Sadlier.

Wanderers: Baxter; Jones (Halford 80), Almeida Santos (Forrester 55), Iredale (Inwood 75); Sheehan (Khumbeni 75); Dacres-Cogley (Sadlier 55), Morley (Thomason 55), Dempsey (Nlundulu 55), Williams (John 55); Charles (Jerome 55), Adeboyejo (Bodvarsson 55).

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