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Sunday, 11 August, 2002, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
Bantams hold Wolves
Wolves Nathan Blake and Bradford's David Wetherall
Plenty of commitment from Blake and Wetherall
Bradford 0-0 Wolves

Bradford produced a gritty performance that epitomised their survival battle to hold highly-fancied Wolves at Valley Parade.

The cash-strapped Bantams had only been cleared to start the season on Friday but scrapped away to deny Dave Jones' team.

Veteran goalkeeper Gary Walsh produced three superb saves to earn his side a point.


There aren't many people who would continue to go to work when they haven't been paid for 16 weeks
Bradford boss Nicky Law

But although there was plenty of effort from both sides there was little quality on display.

Wolves boss Jones sprung a surprise when he left Paul Ince out of the squad, feeling he was not match-fit.

New signings Denis Irwin and Ivar Ingimarsson both lined up for Wolves.

Bradford included three recent arrivals, Paul Evans, Andy Gray and Gus Uhlenbeek.

Wolves had a scare just three minutes in when the unmarked Ashley Ward headed the ball back across an unguarded goal where Paul Butler hacked clear.


There were a lot of nerves in the dressing room before the game - now we can settle down and play football.
Wolves boss Dave Jones

Jones' side were slow to settle but on 13 minutes Irwin ventured forward to tee up Igimarsson for a speculative 25-yard effort which cleared the bar.

A minute later Shaun Newton was well found by Nathan Blake, only to drop his cross into Walsh's arms.

David Wetherall and Blake were booked following an angry exchange when the Bradford defender accused the Wolves frontman of diving.

Wetherall's perfectly timed challenge denied Alex Rae as he burst into the box while at the other end the ball broke kindly for Ashley Ward whose under-powered shot failed to trouble Oakes.

Wolves' Ivar Ingimarsson and Bradford's Paul Evans
Wolves' Ingimarsson and Bradford's Evans duel in the air

After Lescott and Kearney were booked Wolves should have taken the lead on 34 minutes.

Colin Cameron's shot brought a great reaction save from Walsh who was relieved when Rae bundled the rebound wide from six yards.

Irwin became the fifth player to be booked when he tugged Danny Cadamarteri back after being caught badly in possession.

Bradford almost paid for dropping to defend deeper when Kenny Miller just failed to make contact as Blake headed the ball back across goal.

Wolves upped the tempo at the start of the second half, with Miller shooting just wide.

  Walsh v Wolves
34 mins: Walsh saves from Colin Cameron.
70 mins: Walsh denies Kenny Miller.
85mins: Walsh wins duel with George Ndah.

But when Bradford won a corner, Ward escaped some sloppy marking to fire inches over the bar.

An Evans free-kick drew an excellent save from Oakes after Jamie Lawrence had been fouled by Ingimarsson 23 yards out, and seconds later Evans' goal-bound effort was blocked by team-mate Gray.

Ingimarsson then got on the end of Irwin's corner but was unable to keep his shot down from eight yards.

Walsh kept his side alive with a stunning reflex save from Miller's acrobatic 70th-minute volley.

The former Manchester United keeper saved his best until last, winning a one-on-one duel with George Ndah who had broken clear.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Dave Woods
"A fair result for both sides"
Bantams' Ashley Ward
"It was a relief to play today"

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See also:

11 Aug 02 | Football
11 Aug 02 | Scot Prem
11 Aug 02 | Man Utd
Links to more Eng Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.


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