Football / Coca-Cola Cup: Worrying Wednesday: Bradford emerge with credit

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Bradford City. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Sheffield Wednesday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

(Wednesday win 3-2 on aggregate)

SHEFFIELD Wednesday progressed unconvincingly into the third round of the Coca- Cola Cup after withstanding a late rally by their Second Division hosts, whose equaliser, 17 minutes into the second half, set up an exciting finale.

Bradford produced a creditable display despite the handicap of a heavy injury list and the Premiership team, beaten 4-1 at Liverpool on Saturday, might have paid a heavy price for their complacency had Lennie Lawrence's team been able to find a sharper cutting edge.

Trevor Francis's expensively assembled side have won only twice in 10 games and last night had to begin without their Romanian, Dan Petrescu, who joined Klas Ingesson and David Hirst on the sidelines.

The Wednesday manager's anxiety would have been further heightened had Carl Shutt, who had given Bradford the lead against his former club in the first leg, done likewise in the sixth minute when John Taylor's cross created a chance that was wastefully volleyed over the bar.

But Wednesday gained the cushion they wanted on the half-hour. Peter Atherton's long pass created the opening for Chris Bart-Williams who had time to compose himself as the goalkeeper Paul Tomlinson advanced from his line before tucking the ball into the opposite corner of the net.

In the early part of the second half Wednesday dictated the game with Bart-Williams and John Sheridan the orchestrators of some stylish if unproductive passing moves.

But the visitors were shaken in the 63rd minute when a rare error by Andy Pearce, missing a ball he should have cleared, allowed the substitute, Lee Power, to bear down on Kevin Pressman's goal. Power's shot was parried by the goalkeeper but Taylor reacted first to the loose ball and swept home an equaliser, setting up a finish that was more tense than Wednesday ought to have allowed.

Bradford City (4-1-3-2): Tomlinson; Robson (Tolson, 76), Kamara, Oliver, Jacobs; Benn (Power, 58); Hamilton, Duxbury, Shutt; Jewell, J Taylor. Substitute not used: Bowling (gk).

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Pressman; Atherton, Pearce, Walker, Nolan; Bart-Williams, Hyde, Sheridan, Sinton (I Taylor, 66); Bright (Hirst, 84), Watson. Substitute not used: Key (gk).

Referee: L Dilkes (Mossley).