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Club News

City continue pre-season winning run

23 July 2013

Tuesday 23 July 2013
Grimsby Town 0
Bradford City 2 (Hanson 60, Yeates 86)
Kick Off: 7.30pm
at Blundell Park

City made it four wins out of four in pre-season this summer with a professional victory at Grimsby Town's Blundell Park.

In a fairly competitive friendly that turned out to be the perfect workout for City at this stage of proceedings, second half goals from James Hanson and Mark Yeates proved enough for another win for the Bantams.

The Bantams fielded a strong line up against their Blue Square Bet Premier opponents, with the vast majority of the eleven who started last May's League 2 Play-Off Final chosen to begin the Grimsby friendly.

James Meredith was declared fit after picking up a knock in training late last week, although trialist Raffaele De Vita, plus Carl McHugh and Ricky Ravenhill, were not risked due to slight injuries.

Apprentice 'keeper Jack Bentley was named on the bench but fellow scholars Jack Stockdill and Niall Heaton didn't feature at all because of minor problems.

The first chance of note for the evening fell to Grimsby with just over six minutes on the clock but Shaun Pearson's flicked header for goal from a wide free-kick dropped a few yards wide of Jon McLaughlin's goal.

City responded through Yeates a few minutes later when the winger's curling effort from just inside the area sailed narrowly wide of Jason McKeown's goal.

The Bantams then threatened again when Kyel Reid's searching cross into the area eventually found Nathan Doyle over on the far side and the midfielder hit a volley on the run that fizzed not too far over McKeown's bar.

It was Grimsby who engineered the best opening of the first quarter of the game, however, when Andy Cook turned away from Rory McArdle inside the area to leave him with a sight of McLaughlin's goal.

City's 'keeper stood his ground though, and McLaughlin managed to save Cook's strike from just outside the six yard box with his legs.

The Mariners then enjoyed a couple of half chances shortly afterwards, with Patrick McLaughlan fired over from around twenty yards out before Cook sent a tame downward header from a corner straight at McLaughlin a minute or so later.

With the game still goalless as proceedings edged towards the interval, Yeates tried to catch Grimsby out after winning a free-kick roughly 40 yards from goal following a foul on him by Aswad Thomas.

Yeates' delivery into the area from the resulting set-piece was early but Hanson could still only head comfortably over the bar from just inside the area despite getting a run on his marker.

City had the final attempt of the first period right on the stroke of half time but Reid could only fire a weak effort wide of McKeown's near post after Alan Connell on the full stretch had cleverly flicked the ball into the winger's path.

Nahki Wells and Garry Thompson were introduced for Connell and Reid respectively just before the restart.

Following his earlier quick free-kick in the first period, Yeates tried to catch Grimsby on the hop again just before the hour mark when his early short corner to Doyle found the midfielder in space inside the area.

Doyle shot for goal before he was crowded out by home defenders but his low effort flew past McKeown's near post.

City didn't have to wait too much longer for the eventual breakthrough though - less than a minute in fact - as Thompson's low cross was bundled home from close range by the waiting Hanson.

Twenty minutes from the end Michael Nelson and Jason Kennedy were replaced. Nelson took over in central defence from Davies, while Kennedy replaced Meredith, meaning Doyle moving to right back and Stephen Darby across to left back.

At the same time, Grimsby made a number of changes themselves, one of which saw former Bantam Ross Hannah introduced. 

After finding the net for the first time in his City career at Bohemians on Saturday, Nelson tried to repeat the feat shortly after coming on but his near post header from a Yeates cross flew over.

Grimsby's own recent arrival on the pitch, Hannah, then had a chance of his own shortly after coming off the bench but he saw a snap-shot from inside the area blocked behind by McArdle.

As the number of substitutions begin to increase for both sides, first year pro Louie Swain was introduced into the action ten minutes from the end in place of Hanson.

Four minutes from the end Yeates was able to add to Hanson's earlier strike when the attacker curled a delightful free-kick into the McKeown's bottom corner from around twenty yards out.

Hannah was nearly able to pull one back for Grimsby in the final minute of normal time when he was played through on goal but McLaughlin spread himself and blocked the striker's effort as he tried to place the ball through the 'keeper's leg from the edge of the area.

Bradford City team

1. Jon McLaughlin
2. Stephen Darby
3. James Meredith
5. Andrew Davies
7. Kyel Reid
9. James Hanson
17. Alan Connell
18. Gary Jones
19. Nathan Doyle
20. Mark Yeates
23. Rory McArdle

12. Jack Bentley (GK)
8. Jason Kennedy for 3 (70)
10. Louie Swain for 9 (80)
11. Garry Thompson for 7 (46)
16. Calum Hepworth
21. Nahki Wells for 17 (46)
22. Michael Nelson for 5 (70)

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