City’s under-18s endured their first loss of the 2019/20 campaign on Saturday, with a 2-1 defeat against EFL Youth Alliance North East Division title holders Grimsby Town.
Similarly to their season opener against Huddersfield Town, the young Bantams enjoyed most of the possession, but were unable to find a cutting edge in the final third.
The early stages of the game were aggressive, with both sets of players feeling the physical side of proceedings.
The Bantams’ first real chance came in the 16th minute through their goalscorer against Huddersfield, Kian Scales.
The midfielder latched onto a cross from Charlie Wood and slipped in front of the Grimsby defender, though his effort fell straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.
City went close from a free kick 12 minutes later. Eliot Goldthorp set his sights from far out but the midfielder’s effort cleared the crossbar.
Despite the young Bantams’ dominance, it was the hosts - 39 minutes in - who struck first.
Defender Cameron Painter swung in what looked to be a cross from the right-hand side, but the wind took the effort, catching City keeper Tom Donaghy out and going in off the post.
Eight minutes into the second half, the Mariners made it two - this time courtesy of Lennon Stead.
The striker muscled his way into the area before firing the ball hard and low into the bottom right corner.
After going two goals down, Mark Trueman’s men began piling on the pressure and, in the 56th minute, had a goal to show for it.
Captain Hayden Smethurst whipped in a calculated cross which was met by the head of Charlie Wood to halve the deficit.
With the wind in City’s sails, it looked as though they might rally to steal a share of the spoils.
Nonetheless, Grimsby held out and took all three points, meaning the young Bantams’ search for their first win of the season continues.
CITY: Tom Donaghy; Hayden Smethurst ©, Jorge Sikora, Finn Cousin-Dawson (booked 61’), Dan Francis; Olivier Sukiennicki (Cole Roberts 45’), Kian Scales, Eliot Goldthorp; Harvey Rowe, Connor Morris, Charlie Wood. SUBS (not used): Darryl Ombang (GK), Harvey Ormerod, Oliver Norman, Raj Palit.
GOALS: Wood (56’).
GRIMSBY: Pat Boyes; Cameron Painter, Joey Hope, Josh Smaller, Duncan Idehen; Lewis Derrick (Jamie Potts 81’), Evan Khouri (Luis Adlard 76’), Owen Davey, Joseph Starbuck ©; Brandon McPherson, Lennon Stead (Ayodeji Owoeye 85’). SUBS (not used): Jaz Goundry, Harvey Drinkell.
GOALS: Painter (39’), Stead (53’).
MAN OF THE MATCH: Finn Cousin-Dawson