A Harry Ibbitson brace booked Bradford City Under-18s' place in the second round of this season's FA Youth Cup, with a 2-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers.
The young Bantams demonstrated their attacking prowess at Prenton Park, with the ever-threatening Ibbitson securing the victory with two goals in the opening half-hour.
City began the tie on the front foot, looking to impose themselves early on. Their prompt pressure granted them a deserved lead seven minutes in, as top scorer Ibbitson converted from close range.
The pacey Mo Sedibeh rounded Alex Brown in the Rovers goal before cutting back for the Bantams’ frontman. His initial shot was blocked on the line, but he made no mistake with the rebound, powering it into the top corner.
Tranmere almost found a route back into the game 15 minutes later when a ball that dropped in the box for Charlie Martin was volleyed narrowly over the bar.
Twenty-seven minutes were on the clock when Sedibeh looked to make it 2-0 to City. Following a reverse ball from Dylan Wilkinson, the winger curled an effort just wide of the left-hand post.
Sedibeh was proving a threat to Tranmere's backline, and moments later, he had broken into the box again. This time, he was taken out by substitute Jude Mottram, presenting Ibbitson with the opportunity to double his and his side's tally for the night, from the penalty spot.
Ibbitson stepped up and converted by calmly slotting it into the bottom-left corner, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way before peeling away in celebration.
City started the second half hungry for a third. Donald Kamwa came close when his low drive was tipped behind for a corner by goalkeeper Brown.
Kamwa was at the forefront of most of the Bantams' attacking output throughout the second 45. Just over an hour in, he found room to hit a long-range strike that was parried away, before dinking a ball onto the head of Ibbitson which was comfortably collected by Brown.
In the closing moments of the game, City almost had a third, when substitute Bilal Hussain whipped a corner into the box which rose over the goalkeeper and smacked the crossbar before being cleared away from danger.
Ryan Farrell's side came even closer to a three-goal cushion deep into stoppage time, when skipper Gabe Wadsworth hit a powerful strike towards the Rovers net.
His effort was palmed firmly away by Brown, yet the rebound dropped to Max Murray who then managed to pick out Hussain six yards out.
Unbelievably, Brown darted across his posts to prevent what looked to be an inevitable goal by getting a fine touch to divert the ball once more.
City comfortably saw out the victory to secure their place in the hat for the second round.
CITY: Zac Hadi, Dylan Wilkinson (Max Murray 46’), Lewis Boney, Franklin Denison, Leon Brooks (Fin Gledhill 77’), George Goodman, Mo Sedibeh (Bilal Hussain 65’), Harry Ibbitson, Gabriel Wadsworth, Donald Kamwa, Oli Thompson. SUBS NOT USED: George Lord, Mahmoud Mohamed, Zante Rose-Cambell.
GOALS: Ibbitson (7’, 28’ pen).