Bradford City Under-19s came out on top in a thrilling 4-3 Youth Alliance Cup victory over Oldham Athletic.
Forward Harry Ibbitson impressed, scoring all four of the Bantams’ goals in a roller-coaster clash with the Lancashire outfit - at the Horsfall Community Stadium.
City started in search of the lead, and just before the half-hour mark, tricky skill saw Donald Kamwa get around two Oldham defenders before being bundled over in the box.
The referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot, giving City a great chance to gain a deserved advantage. Ibbitson stepped up and converted the ball into the bottom-right corner with ease.
On the stroke of half-time, however, the visitors were level. Josh Lawrenson played a low ball into the six-yard area where Alfie Atherton was on hand to guide it into the back of the net.
Shortly after the restart, Oldham had taken the lead. A shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Bilal Hussain. However, with the ball bouncing around in the area, Alfie Atherton darted in to rifle home, giving the Owls a 2-1 advantage.
The visitors further extended their edge an hour in, as Sam Davidson weaved his way through City’s box. From a near-impossible angle of the six-yard area, he tucked the ball past Zac Hadi.
The third goal snapped the Bantams back into gear, as they began to wrestle back control of the game. Mo Sedibeh’s low drive flew narrowly wide to give Oldham a warning of more attacking threat to come.
City began their comeback in the 67th minute, as Lewis Boney dribbled around the Owls’ defence before turning provider for Ibbitson. The No.9 swept the ball across the goalkeeper to keep the game alive at 3-2.
As the match entered its closing stages, another Boney advance into the box was met by a mistimed sliding challenge, handing City another penalty. This time, Ibbitson picked the left corner, bagging his hat-trick and the Bantams’ equaliser.
Ryan Farrell’s side would then snatch victory in the most dramatic of circumstances, as Ibbitson added his and his side’s fourth of the afternoon to complete a remarkable comeback.
Instantly from kick-off, Ibbitson won the ball back and carried it towards Oldham’s goal. He cut inside on to his right foot and from 15 yards out, buried the ball into the net to cue scenes of jubilation amongst the young Bantams, who advanced through to the next round.
CITY: Zac Hadi, Dylan Wilkinson, Lewis Boney, Oliver Thompson, Leon Brooks, Finley Gledhill, Bilal Hussain (Max Murray 87’), Gabe Wadsworth, Harry Ibbitson, Mo Sedibeh (James Edgley 91’), Donald Kamwa (Franklin Dennison 64’). SUBS NOT USED: George Lord, Eni Rotimi.