Following progression to the knockout stages in the Professional Development League Cup, City’s under-19s recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory in the EFL Youth Alliance North East Division against neighbours Harrogate Town.
Returning to action at the Horsfall Community Stadium, Harry Ibbitson demonstrated his prolific scoring ability with a hat-trick which saw him record his fifth goal in two games.
The opening stages were evenly contested with both sides threatening to score the opener, but it was City who gained the advantage.
Fourteen minutes in, Max Murray swung a free-kick into the box from the left wing. It took a looping deflection off a Harrogate defender leaving Ibbitson with plenty of space to head home from close range.
This clearly motivated the Bantams who had the ball in the net for the second time just five minutes later. Another cross from Murray found Donald Kamwa, whose header forced a brilliant save out of Town keeper Alex Mooney.
Leon Brooks stabbed home the rebound but was deemed to be offside.
Moments before the half-hour mark, Kamwa almost netted a deserved goal of his own. The hard-working winger sprinted down the right into the box. He got his shot off, but Mooney prevented the net bulging by getting his leg in the way.
Following the restart, Harrogate began on the front foot and almost equalised through Jack Bray. The Bantams’ backline were content defending constant crosses until Jack McClarin darted into the area.
He played it across the floor for Bray who had the goal at his mercy, however he steered the ball wide of the post.
Twenty minutes after this, City had their best chance of the game to get a second, when Kamwa misjudged a bounce in front of an open net.
Murray drew the attention of the goalkeeper as he ran through one on one. With an empty net and Kamwa approaching, he chipped the ball into the path of the No.10. From six yards out, Kamwa smacked the bar before his rebound was blocked on the line by Lucas Barnes.
Yet, it was a sign of things to come as Murray and Ibbitson linked up again to provide an expected second goal. From a corner, Murray found City’s No.9 in the box. He took a touch out of his feet and rifled it into the roof of the net.
He was not done there either. The man in form ran through on goal in the fifth minute of added time and calmly slotted past the oncoming Mooney to secure his hat-trick and round off a comprehensive victory.
CITY XI: Zac Hadi, Fin Gledhill (Oliver Thompson 52’), Lewis Boney, Sam Bentley, George Goodman, Leon Brooks, Max Murray, Freddy Jeffreys, Harry Ibbitson (c), Donald Kamwa, Isaac Robinson (Mo Sedibeh 35’) UNUSED SUBS: George Lord, Bilal Hussain, Eni Rotimi.
GOALS: Ibbitson (14’, 83’, 90+5’)
HARROGATE XI: Alex Mooney, Lucas Barnes, James Moorby, Marcus Etherington, Cardan Taylor, Josh Brodella, Alfie Lee (c), Jack Bray, Jack McClarin (Ollie Nicholson 75’), Robbie Wilson (Elija Samuels 90’), Adam Pow UNUSED SUBS: Frankie Shephard, Lewis Smalley, Oli Robinson.