Match Report: Avenue 3-0 Bradford City

Bradford Park Avenue ran out comfortable winners in the Tom Banks Memorial Trophy, with a 3-0 victory over near-neighbours Bradford City at a sun-drenched Horsfall Stadium.

Stuart McCall brought his first-team for their first pre-season friendly of the season, but were unable to cope with Mark Bower’s men who took their chances in the opening half.

Recent arrival Nicky Clee introduced himself to the Avenue faithful with a stunning strike from 20 yards to open the scoring, before right-back Javan Vidal was felled by Matthew Kilgallon inside the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot.

Nicky Wroe made no mistake with a superb shot into the same top corner, and three minutes later Avenue added a third as Oli Johnson weaved his way through the City defence to set up Adam Boyes, who nodded home.

Following a minute’s applause for young Bradley Lowery who sadly passed away earlier in the week, both teams started brightly, City striker Charlie Wyke seeing a handful of efforts denied by Avenue’s number one Steven Drench, making his first appearance for the club.

The home side took the lead inside 15 minutes as the ball fell loose on the edge of the penalty area and Clee, making his first appearance at the Horsfall Stadium, fired an unstoppable left-footed effort into the top corner.

Again the visitors troubled their opponents from a corner, but despite finding himself unmarked Wyke could only head the ball into the hands of Drench from close range.

And then Avenue were handed the chance to double their advantage. Vidal sprinted at the Bantams’ defence but was challenged by Kilgallon inside the box, giving the referee no option but to award a penalty.

Wroe stepped up, and despite City goalkeeper Colin Doyle guessing the right way, he was unable to get a hand to the midfielder’s excellent strike.

A few minutes later, the men in green and white made it three. Johnson showed great footwork to evade a couple of defensive challenges before teeing up Boyes to nod the ball past Doyle for his second goal in two pre-season friendlies.

After the break, there were few goalscoring opportunities as Stuart McCall made 11 changes and Bower gave some of the eight trialists game-time to prove themselves and potentially earn a contract for next season.

10 minutes into the second half Boyes came close to punishing a poor City back-pass, but goalkeeper Rouven Sattelmaier did well to come off his line and deny the striker.

At the other end, Drench was called into action as new signing Shay McCartan was causing plenty of problems for the Avenue defence, but his low shot was pushed away by the former Guiseley goalkeeper.

Again, McCartan was the man the Bantams were aiming for to get them back in the game, but solid defending from the Avenue trialists made sure their local neighbours walked away from the Horsfall Stadium without a goal.

Bradford Park Avenue: Drench (Trialist 60), Vidal (Trialist 60), Hill (Trialist 46), Wroe (D.Boshell 46), Trialist (Knowles 46), Toulson (Nowakowski 46), Trialist (Trialist 69), Trialist (Trialist 69), Boyes (Havern 60), Johnson (Trialist 46), Clee (N.Boshell 46)

Goals: Clee (14), Wroe (pen 31), Boyes (34).

Bradford City (first half): Doyle, Hanson, Trialist, Reeves, Kilgallon, Hudson, Devine, Wyke, Poleon, Robinson, Vincelot

Bradford City (second half): Sattelmaier, McMahon, Barr, Knight-Percival, Chicksen, Dieng, Pybus, Law, McCartan, Patrick, Jones.

Referee: Luke Watson

Attendance: 2,020

Big Match Sponsors: Peckover Transport & Mr Scratchings

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