Wednesday 29 August 2012
Central League Reserve Division
Bradford City 3 (Hannah 5, 87, Erangey 58)
Wrexham 1 (Thornton 10)
Kick Off: 7.00pm
at the Coral Windows Stadium
City's reserves made a winning start to their new season of fixtures with victory over Wrexham at the Coral Windows Stadium this Wednesday evening.
An early strike from Ross Hannah was cancelled out by a fine finish from visiting skipper Kevin Thornton, but two second half strikes - one from apprentice Connor Erangey and another from Hannah - made the points safe for City.
Given City's exploits at Watford in the Capital One Cup the night before, Bradford's line up was made up largely of scholars, with Adam Baker the only other professional along with Hannah on show.
Despite the eventual scoreline, it was visitors Wrexham who nearly enjoyed the perfect start when Nick Rushton found himself in space right in front of goal with barely a minute on the clock.
The striker twice looked set to severely test Stuart Morrison but he was denied by superb blocks from point blank range from Jonathan Lynn and Kyle Harrison respectively.
The forward then found himself with an even better scoring chance shortly afterwards when team-mate Steven Wright headed a corner down into his path. Rushton took on the strike first time but his side-foot for goal from within the six yard box was somehow kept out by a fine reaction save by Morrison.
City made the most of those let-offs to take the lead of the game with their first attack of the match with only five minutes gone. Hannah showed enough desire to just beat Kyle Parle to Erangey's near post and finish neatly past Andy Coughlan.
Wrexham went close once again as they tried respond, however, with Simon Hackney striking the crossbar with a drive from outside the area shortly afterwards.
The Welsh side did eventually managed to level things up though when skipper Kevin Thornton turned into space on the edge of the area before curling a delightful shot into the bottom corner.
Wrexham continued to look purposeful when they went forward but it would be City who would enjoy the next bright moment in the game, Baker forcing a smart block out of Coughlan after the Bantams striker had been teed up across the box by Erangey.
Later into the half, Hackney went close for the second time in the match when he cut inside from a wide position before curling an angled effort narrowly past Morrison's far post.
With Wrexham's attacking threat diminishing slightly as half time began to approach, City enjoyed two decent opening in quick succession.
The first came about when Baker played Hannah into space wide within Wrexham's area. Hannah tried to play the ball across the box for the waiting Louie Swain but the attempted assist was crucially blocked out by the presence of Danny Devine.
After starting the previous move, Baker was on the end of City's next move but his powerful drive from around ten yards out was well held onto by Coughlan at his near post.
A further chance fell City's way right on the stroke of the interval when Swain's presence forced Coughlan to rush a pass straight to the feet of the waiting Hannah.
The Bantams striker was positioned only ten yards or so from goal but with Wrexham defenders blocking his way to goal, the best Hannah could do was to loft an effort over the bar.
In an even opening to the second period, both sides managed to engineer a number half-chances without ever really looking like adding to the scoring.
The first bright opening after the restart actually resulted in the third goal of the game as two City apprentices combined to give Bradford the lead.
Forrayah Bass, who was on the bench for the first team at Watford twenty-four hours earlier, sent over a delightful centre for the waiting Erangey, who finished neatly past Coughlan with a side-foot volley into the bottom corner.
City's first substitutions of the game saw Swain and Tom Bott replaced by fellow apprentices Nathan Curtis and Andrew Boote after the hour.
Shortly before the Bantams' double change, Rushton volleyed narrowly over following a teasing Hackney cross to the near post.
Fifteen minutes from the end Wrexham squandered a golden opportunity to draw level when Hackney headed Rushton's far post centre back across goal for the on-rushing James Colbeck.
With momentum on Colbeck's side, the Wrexham attacker looked all set to stride onto the ball before slotting home from no more than six yards out. Colbeck's eventual connection with the ball was weak, however, and a grateful Morrison could save with his legs.
Fresh from that missed opportunity for Wrexham, City nearly doubled their advantage when Hannah realised Bass into yards of space down Wrexham's right.
After initially looking set to cross, Bass had that much time on his hands that he decided to go for goal himself, sending a fierce and rising drive fizzing just over Coughlan's crossbar from an angle.
Substitute Curtis then went one better for City when he forced the Wrexham shot-stopper into full length dive to keep out the striker's powerful drive from outside the penalty area.
Curtis would be involved in City's next meaningful attack as well, as the Bantams put the game beyond their visitors with a late third.
The apprentice forward was on hand to head Scott Brown's hanging far post corner back across the six yard box and Hannah was waiting there to steer the ball home from close range.
There was still time for City to nearly net a fourth on the very stroke of full time when Curtis and Hannah combined again. This there wasn't a goal at the end of the move, however, as Hannah could only a scuff a shot at Coughlan after being well picked out by Curtis' low pull back from the byline.
CITY LINE UP
Morrison, Hiza, Bass, Bott (Boote 66), Harrison, Lynn, Baker, Brown, Swain (Curtis 66), Hannah, Erangey
Subs not used: Barker, Hepworth, Stockdill