Monday 29 April 2013
Bradford City 6 (Swain 22, 87, Baker pen 44, Wheldon 47, Patillo 57, McBurnie 75)
Burton Albion 2 (Garnett 57, Cowdrill pen 61)
Kick Off: 2.00pm
at Throstle Nest, Farsley AFC
City's reserves finished off their campaign in style this Monday afternoon with a resounding victory over Burton Albion in their final Central League fixture of the season.
Three days before the first teams meet in their League 2 Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg, City's second string ran out comfortable 6-2 winners over their counterparts from Burton at a blustery Throstle Nest.
A superb lob from Louie Swain got the ball rolling for City midway through the first half before Adam Baker - the only senior pro on show for City - doubled the lead from the penalty spot just before half time.
Trialist Paul Wheldon fired the Bantams further in front with a brilliant effort from distance just after the break, although Evan Garnett managed to race clear and slot home past Stuart Morrison to reduce the deficit for the visitors ten minutes later.
Garnett's goal sparked off a period in the match which saw three goals registered in only four minutes, with another City trialist Jackson Patillo heading home a Scott Brown corner before Ben Cowdrill pulled it back to 4-2 from the penalty spot shortly afterwards.
Oliver McBurnie would put the game beyond doubt fifteen minutes from time, however, when he bundled the ball home from close range, while Swain completed the scoring three minutes before the end with a neat finish in the box.
With the strong wind at their backs in the first half, City started the game on the front foot and Burton defender Harry Austin had to be on hand to hack clear after eleven minutes, preventing Baker from having a simple tap-in in the process, after Sam Hornby could only parry Connor Erangey's low angled drive at goal.
City did have the lead after twenty-two minutes, however, when Swain latched onto a long kick forward from Morrison.
Hornby seemed to think about coming for the ball as the wind took it nearer to his area but Swain, who was positioned just wide of goal and around the edge of the box, took control of the situation as he superbly looped the ball over the stranded 'keeper and into the net with a first time half-volley.
Swain's well-taken goal was added to by his strike-partner Baker a minute before the interval when Cowdrill was adjudged to have pulled back Calum Hepworth as the midfielder surged into the box near the byline.
Baker drilled the resulting penalty low down the middle to give City a two-goal half-time lead.
Despite the prominent wind now being in their faces as game got underway again after the break, the Bantams begin the second period in stunning fashion when Wheldon took aim from over 25 yards out before crashing in a fierce drive that flew past Hornby's dive and into the top corner with less than two minutes gone after the restart.
Burton, who had earlier threatened with a drive just over the bar from distance by Matt Murfin, managed to pull one back in the fifty-seventh minute when Garnett outpaced Jack Stockdill to race clear on goal before confidently slotting home past Morrison.
Less than sixty seconds later, however, Hornby had to be out quickly to smother behind a close range effort from City's trialist right back Michael Duckworth after he had burst into the area trying to restore Bradford's three-goal advantage.
From the resulting corner, City did have a fourth when Patillo, who entered the match along with Oliver McBurnie as a half-time substitute, headed home Brown's near post corner.
In an increasingly entertaining contest, Burton came back at City again shortly afterwards when Cowdrill slotted home a penalty after Matty Palmer had been barged into by Wheldon inside the area.
Morrison had to make competent saves from Leroy Browne and Garnett later in the half as Burton looked to use their wind-assisted advantage to force a way back in the match, but it was City who would trouble the scorers next in the seventy-fifth minute through McBurnie.
After being played into space inside the area by Baker, Duckworth unselfishly squared for the waiting McBurnie to bundle home from close range.
With the game effectively won for City now, Bradford went in search for more goals in the game's closing stages, with McBurnie shooting narrowly wide of the near post with a low drive and Baker firing at Hornby from a decent shooting position minutes later.
City did pick up a sixth in the game in the eighty-seventh minute when Hepworth surged into the area and picked out the lurking Swain with a low cross into the centre. The powerful striker showed nice footwork to engineer himself a yard or so of shooting space before calmly slotting home past Hornby.
The Bantams could have inflicted more pain on their visitors in injury time but Baker slid over from close range after being teed up by Swain before the striker then saw another shot well saved by Hornby a minute or so later.
City line up vs Burton:
1. Stuart Morrison (GK), 2. Michael Duckworth*, 3. Paul Wheldon*, 18. Jordan Deacey*, 5. Kyle Harrison, 6. Jack Stockdill, 19. Calum Hepworth, 8. Scott Brown, 9. Louie Swain, 10. Adam Baker, 20. Connor Erangey
Subs: 12. Jackson Patillo*, 13. Jack Bentley (GK), 14. Oliver McBurnie, 15. Nathan Curtis
Changes: McBurnie for Erangey (46), Patillo for Harrison (46)