at Horsfall Stadium
Kick Off: 7.30pm
Bradford City 1 (De Vita 14 pen)
Bradford (Park Avenue) 0
Monday 12 August 2013
Pictures supplied by Gintare Karpaviciute
Luke Oliver played just over an hour at Horsfall Stadium this Monday evening as City reclaimed the Tom Banks Memorial Trophy with a friendly victory over Bradford (Park Avenue).
The trophy, which is normally contested annually between City and Avenue, was secured by the Bantams for the first time in three years thanks to a first half penalty from Raffaele De Vita.
The game wasn't a classic, something that certainly wasn't helped by the long grass on the Avenue pitch, but the match will have given a number of Phil Parkinson's squad some welcome match minutes under their belts.
Following his sub display at Harrogate Town last month, Oliver started the game against Avenue - the first time he had done so since his Achilles injury last October - before being taken off as planned in the second period.
Along with the appearance of Oliver and De Vita, there were also run-outs for Matt Taylor, Carl McHugh and loanee 'keeper Connor Ripley.
Avenue’s squad for the night included former Bantams trio Chib Chilaka, Danny Forrest and Luke Dean, while Lee Elam, who coaches for the club’s academy, was also involved.
Fresh from his spell with Manchester United in the under 18s Milk Cup two weeks ago, apprentice striker Oliver McBurnie nearly netted early on for the Bantams. The young forward was played in on goal by strike partner Louie Swain but his effort was repelled the legs of Avenue 'keeper John Lamb.
McHugh required a spot of treatment from physio Matt Barrass a few minutes later when he appeared to take a whack to his ribs.
The Irish defender seemed to be in a bit of discomfort for a while but he was eventually able to continue.
City had a penalty after only 14 minutes when trialist Jordan Gele was upended in the area by a wild challenge from Ross Daly.
De Vita took responsibility for the kick and coolly slotted the ball home, sending Lamb the wrong way in the process.
Nathan Curtis troubled Lamb about ten minutes later when he sent a downward header goalwards from a De Vita cross.
The ball appeared for a second like it might be squirming in but Lamb just managed to get down in time to shovel the ball around the post.
With City still dominating proceedings, Swain enjoyed a sight of goal himself roughly ten minutes before the interval having earlier been involved in a chance for McBurnie.
Swain managed to muscle James Knowles out of the way to latch onto a De Vita ball over the top but his effort from in the area was smothered away by the legs of Lamb.
McBurnie had the last meaningful effort of the half just before the interval when he cut inside from a wide position before forcing Lamb into a decent save at his near post.
The first major scoring opportunity of the second period came Avenue's way just before the hour mark when Paul Walker engineered himself a yard of space before firing in a fierce angled drive that Ripley did well to push around his near post.
Shortly afterwards, Avenue threatened again but Adam Quinn sent a free header wide of the target following Walker’s floated far post cross.
The 63rd minute of the match saw Oliver depart, as planned pre-match, to be replaced by apprentice defender Niall Heaton.
Youngster Dylan Mottley-Henry was brought on for Curtis eight minutes later, with Jela being replaced by Calum Hepworth less than a minute later.
After creating the early scoring chances after the restart, Avenue were still enjoying the better of the second period without really threatening Ripley’s goal too greatly when City made two further substitutions in the final ten minutes of the game.
First year apprentice Callum Chippendale came on for McBurnie, while Reid Harbach replaced fellow trialist Gary Stohrer minutes later.
Avenue had one final chance to take the match to penalties but Nathan Hotte’s fierce header from a corner was straight at Ripley.
It was actually City who registered the last scoring opportunity of note when Chippendale flashed a header just past Lamb’s far post following De Vita’s fizzing cross into the box on the stroke of ninety minutes.
Bradford City Team
1. Connor Ripley
5. Matt Taylor
6. Luke Oliver
7. Raffaele De Vita
8. Jack Stockdill
9. Oliver McBurnie
10. Louie Swain
14. Nathan Curtis
16. Carl McHugh
17. Jordan Gele
19. Gary Stohrer
12. Billy Grainger (GK)
4. Calum Hepworth for 17 (72)
20. Dylan Mottley-Henry for 14 (71)
18. Niall Heaton for 6 (63)
15. Reid Harbach for 19 (84)
11. Callum Chippendale for 9 (82)