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City start with comfortable friendly win

13 July 2013

Saturday 13 July 2013

Pre-season friendly fixture

Guiseley AFC 0

Bradford City 4 (Connell 15, Wells 73, Ravenhill 79, De Vita 84)

Kick Off: 3.00pm

at Nethermoor

Pictures kindly provided by Gintare Karpaviciute and Claire Epton

City kicked off their programme of pre-season friendly fixtures in pleasing fashion with a comfortable victory at a gloriously-sunny Guiseley.

Alan Connell, Nahki Wells, Ricky Ravenhill and Raffaele De Vita all scored for City, although Andy Gray suffered a suspected broken arm in the second period and had to be replaced.

On an afternoon when temperatures were almost as high as the crowd figure, City's plentiful support helped pack out Guiseley's Nethermoor ground as they flocked to see the Bantams in action for the first time since their League 2 Play-Off Final triumph back in May.

With the Bantams fielding two largely different sides during the contest, Phil Parkinson's squad kicked off the match with summer signing Jason Kennedy partnering Nathan Doyle in midfield. 

Former Guiseley striker James Hanson joined Alan Connell in attack for the first period, while Louie Swain was named as a makeshift left-back in a defence that also included Stephen Darby, Michael Nelson and Carl McHugh.

Only fifteen minutes were on the clock when Parkinson's men netted their first of pre-season through Connell.

The 30 year-old was in the right place by the near post to neatly flick a teasing cross from Kyel Reid past a rooted Steve Drench and into the far corner.

Connell could have doubled his and City's lead ten minutes later when Hanson muscled Macaulay Parkinson off the ball before playing his strike partner in the clear. Connell tried to get his shot away early but the ball bobbled up at his feet, allowing Jameel Ible to get back and make a diving block when the striker did eventually fire for goal. 

With temperatures remaining high and the sun still beaming down, both sets of players were sensibly allowed time for a small drinks break just after the half hour mark.

As expected, Parkinson made a number of changes during the interval.

Ravenhill, Wells, Gray, Jon McLaughlin, James Meredith, Rory McArdle, Vincent Acapandie and Garry Thompson were all introduced into the action, although Louie Swain, Carl McHugh and Jon Paul McGovern remained in place for the second period.

Swain, who had started after the restart at left midfield, was replaced just before the hour mark, however, by De Vita.

Second half apprentice Jack Stockdill was also brought on shortly afterwards, replacing McGovern, who had moved into central midfield for the second period after originally starting the game on the right wing.

Continuing to boss proceedings as they had done largely in the first period, City grabbed a second of the afternoon when Wells raced onto a booming header forward from Thompson before turning away from Sam Neil and Ash Townsend and firing in from around twelve yards out.

Another brief drinks break following Wells' goal, with McHugh also being replaced during the short stoppage by apprentice Niall Heaton, who is back on City's books after a spell at Liverpool.

Sadly, there was need for a further halt in play barely minutes later when Gray appeared to suffer a nasty fall. The striker was forced to leave the field clutching his arm after treatment from physio Matt Barrass.

Gray's departure did briefly leave City down to ten men, but it didn't stop them from further increasing their lead roughly ten minutes before the end.

Wells' teasing low cross into the six yard box was only parried out by Drench and Ravenhill was on hand to fire home from close range.

Swain was re-introduced into the action following Ravenhill's goal, replacing the injured Gray and bringing City back up to their full allocation.

After playing a major part in City's third, Wells was the provider again for the Bantams' fourth five minutes later when his cut-back was rifled home by De Vita from just inside the area.

Swain, who was finally playing in his natural position of centre forward after doing a job for the team at left back and left midfield, could have netted a fifth two minutes from the end but he was denied by a great reaction save from close range by Drench.

Bradford City first half team

12. Brian Jensen

2. Stephen Darby

22. Michael Nelson

16. Carl McHugh

14. Louie Swain

11. Jon Paul McGovern

23. Nathan Doyle

4. Jason Kennedy

7. Kyel Reid

9. James Hanson

10. Alan Connell

Bradford City second half team

1. Jon McLaughlin

12. Vincent Acapandie

19. Rory McArdle

16. Carl McHugh (6. Niall Heaton 74 mins)

20. James Meredith

15. Garry Thompson

3. Ricky Ravenhill

11. Jon Paul McGovern (8. Jack Stockdill 65 min)

14. Louie Swain (17. Raffaele De Vita 57 min)

18. Andy Gray (14. Louie Swain 80 mins)

21. Nahki Wells

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