Saturday 2 August 2014
Bradford City 1 (Clarke 72)
Hartlepool United 1 (Walker 71)
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at the Coral Windows Stadium
Pictures kindly provided by Gary Chadwick
Phil Parkinson's Bantams ended their pre-season fixtures for another year with a home draw against Sky Bet League 2 side Hartlepool United.
Pools midfielder Bradley Walker opening the scoring for the visitors with a low drive from the edge of the area midway through the second period but Billy Clarke finished well inside the box to equalise for City just a minute later.
With the Bantams' season opener against Coventry City just seven days away, as many as six of Parkinson's starting line up were given the full 90 minutes at the Coral Windows Stadium.
City once again lined up using a diamond-shaped formation in the centre of the park, with Gary Liddle, Matthew Dolan, Billy Knott and Mark Yeates making up the midfield quartet.
Parkinson kept the same back four as the Blackburn Rovers game last weekend - Stephen Darby, Andrew Davies, Rory McArdle and Alan Sheehan - while James Hanson partnered Clarke in attack.
In a goalless opening period, some of City's better chances came from the boot of Yeates, the Irishman firing narrowly wide with strikes from outside the box on three separate occasions.
Knott forced Hartlepool 'keeper Scott Flinders into a early save with a strike by his near post, while Clarke planted a header at the visiting shot-stopper from a Sheehan cross later in the half.
Davies and McArdle nearly combined to scramble home a Sheehan corner ten minutes before the break but Hartlepool full back Michael Duckworth cleared the danger in front of his own goal.
With the Bantams continuing to create the most opportunities in the half, Liddle dragged a low strike wide of the post from the edge of the area shortly before the interval after his first effort had been blocked by the frame of City old boy Matthew Bates.
Another former Bantam, Jack Compton, was at the heart of probably Hartlepool's best opening of the first half when his in-swinging free-kick from wide curled just past Jordan Pickford's far post.
The Bantams remained on the front-foot as the second period got underway, creating a number of further chances in the process.
Dolan fired over with a half-volley early after the restart after Yeates' cut-back from the by-line had deflected out into his path.
Yeates was involved once more on the hour mark when he intercepted a throw-in from Duckworth before teeing up Clarke, who saw his low strike from the edge of the area expertly repelled by Flinders.
Clarke was denied again just five minutes later when the striker was teed up by Knott's ball across the box but his close range shot was blocked behind by the diving frame of Bates.
In reply, Hartlepool's best chances after the interval all seem to come via midfielder Walker.
Walker's first sighter came less than ten minutes into the second period when he headed over after Stuart Parnby had beaten Pickford to the ball to flick on a Compton corner.
His next scoring opportunity saw the young midfielder's drive from just inside the area deflected off Davies midway through the half but the effort was superbly tipped around the post by Pickford.
There was nothing, however, Pickford could do about Walker's drive just three minutes later when the Pools player drilled home with a low strike from the edge of the box after the ball had dropped into his path.
City's response was quick enough though as they equalised roughly a minute later through Clarke.
Sheehan's cross into the box was flicked on by Hanson into the path of Clarke, who drilled a low angled drive through the body of Flinders.
With the game level once again, City twice hit the woodwork in the closing stages.
Sheehan's in-swinging right-footed cross seemed to take a flick off the head of both City substitute Oliver McBurnie and Bates before bouncing off Flinders' crossbar.
Shortly afterwards, the Hartlepool bar was rattling again when another Bantams replacement, trialist Mo Shariff, saw his long-range effort tipped onto the bar by Flinders.
1. Jordan Pickford
2. Stephen Darby (c)
4. Matthew Dolan
5. Andrew Davies
15. Alan Sheehan
8. Gary Liddle
9. James Hanson
10. Billy Clarke
11. Billy Knott
14. Mark Yeates
22. Rory McArdle
12. Matt Urwin
3. James Meredith for Knott (76)
7. Mo Shariff for Clarke (85)
16. Luke Coulson
17. Jason Kennedy for Dolan (76)
18. Bobby Hassell
19. Oliver McBurnie for Yeates (68)
20. Christopher Routis for McArdle (68)
21. Achille Campion
23. Niall Heaton