at the UCD Bowl
Kick Off: 7.45pm
Bradford City 2 (Clarkson 41, 54)
UCD AFC 3 (Creevy 21, Cannon 44, Mustapha 78)
Tuesday 15 July 2014
Two goals for Lewis Clarkson weren't quite enough to stop City from falling to a narrow defeat to UCD AFC in the first friendly of their week-long Ireland tour.
First half UCD goals from Robbie Creevy and Conor Cannon twice gave the Irish Premier Division side the lead but Clarkson equalisers either side of the break levelled things up both times.
The friendly looked to be heading for a draw until a mix up between Andrew Davies and Sam Wright allowed UCD sub Toyeed Mustapha to nip in and slot home the winner past Elliott Barker.
City began the friendly using a sort of 4-4-1-1 formation, with Alan Sheehan playing in central defence, Niall Heaton left back and Wright and Jason Kennedy in central midfield.
Clarkson was selected up front on his own but supported by Raffaele De Vita and trialist Angelo Balanta from the wings, plus Mark Yeates, who was given a free role just behind him.
The Bantams' other trialist on show during the night - Nick Arnold - began the game at right back.
The vast majority of those who started at the UCD Bowl were given just over 60 minutes in the match before a raft of substitutions.
They included the introductions of the likes of Davies, Gary Liddle, James Hanson, Stephen Darby, Billy Knott and Billy Clarke to give them around 30 minutes of the friendly contest.
Apprentice ‘keeper Barker was also given a taste of the action by acting as McLaughlin’s replacement.
City used the UCD friendly as an opportunity to show off their new white and claret away kit in a match situation for the first time.
The club also gave fans a glimpse of the new away orange goalkeeper strip City will be using for the season.
Matt Taylor was introduced at half time for his first involvement with City in any sort of match for over five months following a troublesome foot injury.
UCD took the lead midway through the first half when midfielder Creevy flicked the ball goalwards from an in-swinging Gary Burke free-kick delivery to the near post.
With the header looping up out of his reach, Jon McLaughlin was helpless to stop the ball from dropping into the far top corner.
Balanta and De Vita went close with scoring opportunities later into the opening period before the Bantams equalised through Clarkson.
Yeates’ clipped ball into the box was just missed by a diving Balanta in the middle but Clarkson was lurking behind him to fire home.
Timmy Molloy nearly drew UCD back into the lead just seconds later but his strike from outside the box was tipped over by a full stretch McLaughlin.
There was still time in the half, however, for City’s hosts to take the lead again when Niall Heaton failed to reach a pass across the box from the under pressure Sheehan and striker Cannon nipped to round McLaughlin before rifling home.
Taylor’s half time introduction for McArdle was City's only change during the interval.
One of UCD's own half time substitutes, Robbie Benson, clipped the top of City’s bar with an early second half effort but the Bantams were level again nine minutes after the break through Clarkson once again.
De Vita’s ball over the top allow Clarkson to race into space inside the box and the striker finished the move nicely by drilling low through Niall Corbet’s legs from a relatively tight angle.
Following his double against Guiseley last Saturday in City's opening friendly of the summer, Clarkson's goals against UCD were his third and fourth of pre-season already.
As scheduled pre-match, City made a host of substitutions just after the hour mark – nine in total.
The Bantams fell behind twelve minutes from the end though when a misunderstanding between Davies and Wright allowed Mustapha to nip into clear space behind City's defence and confidently strike the ball past Barker.
Looking his usual dominate self in the air, Hanson twice threaten through headers after Mustapha’s goal – one effort in particular flashing just wide of the far post from a Darby cross.
City couldn't force a third equaliser in the final few minutes of the match, however, as they had to finally accept defeat in their second pre-season friendly.
CITY starting eleven XI
1. Jon McLaughlin
3. Alan Sheehan
7. Sam Wright
14. Mark Yeates
15. Lewis Clarkson
17. Jason Kennedy
18. Angelo Balanta
20. Raffaele De Vita
21. Nick Arnold
22. Rory McArdle (c)
23. Niall Heaton
6. Matt Taylor for McArdle (46)
2. Stephen Darby for Arnold (63)
5. Andrew Davies for Sheehan (63)
4. Matthew Dolan for Kennedy (63)
8. Gary Liddle for De Vita (63)
9. James Hanson for Clarkson (63)
10. Billy Clarke for Yeates (63)
11. Billy Knott for Balanta (63)
12. Elliott Barker for McLaughlin (63)
19. James King for Heaton (76)