Saturday 25 July 2015
Bradford City 2 (Morris 58, Liddle 72)
Carlisle United 0
Kick Off: 3.00pm
at the Coral Windows Stadium
Second half efforts from Josh Morris and Gary Liddle meant City collected victory over Carlisle United in a pre-season friendly on their return to the Coral Windows Stadium.
Morris, who hit the post in the first half, opened the scoring with a fine strike from just outside the box before Liddle added a second from close range after his first effort had been saved from a wide free-kick.
Although with the victory, there was the pleasing sight of summer signing Steven Davies making his entrance from the bench roughly twenty minutes from the end for his first appearance of pre-season.
Testing out the club's lush new green surface for the first time, bright wing play down the left from Morris in only the second minute helped to engineer a early opening for City.
Hanson unfortunately saw his close range header blocked but the loose ball fell to Marshall, who saw his goal-bound deflected behind by the frame of Patrick Brough.
Carlisle responded with a chance of their own four minutes later but Ben Williams showed good reflexes to repel Derek Asamoah's low drive from deep inside the box.
Carlisle then had a penalty appeal turned down when Charlie Wyke appeared to go to ground under the challenge of Liddle inside the box.
Despite the visitors' couple of early scares though, City were still playing some nice football in places, led in part by some excellent foot-work yet again from the talented Billy Clarke.
It was actually Clarke's through-pass into the feet of Morris that set up City's next scoring opportunity in the half. In space inside the area, Morris looked to beat Mark Gillespie but his low drive took a deflection off Michael Raynes before striking the base of the 'keeper's near post.
City continued to probe away, looking to use the trickery of Clarke and the pace of Marshall in particular, but the contest remained largely even going into the final quarter of the first period.
The duo nearly combined when Marshall latched onto Hanson's headed flick-on and burst clear into space down City's right flank. Clarke was unmarked in the middle and waiting for the pass but Marshall was eventually crowded out as he came in field.
Morris then fired narrowly over the bar shortly afterwards with a direct free-kick from just outside the box.
McArdle's attempted pass forward from inside his own box was blocked by Asamoah to give Carlisle a sight of goal close to the break. The Carlisle attacker played the ball across the area to strike-partner Wyke but the forward's effort at Williams' goal was blocked by a great saving tackle from a sliding Liddle.
There was a slightly worrying moment at the very end of the half when Hanson went down injured but after a spot of treatment he was able to continue.
Carlisle made as many as five substitutions during the interval although Phil Parkinson's men remain unchanged for the second period.
The visitors had the first attempt on goal after the restart when former City trialist Angelo Balanta's corner was only half cleared but Jabo Ibehre's shot on the turn from just outside the box was held at the second attempt by Williams.
The Bantams took the lead just before the hour mark when Morris cut inside from the right flank after a purposeful run forward before letting rip with a left-footed drive from just outside the box that beat Gillespie at his near post.
Shortly after Luke James' arrival from the bench for Marshall, Ibehre looked to have burst through on goal for a chance for Carlisle but a great recovering tackle from McArdle robbed the powerful forward of the ball.
At the other end, James teed up Morris for an opportunity to add to his afternoon's tally but the midfielder sent a rising half-volley from outside the box wide of Gillespie's far post.
The Bantams double their advantage shortly afterwards, however, and it almost came via a first touch of the game from Davies.
Replacing Hanson, Davies was only on the pitch for a few seconds when Routis' wide free-kick into the area was sent goal-wards by a close range volley from Liddle. Gillespie did well to keep the effort out but Liddle was on hand to just beat Davies to the loose ball and tap in from barely a yard or so out.
Davies jokingly tried to claim the goal as his own as the celebrations began but the effort remained Liddle's!
Ibehre nearly halved Carlisle's advantage just minutes later but he fired over the bar after bursting through into the box one-on-one with Willams.
The imposing forward then helped Carlisle to threaten again shortly afterwards but his cut-back across the six-yard box from the byline was kicked clear by the well-placed Routis.
With just over ten minutes of the game to be played, Alan Sheehan replaced Billy Knott, meaning goalscorer Liddle, who had started the game in central defence, moved up into midfield.
Either side of the introductions of Jon Lewis and Luke Hendrie for Clarke and Tony McMahon respectively, Davies played a one-two with James around the edge of the area before firing wide with a side-footed effort.
The final opening of the game fell the way of Lewis after the young American was played into space inside the area by Morris but his low angled drive was kept out by Gillespie.
1. Ben Williams
2. Tony McMahon
3. James Meredith
4. Josh Morris
7. Mark Marshall
8. Gary Liddle
9. James Hanson
11. Billy Knott
14. Billy Clarke
18. Christopher Routis
21. Rory McArdle
12. Joe Cracknell (GK)
5. Conrad Balatoni
6. Greg Leigh
10. Luke James
15. Alan Sheehan
16. Adam Drury
17. Dylan Mottley-Henry
19. Sam Wright
20. Jonathan Lewis
22. Steven Davies
23. Luke Hendrie
James for Marshall (64), Davies for Hanson (71), Sheehan for Knott (79), Lewis for Clarke (83), Hendrie for McMahon (87)