Tuesday 14 July 2015
Bradford City 3 (Leigh 45+1, Sheehan 63, Hanson 70)
Kick Off: 2:00pm
at Grangemouth Stadium
City kicked off their time in Scotland with a convincing victory over Scottish Premiership side Motherwell thanks to goals from Greg Leigh, Alan Sheehan and James Hanson.
Trialist Leigh fired Phil Parkinson's side into the lead on the stroke of half time before second half substitutes Sheehan and Hanson added further gloss to the scoreline.
The only downside for the afternoon came midway through the first period when first year pro Joe Brennan had to be stretchered off after appearing to damage knee ligaments while twisting awkwardly.
The first opening of the game went the way of the hosts as former Bantams loanee Louis Moult, who moved to Motherwell in the summer, fired narrowly over the bar from just outside the box.
Motherwell went closer in the 13th minute when Stephen McManus headed Ross MacLean's near post corner against Joe Cracknell's crossbar.
City responded later in the half when a surging run forward from skipper-for-the-day Gary Liddle, who was once again playing at centre back, fed Brennan into space down the Bantams' left flank.
Brennan's low cross into the box found Filipe Morais but the Portuguese attacker's half-volley from around the penalty spot sailed over the bar.
Unfortunately for City and for Brennan, the youngster's cross would be his last meaningful action of the game after appearing to fall awkwardly trying to tackle MacLean.
Play was halted for over four minutes while Brennan was treated and then stretchered off down the tunnel. He was replaced by Christopher Routis.
From the corner that followed after the lengthy break to deal with Brennan's injury, Motherwell had an effort hacked off the line.
Despite the hosts twice going close in the half though, it was Parkinson's men who took the lead into the break thanks to Leigh's goal in first half injury time.
Latching onto a lofted ball forward that got him in behind Motherwell's defence, Luke James squared the ball across the box to Leigh, who turned away from the advances of a home defender and 'keeper Dan Twardzik before slamming home from close range.
A driving run into the box from Sam Wright roughly ten minutes after the break presented Routis with a shooting opportunity but his half-volley was crucially deflected over by Louis Laing.
Just before the hour mark Moult's lofted pass gave MacLean with a sight of goal but the attacker's angled volley sailed over Cracknell's bar.
The 62rd minute saw City make as many as eight pre-planned substitutions, with Rory McArdle, Billy Clarke, Billy Knott, James Meredith, Sheehan, Tony McMahon, Josh Morris and Hanson all coming on.
City doubled their lead less than a minute after their raft of changes, and it was one of the alterations who made sure he made an instant impact.
Following McMahon and Knott's work from a short free-kick just outside the box, the ball was fed into the path of Sheehan and the Irishman finished the move in clinical fashion with a rasping drive past Twardzik at his near post.
It was three for City just seven minutes later as Hanson, who was wearing the captain's armband by this stage, powered home a free header from a McMahon corner.
Dylan Mottley-Henry was then replaced with fifteen minutes of the game remaining, with Luke Hendrie being brought back onto the pitch.
With roughly five minutes of the game to play, Knott played Morris into space inside the area but the midfielder's strike for goal from around ten yards out is blocked behind by Kieran Kennedy.
1. Joe Cracknell
2. Luke Hendrie
3. Greg Leigh
4. Sam Wright
5. Conrad Balatoni
7. Dylan Mottley-Henry
8. Gary Liddle (c)
9. Luke James
10. Filipe Morais
11. Joe Brennan
14. Mark Fotheringham
12. Ben Williams
6. Rory McArdle
15. Billy Clarke
16. Billy Knott
17. Christopher Routis
18. James Meredith
20. Josh Morris
21. Alan Sheehan
22. Tony McMahon
23. James Hanson
Routis for Brennan (32), McArdle for Balatoni (62), Clarke for Morais (62), Knott for Fotheringham (62), Meredith for Leigh (62), Morris for Wright (62), Sheehan for Liddle (62), McMahon for Hendrie (62), Hanson for James (62), Hendrie for Mottley-Henry (75)