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BLACK ENCOURAGED BY STOKE VICTORY

31 August 2016

Bantams assistant Kenny Black says there was plenty to be encouraged by following Tuesday's 1-0 win over Stoke City in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Timothee Dieng's first goal for the club shortly before the break saw City register a narrow win in their opening Northern Group C encounter at the Northern Commercials Stadium.

Fit-again skipper Stephen Darby started the match and featured until his late withdrawal roughly ten minutes from the end. Fellow defender Matthew Kilgallon was given the second half on his first outing in claret and amber.

On top of the return of the defensive duo, there was a number of pleasing displays from City's youngsters on show, none more so than apprentice duo Kwame Boateng and Ellis Hudson.

German shot-stopper Rouven Sattelmaier also caught the eye with a number of smart saves on his competitive debut for the club.

Black, who led the side with City boss Stuart McCall watching on from the stands, said: "It was a great evening, especially for the younger lads to mix it with more experienced players and players from a Premier League set-up.

"More importantly, we got the win to cap it off as well.

"Both the experienced players and the younger lads showed great character to get the clean sheet and the victory to kick off this competition.

"Stephen (Darby) was only down originally to play 45 minutes but he was keen to stay on as long as he could. The medical team felt as a precaution it was just best to bring him off when we did.

"It was great to see him back though, and great to see Matt (Kilgallon) get the second half.

"The only downside on the night was probably losing Vincent Rabiega with a tight thigh but that at least did allow us to give young Ellis Hudson a chance.

"I felt he gave us a real spark when he came on. Him and Kwame Boateng performed well and they will have pleased our youth team coaches with their efforts.

"They didn't look out of place against Stoke's youngsters.

"We had to dig in at times, they showed their quality as a Premier League team, but we were on our toes and the goalkeeper (Rouven Sattelmaier) had an excellent evening.

"He had to be at the top of his game tonight (Tuesday) because he had a number of shots to deal with - he deserved his clean sheet."

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