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Match Reports

REPORT | CITY LOSE OUT IN ST JOHNSTONE FRIENDLY

19 July 2016

City suffered their first defeat of pre-season against St Johnstone this Tuesday, going down 2-0 at McDiarmid Park despite controlling large parts of the game.

Both of St Johnstone's goals came in the first half thanks to two free-kicks into the box. Graham Cummins opened the scoring for the Saints with a looping header on 33 minutes, before Brad McKay doubled the hosts' lead with a header of his own shortly afterwards.

The Bantams, playing in their all-white away kit for the first time, dominated large periods of the second period but Stuart McCall's side were unable to find a goal their play probably deserved.

Eight of City's starting line-up received the full 90 minutes under their belts.

Playing against his former club, Filipe Morais was given his first start of pre-season against St Johnstone. Morais played the first period before being replaced by Mark Marshall at half time.

Recent loan signing Jordy Hiwula made his first starting appearance in City colours.

City's three James' - Hanson, Meredith and King - weren't risked due to minor injuries.

Meredith's absence meant young midfielder Daniel Devine starting at left back.

Despite the eventual scoreline, City actually started the match in positive fashion, with Morais testing former Bantams trialist 'keeper Alan Mannus with a shot from outside the box.

Tam Scobbie headed wide from a corner and Blair Alston had a shot repelled by Colin Doyle at the other end, while Billy Clarke looped a shot over the bar from a deflected Morais cross.

With conditions continuing to be warm and sunny on pleasant summer's day, the players were granted a drinks break around the half-hour mark.

St Johnstone took the lead a few minutes later when Scobbie's free-kick from deep found the head of Cummins in the box and striker's looping header beat the stranded Doyle before finding the corner.

The Saints doubled their lead in similar fashion when Alston's free-kick into the area was this time met by McKay and the defender's header nestled in the bottom corner.

City tried to pull a goal back in the remaining minutes of the opening period but Hiwula's shot from a Morais' low cross was kicked clear in front of goal by McKay. Tony McMahon then fired over from outside the box with a shot just before the interval.

As they had done in the first half, McCall's men began the second period with purpose. Hiwula ended a driving run with a strike narrowly over, while Nathaniel Knight-Percival headed wide from a well-worked short corner.

After handy play from Marshall on the left wing, Hiwula was involved again just past the hour mark but he fired wide of Mannus' far post as the ball bounced into his path just inside the box.

Hiwula looked to threaten once more minutes later but Mannus was just able to nip the ball off the striker's toes after he'd tried to latch onto Nicky Law's through-ball.

Paul Anderson's introduction from the bench saw City change their set-up slightly from a 4-4-2 formation to a 4-2-3-1 shape, with Law, Anderson and Marshall supported lone striker Hiwula.

Anderson nearly found himself on the end of a tap-in ten minutes from time when Hiwula latched onto Marshall's clipped pass forward before lopping the ball across St Johnstone's goal.

Any touch on the ball probably would have resulted in a goal but the cross was just out of the reach of the substitute winger.

Bradford City line up:
1. Colin Doyle, 2. Tony McMahon, 3. Daniel Devine, 4. Nicky Law, 5 Nathan Clarke, 6. Nathaniel Knight-Percival, 7. Filipe Morais, 8. Timothee Dieng, 9. Jordy Hiwula, 10. TRIALIST, 14. Billy Clarke

Substitutes:
12. Joe Cracknell, 15. Kwame Boateng, 16, Niah Payne, 17. Paul Anderson, 18. Mark Marshall, 19. Reece Webb-Foster

Substitutions:
Marshall for Morais (46), Anderson for B Clarke (68), Payne for TRIALIST (81)

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