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RESERVES PICK UP HARD-FOUGHT MORECAMBE WIN

22 March 2017

City's reserves overcame the wet and chilly conditions to grind out a hard-fought 2-1 home victory over Morecambe at the club's Apperley Bridge training ground.

First half goals from Kevin Toner and Ville Moilanen proved enough to secure the points for the Bantams in the Central League fixture, although Morecambe's Luke Gordon did halve his side's deficit after the break.

Along with Toner, fellow professionals Joe Cracknell, Jacob Hanson, Daniel Pybus, Matthew Penney, Ellis Hudson and Daniel Devine also started the game.

With the rain set in from the beginning of the match, City, who actually played Morecambe just a week earlier at the Shrimps' Globe Arena, began the game the stronger.

It was the visitors, however, who had the first clear sighting of goal when defender Paul Dawson headed against the base of Cracknell's near post from a corner.

Dawson also went close later in the half from another corner delivery by the visitors, this time the centre half heading narrowly wide with a glancing header.

City actually took the lead from a corner of their own seven minutes before the break when Toner swooped to power a downward header past Niall Maher from Penney's lofted set-piece delivery.

The Bantams could have netted again shortly afterwards, the ball deflecting off Tom Windle from close range before hitting the bar following Pybus' dangerous cross into the middle.

There was still time in the half for City to double their advantage though, with Pybus involved again.

With the opening period virtually completed, Pybus' centre was flicked on by Curtis Peters for Alex Laird to volley forwards. 

The effort was partially blocked, with the ball dropping kindly into the path of Moilanen, who fired low past Maher from deep inside the box.

Coming into the break with a two-goal lead, the only downside for the Bantams was early withdrawal of Hudson. The winger was replaced six minutes before the break as a precaution after a taking a knock to his head.

As the rain intensified after the interval, the second half started for City with Devine curling a shot narrowly wide from just inside the box following Penney's low centre.

In response, Qarri Mergim fired just past the post after Gordon's cross into the box had landed at his feet.

City threatened later in the half twice in quick succession from two crosses from the left, Windle and Peters just failing to scramble home via deliveries from Penney and Moilanen respectively.

Morecambe got themselves back in the game twenty minutes from the end when Gordon got the better of Sam Wright over by the far post to latch onto a Leif Davis cross and fire home from six yards out.

City lost Alex Laird to injury shortly afterwards, the defender forced to hobble off after being on the end of a robust challenge in the build up to Morecambe's goal.

Despite the blow of conceding, and the early substitution of another one of their players, City could have made the game safe in the final quarter of the contest.

Second half replacement Reece Powell struck the post after being teed up in the box by fellow sub Kwame Boateng.

Pybus went closer minutes later, the midfielder forcing Maher into a save after a forceful drive into the box from the City player.

The former Sunderland man also was on the end of the final scoring opportunity of the game. Following Devine's low cross from the left into the box, Pybus curled a drive into the side-netting by Maher's near post.

CITY XI
1. Joe Cracknell
2. Jacob Hanson
3. Matthew Penney
4. Daniel Devine
5. Kevin Toner
6. Alex Laird
7. Tom Windle
8. Daniel Pybus
9. Ville Moilanen
10. Curtis Peters
11. Ellis Hudson

Subs:
12. George Sykes-Kenworthy (GK)
14. Kwame Boateng
15. Niah Payne
16. Sam Wright
17. Reece Powell

Goals:
Toner (38), Moilanen (45+1)

Substitutions:
Wright for Hudson (39), Powell for Windle (68), Boateng for Laird (72), Payne for Moilanen (80)



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