Bradford City Under-18s kicked off 2019 in style, defeating Rotherham 2-0 - on home soil - to move clear at the top of the Youth Alliance North East League.
Goals either side of half-time were enough to secure the points and ensure the young Bantams took charge of the division.
City, boasting the best defence in the league, controlled the vast majority of proceedings in the first period.
And Mark Trueman’s side drew first blood after half an hour.
Reece Staunton, who has featured on a few occasions for the first team since the start of last season, fired a sublime free-kick into the bottom corner - after Kielen Adams was upended on the edge of the area.
The Bantams started the second half on the front foot too - and it did not take them long to double their advantage.
A swift counter attack 55 minutes in, following a Rotherham corner, saw Jake Maltby pick Raeece Ellington out.
The man of the match found Connor Shanks and he did the rest, skilfully dummying the keeper and rolling the ball into the far corner.
Rotherham had a couple of decent opportunities to claw their way back into the affair but neither Jacob Gratton nor Tyrone Lewthwaite could find the target from inside the box.
As a result, City were able to hang on for what was in the end a comfortable win.
Trueman’s young Bantams have now won their last three league games, scoring seven and conceding none.
City Under-18s will look to maintain their rich vein of form when visiting high-flying Grimsby on January 19.
CITY: Alfie Darke; Hayden Smethurst (Jeremie Milambo 70’), Jorge Sikora (Finn Cousin-Dawson 87’), Reece Staunton, Christian Farrar (Kian Scales 87’); Jake Maltby, Raeece Ellington; Matt Birchall (Eddy Prata 84’), Eliot Goldthorp, Connor Shanks; Kielen Adams (Wade Ripley 67’).
GOALS: Staunton (31’), Shanks (55’).
ROTHERHAM: Charlie Farrar; Luke Hodgkinson, Jake Southern-Cooper, Jake Hull, Harrison Beeden; Jacob Gratton (Robbie Gateshill 70’), Mitchell Carlton, Wilfred Peel-Evans, Regan Hutchinson (Travon Wenham 70’); Jacques Eta, Tyrone Lewthwaite. Subs (not used): Elliot Ellis, Joel Spence, Moussa Diouf.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Raeece Ellington