Bradford City 2 v 0 Carlisle United (Pre-Season Friendly)
Bradford City entertained Carlisle United at the Northern Commercials Stadium this weekend in the final pre season fixture of the summer. The game also saw the return of former Bantams player Jason Kennedy playing in central midfield for the Cumbrians.
Stuart McCall made three changes from last weekend welcoming back James Hanson and James Meredith, whilst new signing Romain Vincelot was given his Bradford City debut.
The first opening of the match for City came in only the ninth minute when James Hanson powered a header just wide of the Carlisle goal from a Filipe Morais cross into the middle.
Carlisle tried to threaten from a number of set-pieces thereafter but City’s defence stood strong so that there was no real threat to Colin Doyle’s goal.
The Bantams were temporarily down to ten men after twenty-five minutes when Nathan Clarke had to go off for stitches following a clash of heads with Carlisle striker Charlie Wyke.
Despite Carlisle’s numerical advantage, City nearly took the lead when Morais latched onto Mark Ellis weak header back to his keeper following Hanson’s flick on, Morais tried to poke the ball past the on-rushing Mark Gillespie but the goalkeeper blocked the shot.
City were still a man short when Nicky Adams snuck into space in the box for the visitors but Doyle was able to watch his downward header wide of the post following former Bantams loanee Jamie Devitt’s cross into the box.
Shortly after one-time City trialist Reggie Lambe saw his shot from the edge of the area blocked before Danny Grainger fired a yard over the bar from a free-kick outside the box.
Just before the break Filipe Morais had the ball in the net after side-footing the ball past Gillespie inside the box, but the Portuguese attacker was correctly flagged offside to leave the half-time score 0-0.
At the start of the second half, Carlisle earned an early free-kick after James Meredith fouled Reggie Lambe on the edge of the area, but Grainger’s angled drive direct from the free kick was pushed away by Colin Doyle.
City took the lead seven minutes into the second half, when Mark Marshall’s low cross into the box eventually fell into the path of Filipe Morais and the attacker lashed the ball home past Gillespie to make the score 1-0.
On sixty-four minutes the Bantams double their advantage when Filipe Morais turned provider, crossing for James Hanson to rise above two Carlisle defenders and head the ball downwards into the far bottom corner past a helpless Gillespie to make it 2-0.
Although Morais and Hanson combined for the goal, Dieng should also take some credit for City’s second after he superbly tracked down Adams and dispossessed the Carlisle attacker in a dangerous position to set up the attack.
Two minutes later, Mark Marshall tried his luck after running with the ball down the left-wing before cutting inside and shooting from the edge of the area, however his shot went straight at Gillespie in the Carlisle goal.
On seventy minutes, Stuart McCall made a number of changes bringing Paul Anderson, Billy Clarke, Nicky Law. Following the changes midfielder Nicky Law made a number of excellent runs into the Carlisle area but couldn’t find the final pass or shot.
In the final ten minutes of the game, Carlisle had a couple of opportunities to pull a goal back, but both Patrick Brough and Shaun Miller missed with poor efforts. The first effort went high over the City crossbar and the second was straight at Colin Doyle, to make the final score 2-0 to City.
Speaking after the game Bradford City manager Stuart McCall said, “I was pleased with the result but I was disappointed with the first half performance. Nathan Clarke having to go off for stitches midway through the first half didn’t help but we were sloppy in possession.
One positive was that we looked strong in defence and looked comfortable at the back going into the break. We got back to playing balls into the right areas in the second half and scored two good goals. We won more of our individual battles after the break but we still have a lot of things we can improve on.
We will analysis the game and sit down with the players during the week to see what we can do better as we prepare for the Port Vale game next weekend. It was great to get James Hanson, James Meredith and Romain Vincelot out on the pitch.
We will be looking for a good week at the training ground, both on and off the pitch to ensure we are ready for the visit of Port Vale.”
Bradford City – Doyle, McMahon, Meredith, N.Clarke, Knight-Percival, Vincelot, Dieng, Marshall, Hanson, Hiwula, Morais (Subs) Satteimaier, B.Clarke, Law, Anderson, Devine, Trialist 1, Webb-Foster
Carlisle United – Gillespie, Grainger, Ellis, Kennedy, Jones, Wyke, Adams, Gillesphey, Devitt, Lambe, Miller (Subs) Joyce, Penn, McKee, Miller, Brough, Olsen, Panayiotou
Goals – (Bradford City) Morais (52), Hanson (64)