Bradford City vs Bradford Park Avenue

City vs Park Avenue is one of the preseasons we aim to get to every year and to be honest it could be one of my favourites. When we went last night I wasn't expecting much as a side had already played Bolton (and lost 2-1) behind closed doors and to be honest I thought they would have played the strongest side against them, which they may have done but I cant seem to find a team sheet from this but it looks like Donaldson and Vaughan did play.

To be honest we didn't put out a bad team at all in fact I was pretty impressed by it. O'Donnell was in net and honestly during this preseason he has put in a brilliant effort as he fights for the first choice spot, but honestly I think his performance has been massively helped by the quality we are now plating with in defence. Riley also started this game and to be honest I had my doubts about him after last year but since Bowyer took charge he seems to be really out to prove a point and I can see the potential in him. O'Connor was also in defence and to be fair my verdict on him is still to be decided yesterday he had some good plays but after last season and a few silly mistakes this preseason I will need to see him in the league before I can make my mind up. 
Devine captained the side and I love Bowyer for the fact he is actually giving Devine a chance, I believe in league 2 he could have a big impact for us as he has shown when he has played the quality he processes, he just needs to be given a chance for a change. 

The first half was very back and forth with neither side really hitting the ground running, it definitely wasn't a spectacular half with little chance and the ball just been worked around. What is nice though is seeing City actually managing to string passes together and work as a team.

The first half ended 0-0 and it looked like the second half was going the same way until City were given a very soft penalty, it was substitute Ismail who stepped up to take it and hit the ball straight into the post, possibly City's best chance of the game wasted.

 The game did finish 0-0 after the 90th minute, which meant the game was heading to penalties as this is played for the Tom Banks Memorial trophy each year. 
Ismail fired way wide on his effort which meant Park Avenue were up 1-0 thanks to none other than Gary Thompson converting his penalty. But after some great saves from O'Donnell City ended up retaining the trophy after winning 3-2 on the penalties. 

Park Avenue really did surprised me as with a few trialists in the side they did look like some tough competition and really look like they could do well in their upcoming season especially if their defence and midfield can do as well as they did last night. For City though it may not have been won in normal time but its a win to add to the results and gives them a few bits to work on which to me would be calling for the ball more, penalties and just that final push in the final third there just didn't look to be too much of a threat there which we need. Yes some of these players may be 2nd choice but all it takes is a few injuries and they will need to step up.

If I had to pick a man of the match though for me it would be Omari Patrick, he ran around that field trying to win every ball especially when he lost it and he actually got City in some quite threatening positions. It was a close choice between him and Devine though as he put in a great shift and really showed just what an impact he could be.

See you soon

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