Bradford (Park Avenue) clinched the Donald Bell Trophy with an emphatic 15-0 win over the Yorkshire Regiment’s footballing representatives.
Mark Bower, once again, used the fixture as an opportunity to assess numerous trialists and give valuable game time to a string of first-team players. Ten changes were made at the half-time interval, with goalkeeper Steven Drench being the only player to complete the full 90 minutes.
The scoring was opened after just three minutes, and in bizarre fashion. Two trialists rattled the woodwork in the space of ten seconds before the ball cannoned off a third trialist and found its way into the back of the net.
Ben McKenna looked extremely lively in the opening exchanges and almost doubled Bradford’s lead with a low drive from the edge of the box. With the ball looking certain to nestle in the bottom corner, a deflection took the sting out of the effort and enabled Brandon Greaves to save.
Mark Bower’s side soon had a second as Greaves palmed an Adam Nowakowski header into the path of Gianluca Havern, who hammered home the rebound.
It wasn’t long before the ball was in the back of net again, as a Bradford trialist squared to another trialist, who converted past Greaves.
Spectators watched fifteen Bradford goals but the fourth was certainly the most impressive. Nicky Wroe split the Yorkshire Regiment defence with an excellent pass that was latched on to by McKenna, who maintained his composure before chipping over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
The visitors did catch a glimpse of goal in the first-half, but Lee Shaw’s long-range effort flew wide.
Wroe added a fifth for Bradford on the stroke of half-time, demonstrating exceptional technique to fire past Greaves on the half-volley after a Ryan Toulson cross was only cleared as far as the edge of the 18-yard box.
HALF-TIME: Bradford (Park Avenue) 5-0 Yorkshire Regiment
Ten new outfield players emerged for the second-half but were even more ruthless than the first ten had been. A trialist latched on to a punt forward before calmly dispatching past Greaves barely a minute after the restart.
Horsfall College of Sport scholar Bradley Oliver then got in on the act, rifling into the roof of the net to make it 7-0 to the thoroughly dominant hosts.
Five minutes later, Oli Johnson weighed in to stretch Bradford’s advantage to eight, latching on to a perfectly weighted pass from Jamie Spencer before steering past Greaves.
There was barely a minute between the eighth and ninth goal, as a trialist poked home after a brief scramble in the box to put Bradford on the verge of double-figures.
The plucky visitors, however, almost pulled one back in the 58th minute. James Kenworthy dispossessed Shane Killock following a brief lapse in concentration from the defender and prepared to shoot, but was thwarted by a vital block from Lewis Johnson.
The rampant hosts hit double figures on the hour mark when a trialist ran beyond the Yorkshire Regiment’s backline after a superb through-ball from Danny Boshell before rounding the goalkeeper and passing into an open net.
Oli Johnson had already etched his name on the score sheet and turned provider to tee up a trialist, who slotted past Greaves to take Bradford’s tally to eleven.
The tricky forward then left the pitch, leaving Bradford to play with ten men for the remaining 25 minutes This didn’t deter the hosts, who remained on the front foot and netted their twelfth shortly after. Nicky Clee slid the ball through to a trialist, who found the bottom corner with a composed finish from just inside the 18-yard box.
The tally was soon taken to thirteen, as a trialist advanced down the right flank before pulling back to another trialist, who slotted past Greaves with an placed effort.
Two trialists then combined well to clinch Bradford’s fourteenth, as one timed his run to perfection before meeting a cross from the other and providing a neat finish.
The fifteenth and final Bradford goal came from defender Shane Killock, who arrived at the back-post to meet a delivery from the right and bundle over the line.
The full-time whistle eventually put the visitors out of their misery, who worked tirelessly in the gruelling heat but struggled to compete with the National League North side’s quality on the ball and energy levels.
FULL-TIME: Bradford (Park Avenue) 15-0 Yorkshire Regiment
Bradford (PA) first-half: Drench, Toulson, Lowe, Wroe (c), Nowakowski, Havern, McKenna, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.
Bradford (PA) second-half: Drench, Onion, Clee, Killock, Spencer, Trialist, L. Johnson, Trialist, Boshell, O. Johnson, Oliver.
Yorkshire Regiment: Greaves, Couilliard, Friendo, Burr, Foster, Wroot, Jassey, Kenworthy, Townsend, Shaw, Laverick.
Referee: Luke Watson