Stern Stag’s test gives Bradford ideal pre-season preparation
In a match that at times could have gone either way, Thompson would be pleased with what he has seen giving him a base to build on throughout pre-season.
The first half got off to an uneventful start with Mansfield having the better of the possession however despite a few early corners they failed to make a breakthrough.
The moment of the half came when, in the 12th minute, Lewis Knight picked up the ball and produced a spectacular run towards the Mansfield goal-line where, after beating the defender for pace, he cut the ball back to the edge of the six yard box for player-manager Garry Thompson to calmly finish.
Both sides then kept the game at a good tempo, however neither side could manage to make any real clear-cut chances to threaten either of the keepers. Mansfield had a trio of corners in the 32nd minute however they couldn’t make them pay.
In the 36th minute following a collision with Lewis Knight, Stokes had to be stretchered off with an injury. Play then resumed in the 43rd minute however nothing of note took place for the rest of the half.
The start of the second half saw a host of changes for Mansfield as they changed their whole starting eleven.
The changes clearly had their intended effect when pressure from the Mansfield attack saw Lund put the ball into the back of his own net in the 49th minute. Minutes later Mansfield took the lead for the first time during the match when a cross in from the Bradford (Park Avenue) left by Maynard found Rose in the 6-yard-box for a simple tap in.
Mansfield then won a free-kick from near the corner flag following a mistimed challenged from one of the trialists. The resultant free kick was whipped in by Benning who managed to find Maynard unmarked near Avenue’s near post allowing him to head Mansfield into a 3-1 lead in the 61st minute.
Following some changes for Bradford they nearly managed to find a way back into the match after Gardner managed to get away a shot from inside Mansfield area, unfortunately this ended up wide of the mark.
Fortunately for Bradford, the second goal wasn’t far away when in the 75th minute Holmes was able to place his shot in the bottom corner of the Mansfield net, drawing Avenue back into the game following on from some good pressure by the home side.
The game was however just put out of Bradford’s reach when Maynard slotted past Andrew, who had also come on as second half substitute, to give Mansfield a 4-2 lead in the 83rd minute. Less than a minute later, the former West Ham striker was through again baring down on Andrew’s goal however this time it was Andrew who came out on top as he managed to deny Maynard while also conceding a corner in the process.
The game ultimately fizzled out in the last five minutes as both sides battled for possession yet neither really managed to create more chances.
Bradford (Park Avenue) A.F.C
- Trialist (C. Andrew 62’)
- Trialist (A. Laird 62’)
- Mitchell Lund
- Jon Moran (Trialist 70’)
- Ben Hedley (E. Holmes 62’)
- Alex Hurst (Trialist 70’)
- Lewis Rathbone (Trialist 70’)
- Garry Thompson (S. Gardner 62’)
- Lewis Knight (Trialist 45’)
- Matty Clarke
Unused subs: None
Mansfield Town F.C
31. Aidan Stone (C.Logan 45’)
2. Hayden White (J. Clarke 45’)
4. Matt Preston (K. Pearce 45’)
6. Neal Bishop (L. Gibbens 45’)
10. Otis Khan (Benning 45’)
19. Andy Cook (O. Sterling-James 45’)
30. Alistair Smith (J.Mellis 45’)
46. Jason Law (W. Tomlinson 45’)
47. Jimmy Knowles (C. Hamilton 45’)
49. Noah Stokes (N. Maynard 45’)
17. Ryan Sweeney (D. Rose 45’)
Unused subs: T. Sinclair, T. Fielding
Referee: S. Barrott