Youth Team Report | Grimsby Town 0-1 Bradford City

Our youth team fell to defeat in their latest league game as Bradford City scored in added time to snatch all three points.

After the disappointment of conceding in stoppage time to lose their EFL Youth Alliance Cup northern area final at Preston North End on Saturday, it was back to Youth Alliance league action for the Young Mariners, with Tuesday’s clash against the Bantams marking their ninth game of a busy March schedule.

Both sides battled well but struggled to find moments of quality in a game of few genuine chances at the Bradley Football Development Centre, with neither goalkeeper called into serious action throughout the afternoon.

But just when it looked like it would be a point apiece, Town were denied a share of the spoils as Bradford found a winner in the second minute of additional time, with striker Harry Ibbitson settling the contest in the West Yorkshire side’s favour.

Harry Shipstone fired over the bar from 20 yards as Town created the first chance of the match after a strong run by Jack Collins from the left.

The hosts then won the opening corner on four minutes but Cameron Gardner’s near-post header from Shakeel Brown’s delivery was cleared.

A ball into the box from Lewis Boney at the other end went through to Seb Auton in the Grimsby goal after Ibbitson could not bring it under control, then a corner from the Bradford right beat everybody and dropped out for a throw-in.

Oliver Thompson had to head behind for another Town corner after a teasing chipped cross to the far post from Shakeel Brown, although the danger from the flag-kick was cleared after a shot from Shipstone was blocked at the edge of the box.

A further corner was headed clear on 11 minutes as the early home pressure continued, before a timely interception by Finley Axcell stopped Mo Sedibeh from getting on the end of a cross from the away right.

Shakeel Brown won a corner on the right after Giles and Shipstone both saw shots blocked, although again, the delivery from the flag was cleared.

Finn Abraham was first to a Boney free kick to get the ball clear, then a corner from the Bradford right was also dealt with.

Gardner won a corner at the other end on 29 minutes but Shakeel Brown’s delivery was cleared for a throw-in, then another Town corner was played short for Giles and he turned into the box but the ball ricocheted out for a goal kick.

Eni Rotimi won a free kick for the visitors midway inside the Town half on 34 minutes and George Goodman’s header from it was deflected wide for a corner, which was cleared at the near post by Henry Burt.

A Gardner cross from the left was deflected behind for a corner three minutes before the break but Town were unable to create a chance from it, then Burt was off-target from 25 yards after winning the ball in midfield.

A foul on Giles gave the Young Mariners a free kick inside the Bradford half, although Shakeel Brown’s ball to the edge of the box was dealt with.

No added time was played at the end of the first half, with the score remaining goalless at the interval.

SECOND HALF

No changes were made before the restart and neither side was able to establish a grip on the game in a scrappy opening to the second half.

Shipstone did well to win a corner on the right on 54 minutes but it did not lead to a chance in front of goal, then Auton got to a cross-shot from Dylan Wilkinson to make a good save.

Boney was spoken to by the referee after a foul on Giles, then another Town corner came when Goodman stretched to beat Giles to the ball.  Shakeel Brown’s flag-kick was cleared after Gardner had won the initial header.

Collins glanced a header wide from a right-wing cross as the Young Mariners kept searching for a breakthrough, then Rotimi went the closest yet to breaking the deadlock at the other end when he sent a low effort just wide of the far post from a narrow angle on the right just after the hour.

Burt was narrowly wide with a curling strike from the edge of the penalty area soon afterwards, before Auton punched a Wilkinson cross away from danger at the other end.

Sedibeh fired straight at the Town keeper after working his way into the box, before a long throw from Bradford’s Max Murray was headed clear by Abraham.

Alfie Foy and Fortune Onoh replaced Burt and Shipstone for Town on 73 minutes in the first substitutions of the game, then Sedibeh fired over the bar after another run into the box as the away side started to get on top.

Boney beat Giles to a long ball from Shakeel Brown as the hosts looked for an opening, then Henry Brown did well to bring the ball clear out of defence after a Bradford attack was stopped.

Gardner could only send a looping header through to away goalkeeper George Lord when a Giles cross from the left proved slightly too high, then Tom Rennarson replaced Collins for Town with 10 minutes to go.

A Shakeel Brown corner was eventually cleared, before Bilal Hussain replaced Sedibeh in Bradford’s first change on 84 minutes.

Boney was booked after bringing Shakeel Brown down on the right but Foy’s free kick landed too far ahead of Giles and the ball bounced out for a goal kick.

Giles was off-target with a shot on the turn from 20 yards, before Franklin Denison came on for Wilkinson in the visitors’ second substitution with a minute left on the clock.

And just as it looked like the game was set to end without a goal, Bradford claimed all three points in the second minute of added time, as IBBITSON pounced at the far post to beat Auton.

Town poured forward in a late bid to salvage a draw but they were unable to force an equaliser from a Shakeel Brown corner.

And that proved to be their final opportunity on a frustrating afternoon as the visitors took the points back to West Yorkshire.

The Young Mariners are next in action on Good Friday, when they host Lincoln City in their final regular season fixture before the league splits into two groups for the remainder of the campaign.

Town: Seb Auton, Finley Axcell, Jaxon Blakley, Henry Burt (Alfie Foy, 73), Finn Abraham, Henry Brown, Shakeel Brown, Cameron Gardner, Grayson Giles, Harry Shipstone (Fortune Onoh, 73), Jack Collins (Tom Rennardson, 80)
Subs not used: Will Mitchell, Callum Storr

Bradford: George Lord, Dylan Wilkinson (Franklin Denison, 89), Lewis Boney, Sam Bentley, Finley Gledhill, George Goodman, Max Murray, Oliver Thompson, Harry Ibbitson, Eni Rotimi, Mo Sedibeh (Bilal Hussain, 84)

UTM

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