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Archived News from July 2018

13th July 2018 13:40

Pre-Season Friendly
Bradford Park Avenue 0 - 3 Mansfield Town
Mellis 49, Angol 52, 79
Attendance: 165 (app 80 from Mansfield)

Date: 12 July 2018

Martin Shaw at the Horsfall Stadium

Mansfield Town won their second pre-season friendly 3-0 at Conference North Bradford Park Avenue this evening. It was a tale of two halves, with two different sides playing the two halves and with Mansfield looking rusty and lacking intensity in the first half, but the team that played the second half put Bradford Park Avenue to the sword, scored 3 goals and could have had plenty more, with Jacob Mellis outstanding. Mansfield started the game poorly against a Bradford side that included 5 trialists in the first half and it was the home side that caught the eye, though without forcing Bobby Olejnik into any saves. Krystian Pearce had a half to forget, but improved towards the end of the half setting up a chance for Otis Khan which he fired against the bar. Then Khan put in a great cross which Mal Benning volleyed over from 7 yards. Khan was the standout player in a disappointing first half. But in the second half, the Stags were on the front foot straight away with Jacob Mellis firing in a low shot from 12 yards through a crowd of defenders on 49 minutes. Then Will Atkinson in an unfamiliar wing-back role, fed Lee Angol who fired into the bottom left corner of the net from 14 yards, despite a touch from the keeper. And Angol made it 3-0 on 79 minutes, sweeping in from 8 yards after Atkinson headed back across goal from a super Mellis chipped ball. Mansfield also missed a hatful of other chances. Mellis was outstanding, Angol looked sharp, CJ Hamilton was lively, Omari Sterling-James did well and, as in Portugal, young Jordan Graham looked a real prospect. At the back, youngsters Henri Wilder and Lewis Gibbens looked composed and not out of place, albeit not put under too much pressure, alongside Paul Digby who returned to the side having not travelled to Portugal.



Match Report: Bradford (PA) 0-3 Mansfield Town


Mansfield Town condemned Bradford to their first defeat of pre-season at the Horsfall Stadium.

Mark Bower fielded an experimental side once again, opting to take a further look at numerous trialists and handing first-team opportunities to scholars Lewis Johnson and Matthew Rowntree. American trialist Aaron Onion also appeared as a second-half substitute after joining on a temporary basis from Bugeaters F.C in Nebraska. Both sides made eleven changes during the game but whereas Bradford’s changes were staggered, Mansfield made eleven substitutions during the half-time break.

The hosts started brightly and a trialist was unlucky to see his curling effort fly wide after he had raced in behind the Stags backline. In fact, Bradford looked the more threatening side in the opening exchanges, and some deft footwork and neat passing from the attacking contingent left Mansfield chasing shadows for a brief spell.

The visitors, however, grew into the game and began to ask questions of Bradford’s defence. Otis Khan and Tyler Walker forced Steven Drench to produce saves in quick succession as pressure began to mount on the National League North side.

Craig Davies tried his luck from around 20-yards out but despite generating considerable power in his shot, couldn’t find the target.

As Mansfield’s tempo quickened, Bradford were forced to deal with a Stags onslaught in the final 20 minutes of the first-half. The ball was threaded through to Walker who spun in the box, but was denied the chance to shoot by an expertly-timed sliding tackle from a trialist.

The League Two side’s frustrations at not being able to convert chances threatened to boil over midway through the first-half, as Pearce was booked for dragging Nicky Clee’s shirt and Nathan Cameron was penalised for bundling Danny Boshell to the ground.

The best opportunity of the half fell to Mansfield’s Khan, who hammered the woodwork with a rising effort from close-range. After almost converting himself, Khan turned provider and delivered the ball on a plate for Malvind Benning, who fired over with a volley.

HALF-TIME: Bradford (Park Avenue) 0-0 Mansfield Town

After Mansfield’s wholesale changes, they posed a considerably greater threat to a Bradford backline that now seemed disjointed following the changes of their own.

Five minutes after the restart, former Chelsea midfielder Jacob Mellis fired Mansfield ahead with a well-struck effort that nestled in the bottom corner.

Mansfield’s advantage was doubled shortly after, as Lee Angol latched on to a perfectly weighted pass from Will Atkinson before steering past Bradford’s trialist goalkeeper.

Atkinson then whipped in a cross in search of a second assist, but the delivery eluded the advancing CJ Hamilton.

The visitors pressed forward relentlessly in spite of their comfortable lead, and Calum Butcher saw a header hooked off the line superbly by a Bradford trialist.

Mellis then found Lewis Gibbens with a delivery, but the young defender’s header was palmed away by the Bradford stopper.

The continual pressure was eventually rewarded as Angol added a third, causing the back of the net to bulge with a thunderous strike from close-range after linking up with Atkinson.

Hamilton raced down the right flank with impressive speed as full-time approached, but failed to maintain his composure and rifled over the crossbar.

The final opportunity of the game fell to Atkinson, who forced the Bradford stopper to palm away a powerful effort. The trialist goalkeeper then moved quickly to scramble across and pounce on the ball before Angol could net his third.

FULL-TIME: Bradford (Park Avenue) 0-3 Mansfield Town

Bradford (PA): Drench, Trialist, Lowe, Trialist, Killock, Trialist, McKenna, Boshell, Trialist, Trialist, Clee.

Substitutes (all featured): Toulson, Trialist, Wroe, Havern, Spencer, Nowakowski, Johnson, Trialist, Onion, Johnson, Rowntree.

Mansfield Town (first-half): Olejnik, Pearce, Preston, Cameron, White, Benning, MacDonald, Bishop, Khan, Walker, Davies.

Mansfield Town (second-half): Logan, Atkinson, Wilder, Digby, Gibbens, Hamilton, Butcher, Mellis, Sterling-James (Blake 83′), Angol, Graham.

Referee: James Bell



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