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Report: Bradford PA 0-3 Stags

12 July 2018

Three second half strikes saw Stags emerge as 3-0 victors at Conference North outfit Bradford Park Avenue this evening.

In a low-key affair watched by 165 spectators, Jacob Mellis - Stags' stand-out man - netted four minutes after the restart, followed up by Lee Angol's strike on 52. And the latter, heading into his second season with Mansfield, added to his tally on 79 with Stags' third goal.

David Flitcroft's men had opportunities to open their account much earlier, but were unable to find a way past Steven Drench, the home goalkeeper.

And after selecting a new 11 to start the second half, Stags sent an avalanche of attacks on the Bradford goal.

Park Avenue to their credit, performed admirably and played seven trialists, all visibly eager to impress.

With two minutes played, Stags were caught off guard from a quick throw on the right-side, but an un-named home trialist swept his effort over the bar from the left of the box. 

A minute later, Mansfield midfielder Otis Khan - a recent signing from Yeovil Town - directed a 25-yard free-kick over the wall, though it was a routine stop for Bradford goalkeeper Steven Drench.

Hayden White picked out Alex MacDonald with a long range pass to force the game's first corner, but it came to nothing.

Stags registered the game's first attempt on target after 11 minutes.

Striker Tyler Walker - on loan from Nottingham Forest until the end of the campaign - turned goalwards from 22 yards to fire low into the grasp of Drench.

Bradford went close in the 18th minute when another Park Avenue trialist surged into the box to flash his drive narrowly over the angle.

At the other end, Khan saw a shot blocked from inside the area and subsequently Walker's low hit was claimed by the goalkeeper.

Davies then showed good strength to shrug off a defender, only to view his curling drive from 20 yards fly wide.

Stags notched up another shot on target, but Khan's attempt from outside the area took a heavy deflection which allowed Drench to gather.

As the half-hour passed, Stags forced another corner. Khan laid it out wide to White whose pass found Walker on the edge of the box, but a Bradford defender charged down the shot.

Krystian Pearce was then shown a yellow as he pulled the shirt of winger Nicky Clee who got beyond him through the middle.

Stags upped the ante towards the end of the first half.

Firstly, Pearce spotted Khan with a lovely pass and the diminutive midfielder struck left-footed against the bar from ten yards.

With a minute of normal time remaining, Khan delivered expertly from the far right corner flag, though the advancing Mal Benning skied over from eight yards when he should have hit the target.

As originally intended, Mansfield manager David Flitcroft fielded a fresh XI for the start of the second half.

Stags made an immediate impact at the start of the second period and broke the deadlock just four minutes into the second period when Jacob Mellis steered a 16-yard shot into the bottom right hand corner.

Lee Angol doubled Stags lead three minutes later. Will Atkinson sent him on his way with a low pass, and after advancing towards goal, the ex-Peterborough man struck right-footed from 14 yards, which the 'keeper got a hand to, but not enough from preventing it hitting the net.

Atkinson turned provider again, but his cross was just too much for the onrushing CJ Hamilton.

Mellis' corner caused all sorts of problems in the 58th minute. Swung in towards the near post, young defender Lewis Gibbens poked out a toe to send it goalwards, but Drench was well-positioned at his near post to turn it behind.

Then from the opposite flag, Mellis delivered again and fellow midfielder Calum Butcher watched as his header was cleared off the line.


With 62 on the watch, Bradford flashed the ball across the face of Stags' goal in search of a goal, but no-one could connect in the centre.

Stags almost chalked up another, thanks to good work by Mellis. Picking out Gibbens inside the box, his looping header had to be superbly kept out by a back-tracking trialist goalkeeper.

Bradford had previously made five changes at the half-time break, one more shortly into the second half and another four with 25 minutes of the friendly remaining.

But Flitcroft's men had their minds on another purposeful attack.

Youngster Jordan Graham tested the goalkeeper after heading goalwards from a Sterling-James cross, but again the home shot stopper was equal to it.

Angol then smacked a 25-yard free-kick into the wall, but was not to be denied on 79. 

Atkinson's darting run on the right-side found Angol on the left of the box, who did the rest with a cool finish.

With seven minutes to play, youngster Nyle Blake replaced Omari Sterling-James.

On 85, Hamilton rolled back the years with a kick-and-run beyond his man, but his eventual cross resulted in a goal-kick.

Butcher then sent a defence-splitting pass towards Atkinson, though after his first attempt was saved by the goalkeeper, Angol's follow up was claimed by the trialist 'keeper.

BRADFORD PARK AVENUE (Starting XI): Drench, Trialist, Lowe, Trialist, Killock, Trialist, McKenna, Boshell, Trialist, Trialist, Clee

STAGS' FIRST HALF: Olejnik, Pearce, Preston, Cameron, White, Benning, MacDonald, Bishop, Khan, Walker, Davies.

STAGS' SECOND HALF: Logan, Atkinson, Wilder, Digby, Gibbens, Hamilton, Butcher, Mellis, Sterling-James (Blake 83), Angol, Graham.

REFEREE: Mr James Bell


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