Match Report: Bradford PA 0 Doncaster 2

Rovers' James Husband in action at Bradford PA
Rovers' James Husband in action at Bradford PA

A much-improved second half saw Rovers run out 2-0 winners in their first pre-season friendly at Bradford Park Avenue.

A superb second half strike from Theo Robinson plus a Grant Black own goal helped Paul Dickov’s men to a relatively comfortable win at the Horsfall Stadium.

Dickov fielded a different side in each half with only goalkeeper Jon Maxted playing the entire 90 minutes.

It was the second half side that most impressed, showing excellent energy which was distinctly lacking in the opening 45 minutes.

Dickov fielded trialists Peter Clarke and James Bailey in the first half while former Leeds and Atletico Madrid youngster Elliot Kebbie was deployed on the wing after the break with Jon Otsemobor played at right back.

Out-of-contract players James Coppinger, Paul Keegan, Maxted, Harry Middleton, Alex Peterson and Liam Wakefield were all given game time, as was Richie Wellens whose future remains under question.

Wellens was one of the men on the pitch for a first half display that bore all the hallmarks of a maiden pre-season outing. Rovers were slow to the ball, ponderous in possession and careless with passing,

The first half hour was particularly error-strewn.

Park Avenue pressed well and often caught Rovers out, as did the rather long grass which made passing difficult.

Powerful striker Chib Chalaka proved a handful and produced the game’s first chance when he nipped onto a short pass back from Wellens and lashed just wide.

The Bradford side’s effort levels dipped and Rovers began to find space.

Their first real chance came when Clarke drilled a long-range effort which drew a fine save from Tom Morgan.

And Wellens lofted a fine pass into the box for energetic youngster Lewis Ferguson who was closed down well.

Bradford conceded several fouls as the half wore on and Kyle Bennett and Keegan both went close with free kicks. There was a marked improvement in the second half with Rovers much the better side.

New faces brought new energy and a great tempo. Coppinger was impressive on the right, showing great trickery and some fine crossing while Dean Furman was also a strong presence.

Coppinger produced an ambitious opportunity early in the half, lofting the ball over a defender and meeting it on the way down with a powerful volley that flew wide.

Rovers opened the scoring on 62 minutes. The ball dropped on the edge of the area, Robinson turned and drilled an unstoppable half volley into the far corner.

The lead was doubled on 73 minutes when Furman drilled a low cross from the byline which Black could not get out of the way of and saw it kick up off his boot and past a helpless Brad Dixon.

* Rovers First half: Maxted, Lund, McCullough, Clarke, Husband, Keegan, Wellens, Bennett, Bailey, Ferguson, Peterson. Second half: Maxted, Otsemobor (Whitehouse), Askins, Wakefield, Brown, Middleton, De Val, Coppinger, Furman, Kebbie, Robinson.