NEITHER manager Martin Foyle nor York City’s supporters will have learned too much from the Minstermen’s 2-0 loss to Bradford.

Stuart McCall’s League Two outfit had played one more pre-season match than City ahead of Saturday’s clash at Bootham Crescent and it showed – with the Bantams perceptibly sharper and quicker to the ball.

Goals from Steve Williams and Michael Boulding gave Bradford their clear advantage midway through the first-half and they coasted through the rest of the encounter.

For their part, the Minstermen enjoyed some good possession at times and wingers Adam Smith and Craig Nelthorpe were tricky and lively.

But, when the ball went forward, play broke down with both Richard Pacquette and Richard Brodie making no impact against Bradford’s big back line.

Michael Rankine was more imposing after the break but, as the Bantams switched and swapped players, he was unable to land a series of headers on target.

Djoumin Sangare was big in the air and, unusually for a City centre-back, tried to carry the ball out of defence – on this display a contract looks in the offing.

But Bradford were warning City of their potency long before they took the lead on 15 minutes.

Josh Mimms had already had to be alert to cut out a toe-poke after a poor Nelthorpe back-pass put the Minstermen in all kinds of trouble on seven minutes, but he could do nothing to keep out Williams’ bullet-header from an Andy Holdsworth corner.

City had barely got the ball back from the restart when Gareth Evans flashed a volley wide and Bradford doubled their lead on 23 minutes.

Luke O’Brien skipped outside Ben Purkiss and drove a cross-cum-shot into the box where it fell to Michael Boulding, who steered it first time past Mimms’ near post.

With Brodie and Pacquette unable to gain a foothold up front, all the action was happening in City’s box and Mimms gathered at the second attempt from an Evans shot.

Chris Brandon and Evans both then skewed horribly wide before Joe Colbeck struck a stinging drive which Mimms parried away on 38 minutes.

With Bradford quicker to the ball at every stage, it was almost half-time before the Minstermen fashioned their first shot on goal – and a tame effort from Levi Mackin, after he rode a challenge from Jevgeni Novikov, was never threatening Alan Manus in the Bradford goal.

Foyle made six half-time substitutions, bringing on Simon Russell and Rankine, and they certainly helped City become more incisive after the break.

In what was to become a repetitive feature of the second period, Nelthorpe found Rankine with an inviting cross six minutes in only to see the big striker head over the bar.

Meanwhile, Russell, much maligned last season, appears on this display to be grasping what is required to play in City’s midfield.

The former Kidderminster midfielder was bright and tricky in this cameo performance and forced City’s best save out of Manus when turning and shooting from outside the box with 20 minutes remaining.

Earlier, Rankine should have done better when again failing to keep down a superb Nelthorpe centre, following a short corner with Russell, while Ingham was a spectator at the other end.

Andy McWilliams, at left-back, was also linking well with Nelthorpe, and his pass into the box – after being found by former Grimsby striker Andrew Taylor – only just eluded Rankine before Russell forced Manus into a good block.

Taylor will need to do more if he is to sign on at City, struggling to get into the game before a late burst gave some indication as to his pace.

Twice, he smashed his way through Bradford defenders but was unable to make anything of the chances – the second time miscuing wide.

By this time, the visitors had mentally put their bags on the coach, while Foyle’s men gained fitness towards their journey to Oxford United on Saturday, August 8.

York City first half: Josh Mimms, Ben Purkiss, James Meredith, Levi Mackin, Djoumin Sangare, Daniel Parslow, Adam Smith, Andy Ferrell, Richard Brodie, Richard Pacquette, Craig Nelthorpe.

York City second half: Michael Ingham, Ben Purkiss (Michael Duckworth, 63), Djoumin Sangare (Dean Lisles, 72), Luke Waterfall, Andy McWilliams, Simon Russell, Levi Mackin (Jamie Hopcutt, 81), Andy Ferrell, Craig Nelthorpe (Michael Emmerson, 63), Michael Rankine, Andrew Taylor.

Bradford: Manus, Ramsden (Pelter, 72), O’Brien, Holdsworth (Bateson, 63), Rehman, Williams (Dean, 63), Colbeck (Horne, 72), Novikov (O’Brien, 46), Evans (R Boulding, 63), M Boulding (Hanson, 63), Brandon (Keehan, 46).

Referee: Mark Heywood (West Yorkshire).

Attendance: 1,225 (429 from Bradford).