Bradford Park Avenue 0 Bradford City 1

Raffaele De Vita’s first-half penalty ensured Bradford honours for City as the Tom Banks memorial trophy made its way back to Valley Parade.

But the major result for Phil Parkinson from the annual friendly with Avenue was seeing Luke Oliver comfortably negotiate another hour of action.

De Vita, Matt Taylor and Carl McHugh provided further first-team experience and there was a first appearance in goal for loanee Connor Ripley.

Unfortunately the Horsfall playing surface was anything but first class. It was a pity that the landlords could not dig out a mower.

Bradford Council had not got round to cutting the grass despite being asked by Avenue, which made for a pitch with the texture of a thick sheepskin rug.

The towering Oliver wasn’t the one who really stood out through the long grass. French midfielder Jordan Gele seized the opportunity to catch the eye with his power and strength in the middle of the park.

Gele, aged 20, has been training with City on a recommendation and looks worth persisting with.

Parkinson was certainly pleased with what he saw before the trialist, whose last club was US Boulogne, succumbed to cramp in the second half.

It was Gele’s run that was crudely ended by Ross Daly’s mistimed lunge in the corner of the box which won the 14th-minute penalty.

And there were a couple of other surging runs forward which indicated a possible talent in the making.

Gele fired over from 25 yards and Avenue keeper John Lamb was almost caught out by a Nathan Curtis header which he scrambled to hold.

The pitch made for a poor game but City almost had a second as Louie Swain outmuscled James Knowles – back in Avenue colours after leaving FC Halifax Town – to slip in on goal, Lamb blocking with his legs at the near post.

City old boy Chib Chilaka lasted only five minutes before pulling up with an injured hamstring to his huge frustration.

Avenue’s chief attacking threat instead came from left winger Paul Walker, who always had the beating of his trialist marker Gary Stohrer.

Walker forced Ripley into his one save of note – and a good one it was to turn away a fierce drive.

Centre half Adam Quinn then headed behind the goal from a deep cross but that was as close as the home side got.

CITY: Ripley, Stohrer (Harbach 84), Taylor, Oliver (Heaton 63), Mc-Hugh, Curtis (Mottley-Henry 71), Gele (Hepworth 71), Stockdill, De Vita, McBurnie (Chippendale 82), Swain. Sub (not used): Grainger.

AVENUE: Lamb, Clayton, St Juste, Daly, Quinn, Knowles, Boshell, Corner, Marshall, Chilaka, Walker.