Altrincham 3-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Bradford (Park Avenue) suffered their third consecutive defeat of the season, losing to Altrincham at Moss Lane.

The travelling Bradford supporters saw the return of Nathan Hotte into the starting line up, replacing the injured James Knowles at centre back. At the same time, Jamie Jackson was named on the bench, recovering from his hamstring injury.

Within the first minute, the home side nearly scored, after hesitant defending from Bradford. However, Altrincham’s striker James Lawrie dribbled with the ball, and decided to try his luck from long range, dragging his effort wide from 20 yards.

But, six minutes later, Altrincham took the lead. Bradford failed to clear the ball away from danger, and a diagonal ball from Nicky Clee found his winger Jake Moult on the edge of the penalty area. Instead, of shooting, Moult nodded the ball to Damian Reeves, who neatly back-heeled the ball past Tim Deasy from close range.

Thereafter, the visitors were struggling to deal with the dominance of Altrincham. The home side were looking to find Reeves, via Nicky Clee, but the left winger was unable to pick out the number 10 in the penalty area.

The Avenue were unable to make their limited opportunities count, as efforts by Martin Drury and Richard Marshall failed to trouble Stuart Coburn. Shortly after, Jordan Deacey was put through on goal by Matty James, but, the midfielder forced Coburn into a fine save from 18 yards.

On the other hand, Altrincham doubled their advantage. After 25 minutes, the referee awarded a foul against James Riley on the edge of the box, and Nicky Clee struck a stunning left footed shot, from 25 yards, into the top corner.

Furthermore, Lee Sinnott’s side continued to push forward, only for Tim Deasy to make two saves to keep Bradford in the game. The goalkeeper denied a weak shot from Scott Leather, and secondly, Deasy produced an instinctive save from Jake Moult.

Just before the half time whistle, the Avenue came close to scoring. Despite some neat footwork from Richard Marshall, the midfielder’s curled effort from 20 yards cannoned off the crossbar.

HALF TIME: ALTRINCHAM 2-0 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)

A minute after the break, John Deacey turned away in frustration, at the inability to convert a good chance. Bradford’s left winger Paul Walker escaped the challenge of Shaun Densmore, but, his cross was struck wide by Danny Holland from eight yards.

Nevertheless, the away side fought their way back into the game, thanks to Richard Marshall. A free kick was awarded, 20 yards from goal, and instead of striking a powerful shot, the midfielder was clever enough, to place the ball into the top corner.

Afterwards, Bradford looked brighter, and were searching for an equaliser.

The introduction of Alex Davidson pleased the Avenue fans, and the tricky winger had an immediate effect. The substitute dribbled with the ball through the middle of the park, setting up fellow substitute Tom Greaves, but, the striker blazed his right footed strike over the bar.

Furthermore, Alex Davidson came closer to levelling the scores. After putting pressure on the Altrincham defence, the visitors’ substitute curled a shot from 20 yards, skimming the far post.

However, the home dugout celebrated into five minutes of added time, watching Damian Reeves score his second of the afternoon. With many of the Bradford players in the opposition half, substitute Ryan Brooke picked out Reeves, and the striker delicately chipped Deasy from 12 yards.

FULL TIME: ALTRINCHAM 3-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)

Altrincham: Coburn, Densmore, Leather (Brooke 65), Lacey, Havern, Hall, Richman (Mitchley 89) Moult, Lawrie, Reeves, Clee.

Subs not used: Doughty, Grimshaw, Reid.

Scorer: Reeves (7), (90+2); Clee (25)

Booking: Densmore

Bradford (Park Avenue): Deasy, Duckworth, Drury, Marshall, James (Greaves 48), Riley (Dempsey 85), O’Brien, Hotte, Holland, Deacey (Davidson 67), Walker.

Subs not used: Wakefield, Jackson

Scorer: Marshall (52)

Booking: Deacey, Riley, Deasy