Bradford Park Avenue beat ten men Bishop’s Stortford at Horsfall Stadium on a cold Saturday afternoon
The Hertfordshire outfit traveled just over one hundred and eighty miles to face Bradford. On the 33rd minute mark Sturrick scored putting Bishop ahead. Only a few minutes later Bishop’s Johnson was sent off after receiving his second yellow of the match. The home side seemed the strongest through·out, but Bishop defended well and got numbers behind the ball looking to lob the ball up field to there man upfront. Avenue broke there defense, scoring on the stroke of halftime. Also grabbing the winner just after 90 minutes of play.
|Bradford P A||2||–||1||Bishop’s Stortford|
| Knowles (44)
| Sturrick (33)
A late strike from Matty James secured all three points for Bradford Park Avenue as they had to come from a goal down to beat a determined Bishop’s Stortford side.
It was a more familiar line up for Avenue as manager John Deacey restored Tim Deasy, Richard Marshall, Danny Holland and Paul Walker to the starting line-up.
The first effort of the game fell to the visitors and Matt Johnson fired his attempt high over the bar. Avenue then went close with Jordan Deacey hitting the side netting before Bishop’s Stortford full back Johnny Herd forced an easy save from Deasy.
Blair Sturrock then tried his luck on the turn but the effort sailed over the bar from outside the area.
As Avenue began to take control of the match Marshall struck a free kick wide while Holland could have given his side the lead but his strike from the edge of the area was straight at keeper Luke Chambers.
Matt Johnson then found his way in to the referee’s book after he brought down Paul Walker as he was running through towards goal.
With Avenue continuing to push forward Alex Davidson latched onto a through and fed Walker but his effort on goal was deflected over the bar.
The visitors then equalised against the run of play from a poor clearance by the homedefence. Bishop’s forward Sturrock burst through the middle and chipped the ball past keeper Deasey. As it was going towards goal Knowles headed the ball clear but it dropped at the feet of Sturrock who made no mistake this time by firing the ball into the open goal.
Seven minutes before the break the visitors were reduced to ten men after Johnson clattered into Jordan Deacey and the referee made no hesitation producing a second yellow.
As the half entered the closing stages Avenue won a free kick just outside the area which was delivered into the box by Martin Drury. Waiting at the far side of the area was Knowles who lashed the ball home to send his side level going into the break.
Half Time: Bradford Park Avenue 1 Bishop’s Stortford 1
At the start of the second half the visitors freshened things up by replacing Harry Milton with Alli Abdullahi as they set out to compete the half with ten men.
Early action saw the Bishop’s go close when a far post header sailed narrowly over the bar and then Deasy comfortably dealt with a low shot from defender Sean Francis.
As Avenue battled on in search of a second goal it looked as though it might never arrive. Michael Duckworth pushed forward from his full back position and fired a shot straight at Chambers and later on in the half Marshall blazed over the bar following a good move created down the right.
As the half wore on manager John Deacey decided to change things with Tom Greaves and Matty James coming onto the pitch.
The Bishop’s almost grabbed a second on 82 minutes however defender Anthony Sinclair-Furlonge could only head over from Johnny Herd’s cross into the box.
With just four minutes remaining Greaves burst through on goal and forced a save from Chambers. The ball fell back at the feet of the striker and with too much power on the shot he grazed the top of the bar.
As the game appeared to be heading for a draw James had other ideas and he sprung to pounce on a loose ball in the box to fire into the bottom corner to give his side all the points.
There was almost time for a third when Greaves played a low ball in the box but late substitute Jamie Jackson was just inches from guiding the ball into the net.
Full Time: Bradford Park Avenue 2 Bishop’s Stortford 1
Bradford Park Avenue: Deasy, Duckworth, Drury, Marshall, Knowles, Hotte, Davidson (James 72), O’Brien (Jackson 88), Holland (Greaves 65), Deacey, Walker
Subs not used: Radcliffe, Hume
Bookings: James (89)
Scorers: Knowles (44), James (90)
Bishop’s Stortford: Chambers, Sinclair-Furlonge, Herd, Prestedge, Anderson, Francis, Johnnson, Walker-Lassen (Webb 78), Sturrock (Livings 60), Cawley, Milton (Abdullahi 46)
Subs not used: Duncan, Brayley
Bookings: Johnson (23), (38), Anderson (89)
Scorer: Sturrock (33)