Guiseley AFC eased to a comfortable victory against a lacklustre Bradford (Park Avenue) at the Horsfall Stadium in The Skrill North.
The visitors broke the deadlock as Danny Forrest returned to his former club, and his curling effort found the top corner from 25 yards. After the break, Forrest extended the Lions’ advantage with an excellent left-footed effort from distance. Furthermore, Gavin Rothery sealed the win, sending the Avenue goalkeeper John Lamb the wrong way from the penalty spot.
For the visit of the Lions, John Deacey welcomed Alex Davidson into the starting eleven in place of Jason St Juste who dropped to the bench.
The visitors took an early lead. Despite an interception from the Avenue right-back Chris Howarth, the Lions collected possession and Forrest curled an excellent right-footed shot into the top corner.
Shortly after, the home side had an opportunity to level the scoreline. After beating Andy Holdsworth, Paul Walker delivered a teasing cross towards Davidson, but his header flew off target from 12 yards.
Steve Drench was called into action and produced a magnificent save. Following a foul from centre back Danny Hall on former Guiseley midfielder Nicky Boshell, the Avenue won a free-kick, 25 yards from goal. Walker stepped up and fired a low right-footed effort, but the Lions goalkeeper pushed the ball wide.
Before the half-time whistle, Guiseley AFC had two opportunities to extend their advantage. Firstly, Forrest had a chance to score his second goal of the game. After good work from Gavin Rothery, his shot deflected into the feet of the striker, but his ambitious chip into the corner went wide from 16 yards.
Then, the Avenue captain Nathan Hotte conceded possession in the centre-circle, and the ball was played into the path of Wayne Brooksby who unleashed a stunning right-footed strike from 25 yards against the crossbar.
After the break, Forrest added to his first goal with another excellent strike. The Lions striker Alex Johnson cut inside Adam Clayton and picked out the number ten with a diagonal pass. The striker flicked the ball onto his left foot and his dipping effort flew past Lamb from distance.
Again, the visitors threatened the Avenue goal. On the counter attack, Brooksby picked out the unmarked Forrest, but his side-footed effort grazed the far post from 16 yards.
Soon after, Lamb denied Mark Bower’s men their third goal of the game. A free-kick, 20 yards from goal was struck by Holdsworth, and his effort took a deflection off the Avenue wall, but Lamb did well to turn the ball wide.
The Avenue tried to create one chance to reduce the Lions’ lead. A flick from substitute Tom Corner found Davidson, but his low right-footed shot was saved by Drench from 20 yards.
Following the rare Avenue attack, the home side conceded a penalty as James Knowles brought down Brooksby inside the box and Rothery sent Lamb the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Despite his foul, Knowles came close to scoring the hosts first goal of the game. Firstly, the centre back struck a speculative effort from 30 yards but Drench held onto the powerful shot. Minutes later, the defender rose to meet Jordan Deacey’s corner, but his header was cleared off the line by the Lions captain Holdsworth.
With the final whistle approaching, Rothery forced Lamb into an instinctive save. The winger’s clever footwork took him past his marker, but his low shot was kept out by the legs of the Avenue goalkeeper.
John Deacey was upset about the performance, but praised the Lions for their deserved victory:
“The performance was disgraceful but I’m not taking anything away from Guiseley AFC because they were the better side. We were lacklustre in every department. We did not perform on the day and it was unacceptable.”
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Price (Corner 65), Knowles (Maxfield 83), Marshall, Clayton, N. Boshell, Howarth, Hotte (capt), Davidson (Clamp 85), Deacey, Walker.
Subs not used: St Juste, Grayson.
Guiseley AFC: Drench, Holdsworth (capt), Meynell, Parker, Lawlor, Hall, Brooksby, D. Boshell (Potts 83), Johnson (Hobson 76), Forrest, Rothery (Swain 85).
Subs not used: Harrison, Dickinson.
Scorers: Forrest (3), (54); Rothery (71).