A late goal from Danny Holland ensured Bradford (Park Avenue) grabbed a victory against ten men Harrogate Town at the Horsfall Stadium.
The final score was appearing to end as a draw, but, with two minutes remaining, Alex Davidson’s cross was slotted into the net by the former Town striker.
John Deacey was forced into one change to the starting line that defeated FC Halifax Town. The only absentee was the injured Martin Drury who was replaced by Ross Daly and Matty James returned from his loan spell at Farsley AFC to take a seat on the bench.
Within the first five minutes, the hosts managed to get their first effort on target. A driving run from right back Adam Clayton allowed the number six to strike the ball from ten yards, but the ball was easily gathered by Town goalkeeper Craig MacGillvray.
Five minutes later, the Avenue created another opportunity. After hard work from Jordan Deacey, the youngster rose to nod the ball into the path of Alex Davidson, however, his turn and shot flew over the bar from 16 yards.
Nonetheless the visitors were looking dangerous on the attack. A cross from right back Dwayne Samuels was punched away by Bradford goalkeeper John Lamb, only for the ball to be struck by Adam Nowakowski on the rebound wide from 12 yards.
A minute later, Town came close to taking the lead. A forward run from left back Dave Merris caused problems for the Avenue, and hesitant defending from captain Nathan Hotte was nearly punished by Danny Forrest, as his strike skimmed the far post from 15 yards.
The away side caught Bradford on the counter attack and nearly opened the scoring. Simon Weaver’s men managed to gain possession from a loose Clayton pass, and after dribbling 60 yards, Forrest fired a left footed effort over the bar from 18 yards.
Again, the home side were unable to clear the ball away, and Town were trying to capitalise on the errors. The Avenue failed to find the edge of the box, and Paul Bolland controlled the ball, but his curling shot was saved by Lamb.
Soon after, Town were awarded a free kick after a foul from Richard Marshall. With the ball placed 20 yards from goal, Merris struck a powerful shot which was pushed away by the diving Avenue stopper.
However, John Deacey saw his young full back Michael Duckworth dribble past Forrest, and set up Richard Marshall from distance, but his long range effort blazed wide.
With half time approaching, the Avenue wasted a fine chance. A squared pass from Aiden Savory found his winger Paul Walker who was unable to put enough power in his strike to trouble MacGillvray from 16 yards.
Meanwhile, Harrogate Town managed to deal with a poor clearance from Duckworth, but Paul Beesley’s looping shot was saved by Lamb from 18 yards.
HALF TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 0-0 HARROGATE TOWN
After the break, the Avenue made two changes as Jordan Deacey and Ross Daly were replaced by Tom Corner and Danny Holland respectively.
The opening fifteen minutes lacked goalscoring opportunities for both sides. However, with the score level, the players were looking to find a way and open the scoring but some heavy tackles saw the referee brandish numerous yellow cards.
Then, the away side created a chance that saw the Town dugout stand up hoping for an opener. As the ball bounced inside the box from a free kick, there were a number of players unable to connect with the ball, and when it fell to Town’s Shane Killock, his effort dragged wide from close range.
The Avenue responded with an attack of their own. A lovely through ball from Walker was picked up by Marshall, but his low shot was saved by MacGillvray from eight yards.
Furthermore, the Avenue continued to search for a goal. A low cross from Walker was held up by substitute Danny Holland, and his inside pass was fired over the bar by Duckworth from distance.
In a close game, Town were able to find their way past a stubborn Bradford defence, but not John Lamb. A deep cross from striker Beesley found the unmarked Colin Larkin at the back post, but his header was caught by the goalkeeper.
Shortly after, the visitors were reduced to ten men. The Avenue were on the counter attack, but Dwayne Samuels picked up a second yellow card as the ball did not find its way to Walker on the left wing.
With five minutes remaining, the Town goalkeeper MacGillvray produced a magnificent save to deny Bradford. The home side pushed forward and a neat turn from Davidson saw the number seven unleash a dipping effort from 25 yards, which was expertly tipped over.
Eventually, the Avenue scored the first and only goal of the game. The Avenue switched the ball to Davidson, and his teasing cross was converted by Holland from close range to the delight of the Bradford supporters.
FULL TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 1-0 HARROGATE TOWN
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Duckworth, Daly (Holland 45), Savory, Ryan, Clayton, Davidson, Hotte (c), Marshall, Deacey (Corner 45), Walker (Jackson 90)
Subs not used: James, Baker.
Scorers: Holland (88)
Bookings: Corner, Savory, Ryan.
Harrogate Town: MacGillvray, Samuels, Merris, Bolland (c) (Dean 79), White, Killock, Nowakowski, Larkin (Bloomer 81), Beesley, Chilaka, Forrest (Elam 72).
Subs not used: Allan, Woods.
Bookings: Killock, White, Beesley, Samuels (2), Nowakowski.
Sent Off: Samuels