Bradford (Park Avenue) secured their fourth consecutive victory with a narrow victory against a resilient Workington AFC at the Horsfall Stadium.
In a game that lacked goalscoring opportunities, the Avenue’s right back Adam Clayton produced a moment to remember with a fine individual effort to separate the sides.
John Deacey started with the same eleven that defeated Droylsden at the weekend. The only change on the bench saw Matty James replace Mark Hume. A familiar face who lined up for the Reds was former Bradford midfielder Simon Baldry.
Within the opening five minutes, both sides were struggling to find a rhythm to their play. The only notable chance on goal came from the visitors as Gareth Arnison dragged his effort wide from 20 yards.
Once again, the away side were looking to take an early advantage. A free kick awarded against Adam Clayton allowed Mark Boyd to strike a powerful shot, which was dealt with by the Avenue goalkeeper John Lamb.
The first shot on target came from Bradford. A dribbling run from winger Alex Davidson allowed the number seven to try his luck from 12 yards, but, his right footed strike was deflected wide.
Darren Edmondson’s side were looking the most likely to score. A flighted free kick from Boyd was controlled by Simon Baldry, and his effort was blocked by Bradford defender Jamie Price.
The Avenue started to get back into the game. A corner from Jordan Deacey fell loose to Davidson on the edge of the penalty area, and his low drive was well saved by the Reds’ stopper Joel Dixon.
As it got colder at the Horsfall Stadium, Bradford were struggling to replicate the first half performance of that against Droylsden. A throw in from Michael Duckworth was flicked by Deacey into the path of Richard Marshall, but, his ambitious shot was easily saved by Dixon from 25 yards.
Again, the home side were being restricted to long range attempts on goal. An inside pass from Paul Walker was picked up by Duckworth and the youngster’s curling effort went wide from 20 yards.
HALF TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 0-0 WORKINGTON AFC
At the beginning of the second half, the Avenue started brightly. A low cross from Marshall was met by Corner at the near post, but, his side footed effort drifted wide.
Furthermore, Bradford nearly took the lead with two attempts. Firstly, the ball was worked to the right wing, and Marshall’s teasing cross was missed by everyone inside the box. Shortly after, the Avenue’s winger Paul Walker found space and after holding off Gary Rowntree, his drive skimmed over the bar from 20 yards.
Nonetheless, the Reds replied with an attack of their own. A cross from Baldry was half cleared by Bradford and Jonny Wright’s shot was deflected wide.
The visitors would have felt they should have taken the lead. Once more, a free kick caused problems amongst the Bradford back line. The ball bounced favourably for Baldry to strike a half volley, but, with Lamb at full stretch, the ball narrowly went wide.
It took a bit of magic for Bradford to open the scoring. The ball was controlled by Adam Clayton and after cutting inside his marker from the touch line, he evaded two defenders and slotted the ball past Dixon from 14 yards into the bottom corner.
Bradford were searching for an important second goal. A superb cross field pass from Nathan Hotte found Davidson, who managed to hold off Niall Cowperthwaite, but, his low shot was saved by Dixon.
As both teams made changes to affect the scoreline, the Avenue came close to doubling their lead. Bradford created an opening for Davidson, and he decided to go for goal instead to find a team mate and his driven effort was caught by the Reds goalkeeper.
With the game nearing its end, the Avenue were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. Bradford midfielder Richard Marshall took the responsibility to fire a shot towards goal. However, his effort destined for the top corner was expertly saved by Dixon.
FULL TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 1-0 WORKINGTON AFC
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Duckworth, Clayton, Marshall, Knowles (c), Price, Davidson, Hotte, Corner (Holland 81), Deacey, Walker (Savory 81).
Subs not used: Jackson, Daly, James.
Scorers: Davidson (64)
Workington AFC: Dixon, Cowperthwaite, Rowntree, Johnson, L. Andrews, Boyd, McLuckie, Manship (McKenna 79), Wright (c), Arnison, Baldry (Connerton 72).
Subs not used: R.Andrews, Bannister, Taylor.
Bookings: Manship, Johnson, McLuckie.