Bradford (Park Avenue) produced their third draw of the season, against ten men FC Halifax Town at the Horsfall Stadium.
The home side made two changes from the starting eleven at Harrogate Town. Both Michael Duckworth and Rob O’Brien started, as Matty James was left out with a hamstring injury, and James Riley was named on the bench.
In wet conditions, the Avenue created the first opportunity after five minutes. A pass from midfielder Nathan Hotte was met by Richard Marshall, who tried his luck from distance again, and his 25 yard effort skimmed the far post.
However, the visitors began to control the game, and in the 13th minute, they took the lead. A fine cross by right back Ryan Toulson into the box, was well controlled by the chest of Gareth Seddon, as James Knowles slipped on the pitch, and the striker fired the ball into the bottom corner from 10 yards.
Furthermore, the men from The Shay continued to put pressure on Bradford. They were unfortunate not to double their lead, as two chances in two minutes failed to hit the back of the net. Firstly, James Knowles nearly directed his defensive header from Paul Marshall’s free kick into the bottom corner, but, it narrowly went wide. Then, Liam Needham thread a perfect through ball into the path of left back Jason St Juste, but, his left footed shot was tipped wide by Deasy from ten yards.
Also, Gareth Seddon was continuing to cause the Avenue defence problems, but, his right footed half volley spun off his boot and over the bar from 12 yards.
Despite their dominance, FC Halifax Town could only watch the home side strike the woodwork. Bradford’s right back Michael Duckworth found room in the middle of the pitch, and his thunderous right footed shot hit the post, and Richard Marshall’s instinctive rebound from ten yards, was tipped wide by the diving Matt Glennon.
However, into added time of the first half, the home side equalised. A free kick was awarded by the referee, and Martin Drury swung a left footed cross into the box, and former FC Halifax Town striker Danny Holland tapped the ball home from eight yards.
HALF TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 1-1 FC HALIFAX TOWN
After half time, the away side came close to taking the lead again. The Shaymen midfielder Jason Jarrett tried to catch Tim Deasy off his line from 25 yards, but, the Avenue goalkeeper produced a superb fingertip save.
Approaching an hour being played, Bradford’s midfielder Rob O’Brien played a one-two with Paul Walker, but, blasted the ball over the bar from 20 yards.
Two minutes later, Gareth Seddon was involved in an off the ball incident, and after a discussion between the referee and his linesman, the referee produced a red card to the goalscorer.
After the incident, Bradford manager John Deacey introduced Tom Greaves in place of Rob O’Brien, with Greaves playing on the right side of a front three.
A minute later, the Bradford substitute had his first touch of the ball, which nearly resulted in a goal. Bradford’s winger Paul Walker dribbled past Ryan Toulson, and his low cross was diverted wide by Greaves from five yards.
Despite being reduced to ten men, FC Halifax Town nearly punished their opponents for a mistake. Bradford’s centre back Adam Clayton played a short back-pass to Deasy, but, Lee Gregory could only see his right footed shot from 18 yards saved by the Avenue goalkeeper.
With three minutes remaining, the home side pushed forward, but, Matt Glennon made two saves to deny Bradford. The first effort on target came from a free kick, as, Martin Drury’s low shot from 20 yards was deflected in the penalty area, but, the goalkeeper produced a fine save to force a corner.
Secondly, Richard Marshall had the ball at his feet from 25 yards, and again, struck a powerful right footed shot, against the post, and the ball cannoned off Glennon’s back for a corner.
Nevertheless, Neil Aspin’s side nearly snatched victory at the end. From a corner, Richard Marshall conceded possession, and a through ball found Jamie Rainford, finding himself in a one on one situation with Deasy, but, Nathan Hotte sprinted back and denied the substitute a last minute goal.
FULL TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 1-1 FC HALIFAX TOWN
Bradford (Park Avenue): Deasy, Duckworth, Drury, Marshall, Knowles, Clayton, O’Brien (Greaves 66), Hotte (Dempsey 90), Holland, Deacey, Walker.
Subs not used: Riley, Wakefield, Higginson.
Scorer: Holland (45)
FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Toulson, St Juste, Hogan, Jarrett, Lowe, Worsley, Marshall, Needham (Johnson 68), Gregory (Rainford 79), Seddon.
Subs not used: Senior, Worthington, Bolland.
Scorer: Seddon (14)
Sent Off: Seddon