Bradford (Park Avenue) battled to a 1-1 draw with Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Round Qualifying at the Horsfall Stadium.
The result will see the teams face each other on Tuesday 29th October in a replay. The winner will host either Hemel Hempstead or Sutton United in the First Round Proper.
Kidderminster Harriers started the game well, creating several half chances early on, however, Bradford were effective on the break. The home side almost took the lead as Nicky Boshell combined brilliantly down the right with Simon Lenighan, making his debut after having joined on loan from Leeds United. After several passes between each other, Boshell curled a shot yard wide of Danny Lewis’ far post.
It was a touch of brilliance that broke the deadlock. In the 26th minute, Paul Walker found Bradford’s Alex Davidson on the edge of the box, who guided a beautifully executed, curling shot over Lewis and into the top corner to send the home side ahead. It was a goal to admire, but Bradford could have been dragged back to level terms immediately. Straight from the kick-off, Amari Morgan-Smith found himself one-on-one with the Avenue goalkeeper John Lamb, but the number one produced a fine reaction save to deny the striker’s shot on the turn.
The away side pushed forward to get level, and were able to make use of their advantage in the 35th minute, and with some help from some woeful Avenue defending. Joe Lolley’s corner picked out Jack Byrne completely unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box, who simply had to nod in an easy opportunity to score the equaliser.
Minutes later, the away side could have been celebrating going in at half-time ahead. Lolley cut inside from the right to power a fierce left-footed effort at goal, but Lamb held on to the shot with Morgan-Smith ready and waiting nearby to pounce on the rebound.
In the second half, John Deacey’s men were denied their second goal of the game. The Skrill North side thought they had gone ahead when a lofted ball was headed on by Davidson into the path of the charging Richard Marshall, who slid the ball easily past Lewis. However, Bradford’s celebrations were muted by the offside flag.
Lolley continued to cause problems for Steve Burr’s men and could have made the decisive difference, but, the winger blazed his shot over the bar after holding off challenges from Nathan Hotte and James Knowles.
Towards the end, the game became stretched as both teams went on the hunt for the winner. In the last five minutes, Walker tricked his way past Josh Gowling to get to the byline, but the Bradford attack couldn’t put his clever pull-back into the net, with the visitors scrambling to get the ball clear.
Two minutes later, Jordan Deacey forced another goalmouth scramble from a similar position, but the Avenue were again unable to fire in the winner.
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Howarth, Drury, Marshall, Knowles, Clayton, Lenighan (Deacey 70), Hotte (capt), Davidson, Boshell (Chilaka 70), Walker.
Subs not used: McMurray, Corner, Maxfield, Quinn, Hume.
Scorers: Davidson (26)
Kidderminster Harriers: Lewis, L.Vaughan, Jackman, Grimes, Gowling, Fowler (Gittings 64), Storer, Byrne (Tolley 84), Lolley, Blissett (Malbon 45), Morgan-Smith.
Subs not used: N. Vaughan, Angus, Johnson.
Scorers: Byrne (35)