The Avenue fell to their fifth consecutive defeat, losing to promotion contenders Guiseley AFC at the Horsfall Stadium.
An early goal from Josh Wilson was cancelled out by a strike from Danny Holland before half time. However, the Lions produced a fine second half display, and were rewarded with a victory courtesy of two free kick efforts from captain Andy Holdsworth.
The game kicked off, with the pitch already cut up in places from the warm up. However, the Avenue persisted with their passing football, and their first opportunity fell to right back Michael Duckworth, but, he struck his shot wide from 20 yards.
Shortly after, Bradford continued to look promising on the attack. The ball drifted out to winger Paul Walker and his teasing cross was missed by everyone inside the eight yard box.
Furthermore, the home side nearly capitalised on a defensive error from Guiseley AFC. A long kick by goalkeeper John Lamb was headed in the air by Lions’ defender Danny Ellis, but, Danny Holland’s speculative effort from 25 yards sailed over the crossbar.
Then, the Avenue’s Michael Duckworth won a free kick on the edge of the box, following a foul on him by Rhys Meynell. Nevertheless, the right back fired a shot from the free kick into the hands of Steven Drench.
At the other end of the pitch, Steve Kittrick’s side found their way into the game. The Lions’ midfielder Danny Boshell chipped a free kick into the area, but, Jack Rea picked up loose possession, and his powerful effort was tipped over by Lamb.
As the floodlights were switched on, the game threatened to turn sour. The Avenue’s centre back Adam Clayton was dispossessed and as Wayne Brooksby drove towards goal, he slipped on the turf and after covering the ball, referee Gary Beswick awarded a free kick. Afterwards, there was a confrontation between both sides and both, Wayne Brooksby and Jamie Price were booked.
After 30 minutes played, Bradford wasted a good chance to open the scoring. Firstly, a lovely corner delivery by Jordan Snodin was met by the head of Ross Daly, only for Aaron Hardy to clear the ball off the line. However, the ball went as far as Danny Holland on the edge of the box, but, the number nine fired his low shot wide.
Again, Bradford were made to rue their missed chances, as Guiseley AFC took the lead. A clearance from the Lions’ defence was met by Josh Wilson, who beat the offside trap, and curled his effort from 20 yards into the bottom corner.
With the game into the final minute of the first half, the Avenue finally scored that elusive goal that has evaded them for the past four matches. A corner from Snodin was swung in, and the ball ricocheted back into his feet and his cross was controlled by Holland, who brought the ball down to strike the ball with his right foot against the post and into the bottom corner.
HALF TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 1-1 GUISELEY AFC
Before the second half got underway, Tom Corner was replaced by Tom Greaves for Bradford.
It was the visitors who started the better side. The Lions played neat, short passing down the right wing creating the chance for Danny Boshell, to pull the ball back to the unmarked Wilson, but, Lamb was equal to push the ball over the bar from 12 yards.
Once more, the away side were looking the most likely to take the lead. An inswinging corner from Rhys Meynell was met by the rising Danny Ellis at the back post, but, the ball flew over the bar.
Somehow, the Lions were unable to find a way past John Lamb. A ball from Meynell found Kevin Holsgrove, who rounded Lamb, and his squared pass was not controlled by Wilson, and Adam Clayton blasted the ball away from danger.
Against the run of play, Bradford nearly scored their second goal. A quick counter attack from Rob O’Brien saw the midfield sprint 70 yards, and his squared ball was not controlled by Davidson, and Tom Greaves’ low shot was saved by Drench.
As the game opened up, and the pitch difficult to play, both sides were looking to take the advantage. Within a minute, the visitors goalscorer Wilson nodded wide from Andy Holdsworth’s cross. At the opposite end, the Avenue looked dangerous from corners, and Adam Clayton failed to connect from Snodin’s deliveries.
It was a set piece that separated both sides. A free kick conceded by Rob O’Brien, was struck with accuracy and pace from Lions captain Andy Holdsworth into the bottom corner from 25 yards.
Another free kick from Andy Holdsworth found the bottom corner to give the visitors a two goal cushion. The midfielder managed to strike the ball from 25 yards and the bounce deceived Lamb, giving the goalkeeper little chance to reach the shot.
With the away side in control, Bradford came close to adding pressure on Guiseley AFC in the remaining ten minutes. After good pressure from Greaves, the striker’s cross was met by Walker at the back post, who blazed the ball over the bar.
FULL TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 1-3 GUISELEY AFC
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Duckworth, Price, Daly, Clayton, Snodin, Corner (Greaves 45), O’Brien (c) (Jackson 78), Holland, Davidson, Walker.
Subs not used: Hume
Scorers: Holland (45)
Bookings: Price, O’Brien
Guiseley AFC: Drench, Hardy, Meynell, Rea, Ellis, Pearson, D. Boshell (Dale 85), Holdsworth (c), Holsgrove (Walshaw 64), Wilson, Brooksby (McWilliams 85).
Subs not used: O’Reilly, Giles.
Scorers: Wilson (36), Holdsworth (74), (77)
Bookings: Brooksby, Hardy, Holdsworth