Bradford (Park Avenue) 1-4 Kidderminster Harriers

Bradford (Park Avenue) crashed out of the FA Trophy after being comfortably beaten by a strong Kidderminster side at the Horsfall Stadium.

First half goals from Marvin Johnson and Josh Gowling were followed up in the second period by Callum Gittings and Craig Reid strikes. Avenue grabbed a late consolation through Danny Frost- his sixth goal in four games.

Avenue fielded an attacking line up, naming as many as six attackers in the XI which took to the field.

It was effectively the same team that defeated Harrogate Town in the last league outing, the one change being Brad Barraclough, who came into the side for cup-tied Fernando Moke.

Avenue started brightly, and Frost had the first sight at goal, cutting inside and fizzing one a foot over from 25 yards.

However Kidderminster soon put the hosts in their place, scoring with their first attack.

A Joe Colbeck corner was poor and comfortably dealt with. However Jamie Price took too long in controlling the ball, and his attempted clearance was blocked by Reece Styche- who used his arm without any doubt. The referee gave nothing however, and Styche slipped in Marvin Johnson, who beat Danby to make it 1-0. It was the former Kidderminster goalkeeper who led the charge to the referee, who did have a questioning glance at his linesman closest to the incident, but nothing was overruled and the goal stood.

The goal came as a real sucker punch to the home side, who struggled to get going again after starting well.

Kidderminster made it two around 10 minutes later. After a number of poor Avenue corners, the impressive Craig Reid showed how it was done with their first, whipping in a brilliant ball which was glanced in by skipper Josh Gowling.

Callum Gittings should have made it three after a ball from the left found its way to the midfielder at the back post, but as he looked certain to score he fired into the side netting from six yards.

Avenue ended the half disappointed not to have scored, Chib Chilaka flicking a cross towards goal and forcing a good save from Danny Lewis, before Chilaka did brilliantly to get to the by-line and cut back for Lamin Colley, who side footed agonisingly wide from 7 yards with the goal gaping.

Gittings did manage to grab a goal 12 minutes into the second half to secure the win for the Conference National side. Reid again the provider, Gittings finished nicely from the edge of the box.

Reid became the scorer with 21 minutes to play, finishing after the referee played advantage following a poor Price foul, the Avenue skipper seeing yellow and possibly lucky to stay on the field, especially after an earlier altercation when he tried to throw the referee out of his way in a small scuffle.

Admirably, the home side continued to try play good football throughout, on a tricky Horsfall surface and Dan Clayton, who had come on in the first half, was unlucky not to score, denied from six yards by a great block from a Kidderminster defender.

Clayton was involved in Avenue’s late consolation however, as his free kick was flicked in by the in-form Frost.

The game ended with some further handbags involving Price and Marvin Johnson, the two assistant managers also getting a bit heated as the teams left the field.

So Avenue found themselves dumped out of the cup by the side they hadn’t previously lost to in 90 minutes, but it was clear that Kidderminster were 32 places above their hosts in the football league pyramid, a professional performance seeing them earn a home tie with Altrincham in round two.

Avenue, however, will wait until next Tuesday, when Worcester City face FC Halifax Town in their rearranged tie, to see if the scheduled trip to Aggborough in the Vanarama Conference North will go ahead on the 10th of January- when Avenue travel to Worcester.