Bradford (Park Avenue) won their fourth consecutive match, with Richard Marshall scoring the winning goal against Gloucester City at the Horsfall Stadium on Non League Day.
John Deacey made two changes from last week’s victory at Carlton Town. The Avenue boss was without his son Jordan through an injury, and also Danny Holland was named on the bench. Because of this, Deacey selected Liam Needham and Rob O’Brien in his starting line up.
From the whistle, the Avenue fans were treated to some exquisite football from their side. From the resulting dominance, Bradford took the lead thanks to Paul Walker. The Avenue’s number nine for the day; Alex Davidson, played a magnificent pass with the outside of his boot into the path of Walker, and the impressive winger beat the offside trap, and fired a left footed shot past the Tigers’ goalkeeper Mike Green from 12 yards.
However, the goal had an effect on the visitors, who fought their way back into the game. Bradford defender James Knowles conceded possession to winger Matt Liddiard, who spotted his striker Mitch Harding inside the area, but, his flick was saved by Tim Deasy.
Shortly after, Knowles put his mistake behind him, and came close to doubling Bradford’s lead. A corner from Rob O’Brien found the centre back, but, with Green rooted to the spot, the header hit the roof of the net.
Two minutes later, the Avenue continued to test the Tigers’ goal, only for Richard Marshall to strike a powerful left footed effort wide of the post from 18 yards.
Nevertheless, Gloucester City kept the score down, and were rewarded for their ability to deny the home side, with a goal. The visitors’ right back Mike Green was unable to convert a chance from six yards, but, the Avenue failed to clear the ball, and Darren Edwards spotted the opportunity to score from two yards.
A minute later, Gloucester City were awarded a penalty. A long ball from the Tigers’ defence into the box, caused trouble for Bradford, and, Nathan Hotte committed a clumsy foul, giving the referee no option, but, to point to the spot. Now, the Avenue have conceded three penalties in consecutive games. The Tigers’ striker Darren Edwards picked up the ball and placed it on the spot, but, his shot to Tim Deasy’s left, was saved by the goalkeeper.
Before half time, Gloucester City nearly took the lead. The Avenue cleared a corner, only for winger Steve Davies to control the ball and strike a fine effort from 25 yards, but, Deasy dived to catch the ball, keeping the scores level.
HALF TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 1-1 GLOUCESTER CITY
After half time, the Avenue’s midfielder Rob O’Brien threaded a through ball to Richard Marshall, and the midfielder struck another powerful effort, which was well saved by Mike Green.
Furthermore, the tricky midfielder came closer to scoring. Bradford’s Alex Davidson escaped from his marker, and pulled the ball back to Marshall, but, his right footed shot struck the bottom of the post.
Both teams were looking for a winner, with substitutions happening in the final 30 minutes. At the same time, Dave Mehew’s men were looking the more likely to get the crucial goal. The Tigers’ had possession on the left wing, and Scott Davies held off Michael Duckworth to cross, but, Edwards’s header was saved by Deasy.
Five minutes later, the away side continued to put pressure on the Avenue. However, with 20 minutes remaining, James Knowles came to the rescue for Bradford, as the defender cleared the ball off the line.
Then, John Deacey’s side took the lead for the second time of the afternoon. The Bradford manager introduced Danny Holland, and the striker held the ball up in the centre circle, delaying a pass to Richard Marshall. Eventually, the striker released Marshall, who turned with the ball onto his right foot, and clinically placed the ball past Mike Green from the edge of the penalty area.
After the goal, there were no notable chances, despite, Gloucester City introducing two attacking substitutions. The Avenue were looking to slow the tempo of the game and held on for the win.
FULL TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 2-1 GLOUCESTER CITY
Bradford (Park Avenue): Deasy, Duckworth, Drury, Marshall, Knowles, Hotte, Greaves (Holland 55), Needham (James 70), Davidson (Radcliffe 85), O’Brien, Walker.
Subs not used: Hume, Higginson
Scorers: Walker 9, Marshall 71
Gloucester City: Green, Green (Tilson 45), Holland, Coupe, Hamblin, Webb, Liddiard (Corrick 82), Goddard, Edwards, Harding (Harris 72), Davies.
Subs not used: Rawlings, Mann.
Booking: Liddiard, Harris
Scorer: Edwards 29