Ten-man Bradford (Park Avenue) held on to progress to the Second Round Proper of the FA Carlsberg Trophy after an impressive 2-1 victory over Kidderminster Harriers at the Horsfall Stadium.
Jamie Grimes’ own goal gave John Deacey’s men an early lead before Chib Chilaka extended their advantage before half time. After being reduced to ten-men following a second yellow for James Knowles, the home side conceded a late goal, as Michael Gash fired home from close range. But his goal proved only to be a consolation as the Avenue held on for a memorable win and face Guiseley AFC at Nethermoor.
The home side broke the deadlock after six minutes. The Avenue winger Paul Walker rushed into the box before firing in a dangerous low cross towards Alex Davidson. Grimes did well to intercept, but the defender could only manage to tackle the ball into his own goal.
The Harriers were soon to respond with a chance of their own as Joe Lolley picked the ball up on the wide right, before charging in field past three defenders and unleashing a left footed strike that sailed over the bar.
Minutes later, Lolley was involved again as he controlled the ball from a deep corner, but his close-range shot was fired directly at John Lamb in the Bradford (Park Avenue) goal.
Danny Lewis then produced a fine one handed save to deny Davidson a chance to double his side’s lead.
With just six minutes left of the first half, Boshell delivered a corner that evaded everyone before falling to Chilaka, who lashed a first time volley into the roof of the net.
Lamb was certainly the busier of the two goalkeepers during a second half onslaught from the visitors’ attack. The thirty-one year old was immediately in the action, firstly parrying away a powerful Gash strike from 20 yards before producing an acrobatic stop to keep out a header from substitute Jamie Tolley.
Then, the home side were reduced to ten-men as Knowles, who, earlier, received a yellow card was shown a second booking for a late challenge.
But the home side responded as they created a chance to increase their lead. Richard Marshall’s long ball fell to the feet of Davidson, who skipped past Chey Dunkley before firing over with only the keeper to beat.
After pulling back a goal through Gash’s six yard strike, the visitors pressed for the equaliser. However, the Avenue managed to hold on and seal a remarkable win over an in-form Harriers.
John Deacey, the Avenue manager, praised his team’s performance and dedicated the win to a loyal fan:
“The performance was excellent. We also had some bad news with one of our great supporters, Dru’s (Martin Drury) dad, who had a stroke. So we wanted to do it for him.”
The Avenue goalkeeper, John Lamb, was pleased with the victory over tough opponents:
“I’m happy with the performance. I was due a couple of good saves! We battled really well, the boys did themselves proud.”
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Howarth, Knowles, Marshall, Clayton, Boshell, Chilaka (Maxfield 86), Hotte, Davidson, Deacey (Price 73), Walker.
Subs not used: Corner, St Juste, Hume.
Kidderminster Harriers: Lewis, L. Vaughan, Demetriou, Dunkley, Byrne, Gash, Melbon (Jamie Tolley 45), Grimes (Dance 45), Gittings (Blissett 67), Joe Lolley, Brown.
Subs not used: Morgan-Smith, N. Vaughan
Referee: Anthony Blackhouse