Two second half goals from Paul Walker and Scott Kerr saw Bradford (Park Avenue) remain unbeaten in the Vanarama Conference North with a hard-fought victory against Leamington FC.
The Brakes led at the break after Jordan Goodard’s low effort found the bottom corner from 18 yards. But, the Avenue responded with two goals inside two minutes. A header from Walker flew into the top corner from 20 yards before a stunning Kerr strike sealed all three points.
The Avenue were denied the opening goal by a decision from the linesman. After good pressure from Matty James on Brakes’ left-back Stephan Morley near the byline, the midfielder pulled the ball back to Richard Marshall who found the bottom corner. But, the linesman had raised his flag indicating a corner.
Just before the break, the Brakes took a deserved lead. A neat one-two from Jordan Goddard allowed the midfielder to take one touch out of his feet before striking a low left-footed effort into the bottom corner from 18 yards.
After half time, the Avenue were looking to trouble the stubborn Brakes defence.
A driving run from the lively Joe Colbeck saw the winger cut through a gap, but his strike flew over the bar from 25 yards.
However, a pass from Martin Drury was intercepted and a quick flowing move from the Brakes saw Stefan Moore collect the ball inside the box. The striker hit a right-footed shot, but the left-back recovered and made a superb block to deny Moore’s effort.
Shortly after, Moore continued to cause problems, this time forcing a save from the Avenue goalkeeper John Lamb. After watching his initial shot blocked, Moore tried to curl the ball over Lamb, but the goalkeeper tipped the ball over from 14 yards.
In the opposition half, the Avenue started to find some rhythm to their play and were nearly level. A short pass from Nathan Hotte was struck Colbeck with the outside of his right boot but the ball fizzed inches wide as the Brakes goalkeeper Neil Collett watched the ball from his goal line.
Recognising the need to change tactics, John Deacey brought on Kerr and Jamie Price in place of Jack Rea and Marshall, allowing Nathan Hotte to take a more advanced midfield position.
And the Avenue manager was rewarded with two unanswered goals.
A deep cross from Grant Black floated towards Walker, and the winger rose above James Mace to head the ball past Collett from 16 yards.
Minutes later, the hosts took the lead. On the counter-attack, Colbeck picked out Kerr with an exquisite pass. The midfielder drove towards goal and curled a magnificent right-footed shot into the top corner from 20 yards.
With the Avenue in the lead, they came close to adding a third goal. Walker received the ball on the left wing and spotted the unmarked Matty James inside the box. The midfielder struck the ball first time, but his side-footed effort found the hands of the Brakes goalkeeper.
The visitors were looking to snatch a late equaliser by piling on late pressure on the Avenue defence.
However, a superb cross from Daniel Newton evaded everyone inside the box and a deflected shot from Stefan Moore failed to hit the back of net. The West Yorkshire outfit held on for the win and remain unbeaten in the Vanarama Conference North.
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Black, Drury, Rea (Price 56), Qualter, Colbeck, James, Hotte (c), Chilaka (Frost 86), Marshall (Kerr 56), Walker.
Subs not used: Mallory, Howarth.
Scorers: Walker (67), Kerr (69).
Leamington FC: Collett, Mace, Morley (c), Magunda (Wint 89), Tank, Pierpoint, L.Moore (Dodd 77), Goddard, S.Moore, Newton, Batchelor (Edwards 77).
Subs not used: Connolly, Maher.
Scorer: Goddard (40)
Referee: Paul Davison