Bradford (Park Avenue) progress to the FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Round Qualifying, after late heroics at a packed Horsfall Stadium.
Penrith took the lead early in the second half with a Martyn Coleman strike. But the home side were quick to respond. A Richard Marshall penalty before Chris Howarth’s stoppage-time header proved enough to give his side the win and take the Avenue through to the next stage of the competition.
John Deacey’s men enjoyed possession in the opening stages of the game and their early possession was soon rewarded. The first chance fell to Alex Davidson who fired the ball directly at the keeper following a neat through ball by captain Nathan Hotte.
Their second chance of the game quickly followed as winger Paul Walker showed a quick turn of pace to beat his man on the wide left before flashing the ball across goal to an outstretched Howarth, who could only manage to poke the ball wide.
With ten minutes gone, Coleman found himself behind the Bradford defence following a long hopeful ball from the defence. However, the number nine managed to hold off a challenge from Steve Mallory before losing possssion to the Avenue centre back James Knowles.
Bradford (Park Avenue) goalkeeper John Lamb then had a momentary scare. A long range effort from Phil Storey saw the ball skid off the wet surface and Lamb could only manage to fumble the ball out for a corner. From the resulting delivery, the Avenue left back Martin Drury collected the ball who quickly broke before slipping an intelligent ball into the path of Davidson. The striker moved the ball past the defender before being brought down in a dangerous area. The free kick was fired low into the wall before falling to Richard Marshall on the edge of the area who could only blast the ball high over the bar.
HALF TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 0-0 PENRITH AFC
Following the break, the visitors came out the stronger of the two sides, creating a flurry of early chances, the best of which falling again to Coleman, who fired just wide after creating a yard of space for himself by the penalty spot.
However, the home side were quick to respond with a chance of their own after some neat build up play through the midfield. The ball was slipped through to Hotte, who poked the ball with an outstretched toe across the goal, that somehow failed to find a team mate before trickling out for a goal kick.
The home team were punished for their failure to capitalise on a number of chances as Penrith took the lead.
The goal came as a result of a long throw which was launched into the area and flicked on by Steven Rigg before falling to Coleman who was able to bring the ball down and fire a low shot past Lamb, sparking celebration on the away bench.
The Avenue manager John Deacey then opted for a tactical change as his side looked to be running out of ideas, bringing Chib Chilaka off for the energetic Jason St Juste, who made an instant impact with a number of dangerous runs down the left flank.
Shortly after, the home side were awarded a penalty after an delicate chipped pass from Knowles fell to the feet of Howarth who was tripped by defender Curtis Wood just five yards from goal. Richard Marshall stepped up to confidently power the ball into the bottom corner to give his side the equaliser.
As the game approached its end, it was the Avenue that piled on the pressure to push for the win and avoid a midweek replay.
The impressive St Juste cruised past two defenders on the left side before curling a cross into the area that was anxiously prodded away by a Penrith defender.
The Avenue’s late pressure was soon rewarded as St Juste’s low corner was cleared to the feet of Hotte, who did well to pick out Howarth at the far post with a lofted cross for the winger to power home giving his side a dramatic win before crashing into the post, injuring himself as a consequence.
FULL TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 2-1 PENRITH AFC
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Clayton, Drury, Marshall, Knowles, Mallory, Howarth, Hotte, Davidson, Chilaka (St Juste 60), Walker.
Subs not used: Clamp, Daly, Maxfield, Quinn, Hume, McMurray
Scorers: Marshall (pen 68), Howarth (90+3).
Penrith AFC: Jamieson, Paul, Wood, G. Davidson (capt), Little, Jackson, Rigg, Reid (Crozier 56), Coleman, Storey (Wilson 75), Hall (Faustino 60).
Subs not used: Barnes, Newton.
Scorers: Coleman (57).