Bradford (Park Avenue) produced a stunning comeback to earn a draw against Worcester City at the Horsfall Stadium.
John Deacey was forced into making changes to his starting line up, as Rob O’Brien was missing due to injury. Therefore, Richard Marshall filled in at number four, alongside Nathan Hotte and Jordan Deacey. At the same time, there were home debuts for Tim Deasy, Jamie Jackson and Danny Holland, with Liam Wakefield and Paul Walker named on the bench.
For the opening ten minutes, the game was largely dominated by the newcomers to the Blue Square Bet North division. A neat ball from the midfield went into the path of Danny Holland, but, his weak effort from eight yards was saved well by Glynn Thompson.
A minute later, Bradford’s Richard Marshall flicked Jordan Deacey’s corner towards goal with the back of his head, only for the ball to skim over the bar from five yards.
Nevertheless, the visitors punished Bradford for their mistakes, taking the lead after 11 minutes. Worcester City’s right winger Charlie Reece crossed the ball into the box from the corner, which found its way to the unmarked striker Mike Symons, and he fired the ball underneath Tim Deasy from ten yards.
After the goal, Worcester City settled into the game, and were looking dangerous on the counter attack. At the same time, Bradford’s new signing Danny Holland was replaced by Matty James with a knee injury.
The home side were making further mistakes, and were lucky to be only one goal behind, as Danny Glover’s angled shot was tipped wide by Tim Deasy from eight yards.
Just before the half time whistle, Mike Symons came close to doubling the lead. A corner conceded by Martin Drury, was delivered by Reece, and the striker struck the ball on the volley from 12 yards, but, the ball clipped the crossbar to go over.
Half Time: Bradford (Park Avenue) 0-1 Worcester City
At the break, John Deacey withdrew Alex Davidson with a further injury, and he was replaced by Paul Walker.
But, John Deacey nearly saw his side fall further behind. A minute after the restart, Danny Glover received the ball on the edge of the box, but, his shot was tipped wide by Tim Deasy.
The Avenue were trying to cope with their visitors, and nearly got an equaliser, but Jordan Deacey’s effort from ten yards, was well saved by Glyn Thompson, pushing the ball away from trouble.
Then, the away side extended their lead. Once again, Reece’s corner was not dealt with by Bradford, and Rob Elvins stuck out a boot from six yards, and the linesman waved his flag to indicate a goal, despite Deasy’s attempts to clear the ball away.
However, the pattern of the game began to change, and the hot conditions were continuing to be a factor. A further blow to John Deacey, was another injury, with Jamie Jackson withdrawn with an hamstring injury.
The home side responded.
After 74 minutes, the Avenue’s Richard Marshall struck a low drive from 25 yards, but, Thompson tipped the ball away for a corner. From the resulting set-piece, the ball came loose to the edge of the box, and Paul Walker’s right footed volley was directed into the top corner from the right boot of Richard Marshall.
The home side pushed forward, searching an equaliser.
They were rewarded.
With two minutes to go, the Avenue were trying to find a way through the Worcester City defence. However, Richard Marshall picked up possession, 30 yards from goal, and unleashed a powerful left footed shot into the top corner.
Towards the final whistle, Worcester City’s substitute Matt Breeze was shown a red card for a foul on Martin Drury.
Full Time: Bradford (Park Avenue) 2-2 Worcester City
Bradford (Park Avenue): Tim Deasy, Adam Clayton, Martin Drury, Richard Marshall, James Knowles, James Riley, Jamie Jackson (Tom Greaves 56), Nathan Hotte, Danny Holland (Matty James 16), Jordan Deacey, Alex Davidson (Paul Walker 45)
Subs not used: Matt Dempsey, Liam Wakefield.
Bookings: Knowles, James
Scorer: Marshall (74), (88)
Worcester City: Glynn Thompson, Tyler Weir, Ellis Deeney, Tom Thorley, Stuart Whitehead, Sabir Khan (Danny Edwards 71), Charlie Reece (Matt Breeze 53), Rob Elvins, Mike Symons, Danny Glover, Greg Mills (Lee Ayres 72).
Subs not used: Michael Taylor, Matt Birley.
Bookings: Reece, Weir
Sent Off: Breeze
Scorers: Symons (11), Elvins (59)