Bradford (Park Avenue) eased to a comfortable victory against a determined Hinckley United side at the Horsfall Stadium.
The Avenue got on the scoresheet in the opening minute, and continued their dominance throughout the first half. However, the visitors rallied in the second half and stopped Bradford’s attack, as well as creating goalscoring opportunities.
The Avenue scored the opening goal within 20 seconds. A pass from Declan Towers was intercepted by Matty James, and his through ball found Danny Holland, who fired underneath Knitters’ goalkeeper Robert Peet from ten yards.
The home side continued to pile the pressure on Hinckley United. A fine pass from Tom Greaves to Holland was controlled well, and the striker laid the ball inside to Jordan Deacey, but, his side footed effort was saved by the legs of Peet.
However, the visitors came close to equalising courtesy of a defensive mistake. A long ball was aimed towards Liam Canavan, and indecision between James Knowles and Tim Deasy, nearly caused embarrassment, but Canavan struck his effort wide from eight yards.
Another chance fell of the way to Bradford. A free kick was delivered by Martin Drury into the penalty area, and Matty James headed his effort over the bar from ten yards.
Once more, John Deacey’s men were on the attacking front, but, Drury’s driven shot from distance was controlled by Avenue’s Danny Holland, only for his tame effort to land in Peet’s hands.
The Avenue doubled their advantage, and Danny Holland scored his second of the evening. Bradford’s winger Matty James was persistent in tackling Knitters’ full back Theo Brown, and his cross was met by Holland, who nodded the ball past Peet from close range.
Again, the Avenue continued to show their intent to extend their lead. However, Michael Duckworth’s low effort from 25 yards was pushed away by Robert Peet to deny the right back.
The Avenue decided to go via a direct route towards goal, nearly resulting in their third. Tim Deasy’s goal kick was flicked by Holland into the path of Greaves, and, despite holding off the challenge from James Hicks, the Bradford striker’s left footed chip dragged wide of the far post.
Nonetheless, the away side were looking to capitalise on the Avenue’s mistakes. Bradford’s number four Richard Marshall was challenged by Max Harrop, and the midfielder struck a left footed shot from 20 yards, but, Deasy dived low to save.
The home side were adding the number of attempts on goal, and, their latest effort came from a corner. A fine delivery from Deacey was met by the Avenue centre back Nathan Hotte, but, his header edged wide of the post from 12 yards.
Shortly after, The Avenue scored their third goal. Again, Matty James was the architect of the goal, and his driving run caused problems, the winger dragged the ball inside to Greaves, who slotted the ball under the legs of the Knitters’ centre back Ben Everton.
Despite the one sided scoreline, Bradford were looking for more goals. Nevertheless, Hinckley’s stopper Robert Peet did well to deny Paul Walker with a strong hand to his powerful effort from long range. Then, the ball was fizzed back into the box, and Peet saved at the feet of Jordan Deacey.
HALF TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 3-0 HINCKLEY UNITED
After the break, the Avenue wasted a good opportunity. Bradford forced the play down the left wing, and substitute Alex Davidson tapped the ball to Marshall, but, the midfielder struck his curled effort harmlessly over the bar.
Four minutes before an hour played, Bradford scored their fourth. The visitors defence failed to clear a Marshall corner, and Tom Greaves was alert to turn inside his marker and fire the ball past Robert Peet from six yards.
The home crowd were being treated to a fine display from Matty James, who nearly scored a goal, he created for himself. After dribbling past several Knitters’ players, James attempted to curl a right footed shot from 20 yards, but, the ball skimmed the far post.
Nevertheless, Carl Heggs’ men seemed to stop the dominance of Bradford’s attack. At the same time, the Knitters’ came close to scoring their first goal of the game, but, Everton’s header from a corner flew over the bar from six yards.
Bradford’s striker Danny Holland was looking for his hat trick, but, failed to get that crucial goal. The Avenue’s number nine produced a fine save from Peet, as the striker struck a fine effort from a free kick. Secondly, Holland attempted a volley at the back post from Craig Radcliffe’s deep cross, only for the ball to spin off his boot and go wide.
Nevertheless, the spirited Knitters’ outfit continued to thwart Bradford, and, again managed an effort on target. The away side’s midfielder Max Harrop received possession in the middle of the pitch, and sweetly struck a right footed shot from long range, but, Deasy saved well.
As the game was drawing to a close, somehow, Tom Greaves failed to score his hat trick. Again, Duckworth drove forward with the ball and chipped the ball towards the striker, and Greaves nodded the ball over from close range.
FULL TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 4-0 HINCKLEY UNITED
Bradford (Park Avenue): Deasy, Duckworth, Drury, Marshall (O’Brien 67), Knowles (Radcliffe 57), Hotte, James, Greaves, Holland, Deacey (Davidson 45), Walker.
Subs not used: O’Brien, Jackson, Daly.
Scorers: Holland (1), (21); Greaves (38), (56)
Hinckley United: Peet, Towers (c), Brown, Headley, Hicks (Abbasi 68), Everton, Lane, Harrop, Canavan, Holt, Heggs (Hartland 77).
Subs all used
Bookings: Lane, Brown