Bradford (Park Avenue) produced an impressive second half display to defeat ten men Droylsden at the Horsfall Stadium.
The Avenue took the lead as the Bloods’ goalkeeper Dale Latham saw his clearance collected by Adam Baker, and the striker found the bottom corner. After the half time whistle, Bradford scored four unanswered goals. The home side doubled their advantage as Paul Walker placed his shot past Latham. Then, the Avenue captain Nathan Hotte extended the lead with a curling effort from inside the box. As the game approached its end, Bradford added two more goals from Richard Marshall and Jamie Jackson.
With a strong wind whistling around the Horsfall Stadium, the Avenue started brightly. After being handed his first start for the club, loanee Adam Baker showed an impressive turn of pace and his low cross was well cleared by the Bloods’ defence.
However, the visitors were resilient and tried their luck from distance on two occasions. Firstly, the Bloods’ left back Carlos Logan struck an ambitious strike from 30 yards, which flew past the far post. Shortly after, the away side managed to keep possession well, but Steve Hall’s long range effort failed to trouble Bradford goalkeeper John Lamb.
Nonetheless, the Avenue came close to taking the lead. Following fine work from midfielder Jordan Deacey, Bradford were awarded a corner, and the youngster’s flag kick was met on the volley by Baker, but his right footed shot skimmed wide.
A minute later, the away side responded with their own attack. The Avenue were unable to stop a long ball, and Jason Gilchrist’s low shot narrowly went wide from 20 yards.
Both sides continued to show their intent to create opportunities in an open game, and the Avenue nearly took the lead from two attempts.
Bradford right back Michael Duckworth unleashed a right footed effort from 25 yards, but with Bloods’ number one Dale Latham motionless, the ball flew wide.
Shortly after, the Avenue winger Paul Walker cut inside Sam Minihan, and his powerful effort from the edge of the box was well held by Latham.
The home side had a chance to take the lead from a well positioned free kick. The Avenue midfielder Richard Marshall struck a low effort which was deflected by the Bloods’ wall into the feet of Duckworth, but his curling effort blazed over the bar.
John Deacey’s men continued to put pressure on their opponents. After good passing play involving Deacey and Hotte, Baker found himself off balance and his strike went wide of the far post from 18 yards.
With two additional minutes indicated, Bradford took the lead. The Avenue captain Nathan Hotte chased down Latham, and his clearance fell into the feet of Baker, who side footed the ball past the Bloods goalkeeper from close range.
HALF TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 1-0 DROYLSDEN
After the break, Matty James was withdrawn and Aiden Savory took his place on the Avenue’s right wing.
Immediately, the away side capitalised on hesitant Bradford defending. As a through ball was played towards Joe O’Neill, neither Hotte or Tim Ryan were able to clear the danger, and Lamb was brave to dive at the feet of the striker.
Six minutes into the second half, Bradford doubled their lead. Following good work in the midfield, Hotte superbly spotted the run of Walker, and the left winger clinically slotted the ball past Latham from 12 yards.
Despite the heavy rain, Bradford looked confident and extended their lead. Another fine through ball from substitute Savory was controlled by Hotte, and the captain curled the ball past the diving Bloods goalkeeper from 14 yards.
The Avenue manager John Deacey decided to make a change as Paul Walker was replaced by Ross Daly. However, the visitors managed to get another effort on target. The Bradford midfield failed to close down the Bloods’ Matty Ward, but his low shot was easily saved by Lamb.
After the hour played, the away side were reduced to ten men. The Avenue’s midfielder Deacey was brought down by Jimmy Derbyshire, and the referee reached for his red card.
The Avenue introduced Jamie Jackson in place of goalscorer Adam Baker. Shortly after the change, Bradford nearly added a fourth goal. A flighted corner from Deacey was met by Adam Clayton, but his glancing header went wide.
With ten minutes remaining, Bradford added another goal to the scoreline. A well worked move saw the lively Jackson pick out Hotte, and the midfielder did well to pass the ball to Marshall, and the number four fired the ball past Latham from eight yards.
Two minutes later, the Avenue supporters celebrated Jamie Jackson’s first goal for Bradford. Once again, Savory caused problems for the Bloods’ with a fine pass to Jackson, and his right footed effort managed to find the bottom corner despite Latham’s attempted save.
FULL TIME: BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE) 5-0 DROYLSDEN
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Duckworth, Price, Marshall, Ryan, Clayton, James (Savory 46), Hotte (c), Baker (Jackson 66), Deacey, Walker (Daly 61).
Subs not used: Holland, Hume.
Scorers: Baker (45), Walker (51), Hotte (55), Marshall (80), Jackson (82)
Droylsden: Latham, Minihan, Logan, Langford, McEvilly, Sissons (c), Derbyshire, Gallagher, O’Neill, Gilchrist (Grant 70), Hall (Ward 19).
Subs not used: Chalmers, Killeen, Cox.
Sent Off: Derbyshire