Bradford (Park Avenue) survived a fightback from Brighouse Town to record their second pre-season friendly victory.
The away side built up a three-goal lead within the first 20 minutes with a brace from Chib Chilaka and a rebound from a penalty attempt from Richard Marshall. But Paul Quinn’s side fought back and impressed the spectators at the Dual Seal Stadium. Two goals from Chris Fisher and Leon Henry set up an intriguing second half. But, Bradford held on to secure a narrow victory in an entertaining pre-season friendly.
The Avenue started well and took an early lead. Marshall cut the ball back to Joe Colbeck and his shot was deflected by Jacob Giles into the feet of Danny Frost. But, the latest arrival saw his effort strike the legs of the goalkeeper and Chilaka poked the ball into the net from close range.
Five minutes later, Bradford extended their lead. Tyrone Gay was adjudged to have pushed Frost inside the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Marshall fired a right-footed shot, and despite a good save from Giles, the midfielder put the rebound into the bottom corner.
Then, the Conference North outfit added a third. After receiving a short pass, Chilaka turned and shot, and his right-footed strike stung the hand of Giles, and the ball trickled over the line.
But, before the break, Brighouse Town fought back with two well-worked goals.
Firstly, a deep cross from Leon Henry was met by left-back Chris Fisher and the defender guided the ball past Avenue goalkeeper Jon Maxted from ten yards.
Four minutes before the whistle, Ryan Hall burst down the right-wing, and despite a fortunate ricochet, the winger fired a low effort at goal. Maxted managed to stick out his leg to deny the winger, but the rebound was slid in by Henry.
After the break, both sides made changes with the new season less than a month away.
John Deacey’s men came close to scoring a fourth goal as defender Ryan Qualter crashed a powerful header against the bar from six yards, after meeting Colbeck’s corner.
Then, there was a temporary spell where both goalkeepers were not seriously tested before the Evostik First Division North side nearly scored an equaliser.
A fine run from the lively Danny Naidole caused problems amongst the Avenue defence. The visitors struggled to clear the ball away, but eventually saw the ball out, despite efforts from substitute Michael Potter and Henry to keep the ball in play.
As the sunset behind the stand, the shadows lengthened on the pitch and the final whistle was approaching.
But, substitute Nathan Turner won a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, allowing Colbeck the chance to open his account for his new club. Despite curling a superb right-footed effort, substitute Mark Bower scrambled to his right and pushed the ball away.
Brighouse Town: Giles (Bower 77), Field, Fisher (Wallace 75), Gay (Charlton 59), Hurtley, Allison (Porter 59), Hall, Naidole, Boafo, Thompson (Potter 52), Henry.
Scorers: Fisher (35), Henry (41).
Bradford (Park Avenue): Maxted (Morgan 45), Howarth (Black 45), Drury (Miller 36), Kerr, Hewitt, Mallory (Qualter 45), Frost (Trialist 70), Hotte (Turner 45), Chilaka (James 45), Marshall, Colbeck.
Scorers: Chilaka (10), (20); Marshall (15).