Category: Match Reports: First Team

Match Report: Farsley 0-0 Avenue

Bradford Park Avenue failed to win for the first time in pre-season, as they were held to a competitive 0-0 draw at Farsley Celtic.

In an uneventful opening half-hour, Avenue had the best chance as a trialist, who scored the winner at Ossett Town on Tuesday, just couldn’t prod home as a loose ball fell to his feet.

The hosts’ first attempt came on 40 minutes as ex-Bradford player Richard Marshall linked up with Ryan Watson, the latter firing over the bar from 20 yards.

Avenue should have gone in front just before the break as Graeme McKibbin made an excellent save from Nicky Boshell’s close range attempt, Adam Nowakowski just unable to convert after a trialist kept the ball alive.

There was a half-chance for Celtic at the start of the second period as Watson slipped the ball across the six-yard line, but James Walshaw, another former Avenue man, wasn’t on the same wavelength and the chance went begging.

Left-back Matt Hill, who has kept supporters entertained with some awful attempts on goal throughout pre-season, in fact caught a volley sweetly just after the hour, but it was blocked by ex-Bradford defender Adam Clayton.

Nicky Wroe then played a clever low free kick into the box, but a trialist couldn’t keep his effort down when he should have scored.

A different trialist then had a great chance to open the scoring as he met Nicky Boshell’s near post corner, but his header went just wide of the post.

Bradford had one final chance as Wroe delivered another free kick in, but Adam Boyes flicked the header just wide.

Avenue have just one pre-season friendly remaining before the season kicks off on 5 August, as they host Altrincham at the Horsfall Stadium next Saturday (29 July).

Farsley Celtic: McKibbin (Lofthouse 82), Harris (Pollard 69), Baldwin, C.Atkinson, Ellis (c), Clayton, B.Atkinson (Smith 74), Watson, Walshaw, Marshall (Parkin 60), Walker (Gomersall 65)

Bradford Park Avenue: Drench (Hall 71), Toulson, Hill (Trialist 71), Nowakowski, Havern (Brooksby 60), Knowles (c), Trialist (Wroe 60), Trialist (Trialist 71), Trialist (Trialist 60), N.Boshell, D.Boshell (Boyes 46)


Match Report: Ossett 0-1 Avenue

Bradford Park Avenue made it four pre-season wins from four with a one-sided but narrow victory at Ossett Town.

A trialist scored the only goal of the game in the first half with an impressive turn and finish just outside the box in the first half.

Avenue came into the game with nine trialists in total, but just three were named amongst the starting XI as manager Mark Bower looks to increase the game-time for his contracted players.

Goalkeeper Steven Drench had to be alert early on, as he denied Ossett’s Sam Wright who shot with time and space inside the area.

However just 17 minutes in the Avenue fans were left purring at a piece of brilliance from the new trialist forward.

He controlled the ball on the edge of the box before flicking it over the head of the defender, racing on to lash the ball into the roof of the net with his left foot.

Both sides were playing good football and the same trialist was involved in an excellent move as he slid the ball across for Adam Boyes who was denied by an excellent save from the home goalkeeper.

Another fresh face was on show for Avenue on the left flank, and he delivered three brilliant second-half crosses, all of which substitute Oli Johnson just couldn’t force home.

The game became understandably disjointed in the second half as both sides introduced many-a-trialist, the home side including former X-Factor finalist Jake Quickenden in their substitutions.

Bradford Park Avenue: Drench (Hall 46), Toulson (Trialist 62), Hill (Trialist 62), Wroe, Havern (Trialist 62), Knowles (Trialist 62), Brooksby (Trialist 62), Trialist (Nowakowski 46), Boyes (Johnson 62), Trialist, Trialist (N.Boshell 62)

Goal: Trialist

Attendance: 165

Match Report: Albion 1-3 Avenue

Bradford Park Avenue made it three pre-season wins from three with victory over Albion Sports.

Wayne Brooksby opened the scoring in the first half before Adam Boyes’ header and a Nicky Boshell penalty sealed the deal against Albion, who pulled one back through Alex Cusack.

Avenue took the leads after only 10 minutes. A busy Brooksby earned a free kick, from which he picked up Nicky Wroe’s cross, finishing neatly into the top corner with the outside of his foot.

Boshell, still on trial with the club after finishing last season with a lengthy injury lay-off, had the ball in the back of the net in the first half, but was deemed offside from James Knowles’ brilliant lofted pass.

Former Avenue defender James Gill should have scored as he was allowed a free header from a rare Albion corner kick, but his header was comfortably kept out by Steven Drench.

17-year-old Brad Emmerson was in goal for the hosts, and he saved well as Brooksby hit a good effort towards the bottom corner, and Knowles’ header was kept out on the line from the rebound.

Boshell had the ball in the back of the net once again just after half time, once again ruled out for a much less dubious offside flag.

Bradford had their second on the hour as Boyes neatly glanced a header into the bottom corner following a pinpoint cross by one of the nine trialists in action.

Another ex-Avenue man in Lee Elam came off the bench for Albion and had a hand in their goal, playing an excellent pass through to Cusack who finished well past substitute goalkeeper Ed Hall.

However moments later, Bradford were awarded a spot kick as home skipper Joe Barden needlessly handballed when on the ground in the area.

Up stepped Boshell and his penalty found the bottom corner, despite Emmerson getting a hand to the ball.

Next up for Mark Bower’s Bradford is a trip to Ingfield to face Ossett Town, managed by former Avenue defender Grant Black.

Albion Sports: Emmerson, Fairhurst, Kaba, Jenkinson, Gill, Foley, Joe Barden (c), Khan, Habeeb, Smith, Cusack

Substitutes (rolling): Josh Barden, Bleau, Basi, Elam

Goal: Cusack (75)

Bradford Park Avenue: Drench (Hall 46), Trialist (Trialist 46), Hill (Trialist 46), Wroe (Boyes 46), Trialist, Knowles (Toulson 63), Brooksby, Vidal (Trialist 24), Johnson (Trialist 63), Trialist (Trialist 63), N.Boshell

Goals: Brooksby (10), Boyes (60), N.Boshell (79P)


Match Report: Avenue 3-0 Bradford City

Bradford Park Avenue ran out comfortable winners in the Tom Banks Memorial Trophy, with a 3-0 victory over near-neighbours Bradford City at a sun-drenched Horsfall Stadium.

Stuart McCall brought his first-team for their first pre-season friendly of the season, but were unable to cope with Mark Bower’s men who took their chances in the opening half.

Recent arrival Nicky Clee introduced himself to the Avenue faithful with a stunning strike from 20 yards to open the scoring, before right-back Javan Vidal was felled by Matthew Kilgallon inside the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot.

Nicky Wroe made no mistake with a superb shot into the same top corner, and three minutes later Avenue added a third as Oli Johnson weaved his way through the City defence to set up Adam Boyes, who nodded home.

Following a minute’s applause for young Bradley Lowery who sadly passed away earlier in the week, both teams started brightly, City striker Charlie Wyke seeing a handful of efforts denied by Avenue’s number one Steven Drench, making his first appearance for the club.

The home side took the lead inside 15 minutes as the ball fell loose on the edge of the penalty area and Clee, making his first appearance at the Horsfall Stadium, fired an unstoppable left-footed effort into the top corner.

Again the visitors troubled their opponents from a corner, but despite finding himself unmarked Wyke could only head the ball into the hands of Drench from close range.

And then Avenue were handed the chance to double their advantage. Vidal sprinted at the Bantams’ defence but was challenged by Kilgallon inside the box, giving the referee no option but to award a penalty.

Wroe stepped up, and despite City goalkeeper Colin Doyle guessing the right way, he was unable to get a hand to the midfielder’s excellent strike.

A few minutes later, the men in green and white made it three. Johnson showed great footwork to evade a couple of defensive challenges before teeing up Boyes to nod the ball past Doyle for his second goal in two pre-season friendlies.

After the break, there were few goalscoring opportunities as Stuart McCall made 11 changes and Bower gave some of the eight trialists game-time to prove themselves and potentially earn a contract for next season.

10 minutes into the second half Boyes came close to punishing a poor City back-pass, but goalkeeper Rouven Sattelmaier did well to come off his line and deny the striker.

At the other end, Drench was called into action as new signing Shay McCartan was causing plenty of problems for the Avenue defence, but his low shot was pushed away by the former Guiseley goalkeeper.

Again, McCartan was the man the Bantams were aiming for to get them back in the game, but solid defending from the Avenue trialists made sure their local neighbours walked away from the Horsfall Stadium without a goal.

Bradford Park Avenue: Drench (Trialist 60), Vidal (Trialist 60), Hill (Trialist 46), Wroe (D.Boshell 46), Trialist (Knowles 46), Toulson (Nowakowski 46), Trialist (Trialist 69), Trialist (Trialist 69), Boyes (Havern 60), Johnson (Trialist 46), Clee (N.Boshell 46)

Goals: Clee (14), Wroe (pen 31), Boyes (34).

Bradford City (first half): Doyle, Hanson, Trialist, Reeves, Kilgallon, Hudson, Devine, Wyke, Poleon, Robinson, Vincelot

Bradford City (second half): Sattelmaier, McMahon, Barr, Knight-Percival, Chicksen, Dieng, Pybus, Law, McCartan, Patrick, Jones.

Referee: Luke Watson

Attendance: 2,020

Big Match Sponsors: Peckover Transport & Mr Scratchings

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Match Report: Campion 1-6 Avenue

Bradford Park Avenue made an assured start to pre-season with an emphatic victory over local neighbours Campion.

Oli Johnson was the star of the show at Manningham Mills, netting a fine hat-trick in the space of five first half minutes.

Adam Boyes and Wayne Brooksby also netted for Bradford before trialist Nicky Boshell firing in the sixth with the last kick of the game.

As expected, there were plenty of unknown faces to take to the field in green and white, with nine trialists in total featuring for Mark Bower’s side, six of those from the start.

Avenue begun the game in dominant fashion against their NCEL Division One opponents, forcing the home goalkeeper into two fine saves as he denied Boyes and Nicky Clee.

However in the 15th minute, Boyes opened the scoring with a fine finish, lofting over the Campion keeper after latching onto Johnson’s touch.

Johnson made it two five minutes later on the end of a brilliant passing move, latching onto a brilliant pass from a trialist and dinking over the onrushing goalkeeper.

Moments later Johnson had his second, finishing with the outside of his foot following a one-two with another trialist.

And he rounded off his hat-trick in the 25th minute, finishing finely from 20 yards after striding onto a loose ball.

There were plenty of changes at half time as expected, two further trialists entering the field including Boshell, who has been invited to train with the club after finishing last season out injured.

The 62nd minute was a proud moment for the club, as three academy players were introduced into the action.

Goalkeeper Alfie Stevens-Neale, defender Lewis Johnson and attacker Andre Tavernier replaced a trio of trialists to become the first players from the Avenue Academy, which has just come to the end of its inaugural season, to feature for the club’s first team.

As Stevens-Neale came on, the hosts seemed to take that as a licence to shoot from anywhere, taking pot-shots from extreme distances and strange angles.

They did strike the post however, moments before pulling one back as one of those long range efforts was well-struck into the bottom corner.

However one minute later, Avenue showed the difference in class as Brooksby turned and picked out the top corner from 25 yards.

And then just before the full time whistle, Boshell hit one just as spectacular, firing into the top corner with the outside of his foot from the same distance.

Bradford Park Avenue: Trialist (Stevens-Neale 62), Trialist (Trialist 55), Hill (Toulson 46), Wroe (D.Boshell 46), Trialist (L.Johnson 62), Trialist, Trialist (Tavernier 62), Trialist (Vidal 46), Boyes (Brooksby 46), O.Johnson (N.Boshell (T) 46), Clee (Trialist 46)

Goals: Boyes (15), O.Johnson (20, 22, 25), Brooksby (80), N.Boshell (89)

Chorley 2-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Bradford (Park Avenue) slipped into the relegation zone thanks to a Boxing Day defeat at the hands of Chorley.

Chib Chilaka’s first half goal meant Avenue led at the break, but two second half strikes from Josh Hine sent the visitors home with nothing.

Avenue made 3 changes to the starting line up from last time out, Jamie Price, Lamin Colley and Paul Walker dropping out, to be replaced by Niall Heaton, Billy Priestley and Sam Patterson, the latter for his full league debut.

The game began in exciting fashion, both teams attacking well, Chorley gaining a few corners and forcing Avenue stopper John Danby into a string of fine saves.

On one particular attack, the dangerous Joe Colbeck drove forward and into the box, and as he cut back he went down under a challenge. The referee blew and came charging in and booked Colbeck for diving- his second caution of the season to be awarded for simulation.

After some more Danby heroics to deny James Dean, Avenue had another penalty shout.

Danny Frost burst into the box and beat the keeper but as his shot/cross trickled along the goal-line it was hooked out by a piece of good defending. As Joe Colbeck tried to cross back in, his ball seemingly hit a raised arm, but the referee waved it away.

Avenue did manage to take the lead on 23 minutes through Chib Chilaka. A free-kick came in from Jack Rea, flicked on by Billy Priestley and Chilaka hooked the ball over Aaron Grundy in the Chorley goal.

Danby made another great save to deny Dale Whitham and Danny Frost hit a few shots wide from distance before half time.

The second half started brightly with both sides continuing to attack with intent, a scramble almost leading to an Avenue goal just 2 minutes into the half.

But Chorley started to take charge by battling harder than the visitors, and after a string of corners Chorley finally grabbed their goal through winger Josh Hine.

A good move saw Hine get in the box and as he hit a cross/shot and Priestley came sliding in, only for the deflection to wrong-foot Danby and beat him at the near post.

Avenue could have gone back in front just moments later as a Rea free kick fell to Qualter, who mis-hit his shot, almost inadvertently finding Richard Marshall in front of the goal.

Then came the turning point. Substitute Richard Marshall worked some space just inside the area, had time to finish but placed the shot just wide, possibly clipping the post on its way.

Chorley, as they had done all game, put Avenue straight on the back foot with a long ball, and grabbed what turned out to be the winner through Hine.

A long throw in came in from substitute Mark Ross, which was turned in by Hine, leaving Danby absolutely furious at his defence.

The visitors could have equalised before the end, as Marshall saw a 35 yard free kick go inches too high, and Lamin Colley had the ball for an age in the box, but his eventual shot was blocked leaving Grundy with a simple save.

Elsewhere, the two sides below Bradford both won, moving the club into the relegation zone, just one point above second-bottom Stalybridge Celtic.

Chorley: Grundy, Jacobs (Ross 75), Mather, Teague (c), Doyle, Cottrell, Hine, Whitham, Dean, Lynch (Winter 63), Jarvis (Simm 71)

Goals: Hine (65, 79)

Subs not used: Roscoe, Ashton

Bradford (Park Avenue): Danby, Patterson, Heaton, Rea, Qualter, Priestley (Igiehon 69), Colbeck (c), Howarth, Chilaka (Colley 83), Barraclough (Marshall 63), Frost

Goal: Chilaka (23)

Subs not used: Moke, Price

Referee: S. Copeland

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Bradford (Park Avenue) 1-4 Kidderminster Harriers

Bradford (Park Avenue) crashed out of the FA Trophy after being comfortably beaten by a strong Kidderminster side at the Horsfall Stadium.

First half goals from Marvin Johnson and Josh Gowling were followed up in the second period by Callum Gittings and Craig Reid strikes. Avenue grabbed a late consolation through Danny Frost- his sixth goal in four games.

Avenue fielded an attacking line up, naming as many as six attackers in the XI which took to the field.

It was effectively the same team that defeated Harrogate Town in the last league outing, the one change being Brad Barraclough, who came into the side for cup-tied Fernando Moke.

Avenue started brightly, and Frost had the first sight at goal, cutting inside and fizzing one a foot over from 25 yards.

However Kidderminster soon put the hosts in their place, scoring with their first attack.

A Joe Colbeck corner was poor and comfortably dealt with. However Jamie Price took too long in controlling the ball, and his attempted clearance was blocked by Reece Styche- who used his arm without any doubt. The referee gave nothing however, and Styche slipped in Marvin Johnson, who beat Danby to make it 1-0. It was the former Kidderminster goalkeeper who led the charge to the referee, who did have a questioning glance at his linesman closest to the incident, but nothing was overruled and the goal stood.

The goal came as a real sucker punch to the home side, who struggled to get going again after starting well.

Kidderminster made it two around 10 minutes later. After a number of poor Avenue corners, the impressive Craig Reid showed how it was done with their first, whipping in a brilliant ball which was glanced in by skipper Josh Gowling.

Callum Gittings should have made it three after a ball from the left found its way to the midfielder at the back post, but as he looked certain to score he fired into the side netting from six yards.

Avenue ended the half disappointed not to have scored, Chib Chilaka flicking a cross towards goal and forcing a good save from Danny Lewis, before Chilaka did brilliantly to get to the by-line and cut back for Lamin Colley, who side footed agonisingly wide from 7 yards with the goal gaping.

Gittings did manage to grab a goal 12 minutes into the second half to secure the win for the Conference National side. Reid again the provider, Gittings finished nicely from the edge of the box.

Reid became the scorer with 21 minutes to play, finishing after the referee played advantage following a poor Price foul, the Avenue skipper seeing yellow and possibly lucky to stay on the field, especially after an earlier altercation when he tried to throw the referee out of his way in a small scuffle.

Admirably, the home side continued to try play good football throughout, on a tricky Horsfall surface and Dan Clayton, who had come on in the first half, was unlucky not to score, denied from six yards by a great block from a Kidderminster defender.

Clayton was involved in Avenue’s late consolation however, as his free kick was flicked in by the in-form Frost.

The game ended with some further handbags involving Price and Marvin Johnson, the two assistant managers also getting a bit heated as the teams left the field.

So Avenue found themselves dumped out of the cup by the side they hadn’t previously lost to in 90 minutes, but it was clear that Kidderminster were 32 places above their hosts in the football league pyramid, a professional performance seeing them earn a home tie with Altrincham in round two.

Avenue, however, will wait until next Tuesday, when Worcester City face FC Halifax Town in their rearranged tie, to see if the scheduled trip to Aggborough in the Vanarama Conference North will go ahead on the 10th of January- when Avenue travel to Worcester.

Bradford (Park Avenue) 5-1 Farsley

Bradford (Park Avenue) made it three wins on the bounce with a comfortable victory over Farsley in the West Riding County Cup.

Danny Frost bagged an excellent hat-trick, following on from his wonder-goal at Harrogate on Saturday.

Joe Colbeck and captain for the night Richard Marshall bagged the other two in an entertaining tie, which also saw John Danby save a Farsley penalty.

Avenue manager John Deacey chose to use the match to give game time to some of the players who have been left out of late, making 6 changes from the side who took to the field two days earlier.

Billy Priestley, Brad Barraclough and the aforementioned Marshall returned to the side, along with loanees George Smith and Niall Heaton. Sam Patterson came in to make his debut at right full back.

And Avenue took the lead as early as the second minute through Frost.

Turning inside from Patterson’s throw-in, he ran with the ball and unleashed a wonderful left footed strike from 25 yards into the top right hand corner, leaving goalkeeper Jake Lofthouse with no chance.

The second came just five minutes later through in form winger Joe Colbeck. Colbeck picked up from a through ball in the inside right position and drove a shot under Lofthouse to make it 2-0.

Farsley started to compete as the home side slightly took their foot off the gas, but never really threatened, Richard Marshall firing over as he also set his sights from range.

And 20 minutes later, Frost finished off a fine move for Avenue’s third. Frost picked up the ball in his own half, before playing a 1-2 with Marshall and continuing his run. Frost found Colbeck who played the ball into Barraclough. The striker turned and slotted it through the defender’s legs into the path off Frost who finished in composed fashion.

Barraclough had a similar chance shortly later as he was played into the area, but this time Lofthouse came out on top. The forward, starting just his third game in all competitions this season, also flicked a header just wide of the near post.

The visitors did cause some worry to the Avenue goal in the first half, as during a string of corners, Danby fumbled and Adam Priestley prodded towards goal but Jack Rea slid in and blocked well.

As the half looked to have petered out, the Farsley defence gave Richard Marshall too much time and space as he ran forward with the ball and struck it low and hard, through a number of bodies and into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Changes were in abundance at the interval, Chilaka and Howarth coming on for Avenue to give Colbeck and Rea a rest, and for the visitors, Ross Daly, Robbie O’Brien and Aiden Savory came on to take the quota of ex-Avenue man in the Farsley team up to five.

And it was one of those five who grabbed a quick response for Farsley as Lewis Nightingale, who started the match, jinked his way into the area and finished confidently into the bottom corner leaving Danby with no chance.

However Avenue restored their four goal advantage just three minutes later as Danny Frost claimed his hat-trick with a tap-in. Barraclough turned well and got into the box, and looked to have finished brilliantly to earn the goal that his performance deserved, but his shot rebounded off the upright, straight into the path of a grateful Frost.

That wasn’t it for incident, however, as Savory won a penalty from a Priestley foul. Nightingale stepped up but saw his powerfully struck spot kick saved well by Danby.

Frost was denied a fourth after he had a goal chalked off for a foul by Chilaka- who had squared the ball for a tap-in.

Unfortunately, in the final minute of the match, Fernando Moke seemed to over-stretch for a loose ball and was forced to hobble off the pitch with a muscle injury.

The match ended 5-1 and sees Avenue progress to the semi-final of the West Riding County Cup, where Tadcaster Albion will be our guests at the Horsfall. The other semi-final sees Harrogate Town take on Garforth Town at home.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Danby, Patterson, Smith, Rea (Howarth 46), Priestley, Heaton, Colbeck (Chilaka 46), Moke (Qualter 89), Barraclough, Marshall (c), Frost

Subs not used: None

Goals: Frost (2, 27, 52), Colbeck (7), Marshall (45)

Farsley: Lofthouse, Aspin, Serrant, Hancock, Dempsey (c)(O’Brien 46), Exton, Nightingale, Cromack (Savory 46), Priestley, Pankhurst (Daly 46), Grant

Subs not used: Taylor, Morgan

Goal: Nightingale (49)

Referee: David Richardson

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Harrogate Town 0-2 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Bradford (Park Avenue) picked up their first away win of the season and first 3 points since October 11th with a 2-0 victory at Yorkshire rivals Harrogate Town.

The visitors won the game in dominant fashion, courtesy of an early goal from former Harrogate man Chib Chilaka, and a second-half stunner from Danny Frost. But in truth, the scoreline flattered the hosts as Avenue dominated the entirety of the 90 minutes.

The game started off at a great pace, and it was the pace of Avenue’s attackers that created the opener on just 5 minutes.

John Danby distributed early to right wing-back Joe Colbeck, who raced up the pitch before weighting a perfect pass through to Chilaka which was dispatched excellently for his sixth league goal this season.

As mentioned, the visitors lined up in a 3-5-2 formation at the CNG Stadium. This switch came after Avenue boss John Deacey had watched Harrogate and knew what to expect, and he got his tactics spot on in the brilliant victory.

Colbeck continued to be the danger man on the right hand side for Avenue, the Harrogate defence completely unable to deal with his pace, as he set up chances for Qualter, Colley and himself in the opening 15 minutes, when Harrogate chose to replace their left back and switch to 5 at the back. The attacking fivesome of Colbeck, Colley, Chilaka, Frost and Walker was just too much for them.

Just before that switch came a huge talking point. Lamin Colley raced through on goal, in very similar fashion to the Leamington game last week, and was once again felled by the back-tracking defender. The referee raced in and pointed to the spot, but as he reached into his pocket for a certain red card, he spotted the linesman’s flag up on the far side, and the decision was overruled.

Despite a distinct lack of action in his penalty area, recent form man John Danby had to be on his toes as Harrogate won a free kick just outside the corner of the box. Craig Nelthorpe took it and it was heading for the postage stamp, but for a wonderful fingertip save from the former Chester stopper.

Colbeck was in the thick of it again as Avenue won a free kick just outside the centre circle.

The winger nonchalantly strolled up to the ball before absolutely belting it at goal, forcing Phil Barnes into a very good save to pluck it out of the bottom corner.

Danny Frost tried to better Colbeck as the ball sat up nicely from 35 yards out, but Barnes managed to hold his volley well. Frost was doing well in the attacking midfield role behind the two strikers, and should have made it 2-0 on 37 minutes as he shot from 8 yards out, but it deflected agonisingly wide.

Danby had to be alert just before the break, as Walshaw pressured him from a low cross and he saved well to preserve the one goal advantage heading into half time.

Harrogate started quickly and created a chance early in the half which was headed wide, and looked to use that to push themselves forward in the match. However the wind was completely knocked out of their sails when Danny Frost unleashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner from 30 yards.

Just a minute later Harrogate did manage to put the ball in the back of the net, but the referee’s whistle had been blown long before for a clear foul on Danby.

Avenue also had one ruled out just 3 minutes after that, but it was turned in by a clearly offside Chilaka, who was found by Colbeck’s perfect through ball.

The sides then attacked each other, winning a number of corners each, but the visitors’ goal was never threatened and Avenue always looked more likely to score.

It wasn’t until the last 10 minutes, when Harrogate’s defence were clearly jaded, that Avenue created any more clear cut chances.

In the 82nd minute Chilaka was slipped in by Walker, and he only had Barnes to beat, but the resilient home keeper kept it out well. At the other end, Danby was determined to keep his clean sheet as he made another good save to deny former Avenue loanee Louie Swain.

In the dying embers of the game, Avenue had one last chance to put some deserved gloss on the scoreline, and it would have been a deserved goal too for the phenomenal Colbeck.

Harrogate had a corner which was cleared, and forward raced Howarth, Moke and Colbeck. Howarth beat the last man on the half-way line with a ball through to Colbeck, who was never going to square to Moke, and he looked to have beaten Barnes as he attempted to lift it over him, but Barnes’ left arm came out of nowhere to deny Avenue’s number 7.

It was a bonus for the Harrogate goalkeeper, who had earlier been named the sponsor’s man of the match. Read into that what you will.

John Deacey said after the match that: “we were outstanding. 2-0 does not reflect that game at all. Had it been 4 or 5, that would have been a fair result.

“I thought it was the best we have played all season. Every department was excellent. Joe Colbeck, outstanding. Chib Chilaka, outstanding. But it is very very difficult to pick anybody out individually because I thought they worked the system superbly and every single person did their job correctly.”

Harrogate Town: Barnes, Turner (Metcalfe 65), Meynell (Bloomer 15), Dean, Shiels, McGurk (c), Kerry (Swain 65), Nowakowski, Speight, Walshaw, Nelthorpe

Subs not used: Crook, Carole

Bradford (Park Avenue): Danby, Howarth, Price (c), Rea, Qualter, Moke, Colbeck, Walker, Chilaka, Colley (Barraclough 76), Frost (Marshall 65)

Subs not used: Heaton, Smith, Patterson

Goals: Chilaka (5), Frost (53)

Referee: B. Khatib

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Brackley Town 2-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Bradford (Park Avenue) dropped to 19th in the Vanarama Conference North with a narrow 2-1 defeat away at Brackley Town.

The loss, Avenue’s tenth of the season, was widely deemed an unlucky one as Avenue dominated for large periods and created several good chances.

Manager John Deacey made 2 forced changes to his starting line up from the North Ferriby game on Monday, Dan Clayton and Nathan Hotte both missing out through injury, to be replaced by Niall Heaton and debutant Fernando Moke. Deacey’s son Jordan started the last game of his loan deal from Telford.

Early on in the game neither side could settle in the game, the ball spending a lot of time in the air. But the three big attacking players for the hosts were causing the most problems.
And the hosts struck first with the first real chance of the match in the 11th minute.

The referee gave a free kick for handball 25 yards from goal. The kick was fairly central and in a good position for a strike, which is just what Brackley’s Ebby Nelson-Addy did, bending it round John Danby’s wall and into the bottom corner.

The goal woke Avenue up, as the visitors got the ball down and started playing some good football, but it was Brackley who created the next opening.

A long ball was flicked on to dangerous striker Will Green, who was in behind and got a shot off, but it was very well saved by the in-form Avenue goalkeeper John Danby.

Avenue came back and really started to control the game from the 20th minute. The visitors created some good chances mostly through Danny Frost, who had a couple of good chances thanks to balls from Moke and Deacey.

Moke was having a very good game, controlling the game brilliantly along with Jack Rea in the Avenue midfield, both wingers causing a number of problems for the home full backs.

The first great chance for the visitors came on 35 minutes. A slip from the defender allowed Joe Colbeck to nick the ball off him, before finding Chilaka with a pass inside, but the forward fired wide from inside the box when he had time and space.

Brackley were always dangerous on the break, however, and Green continued to cause problems. He worried Danby with a good effort from 20 yards which went just wide.

There was still time in the half for another gaping chance for Bradford. Colbeck put a great low ball in which was missed by both Chilaka and Frost at the near and far post respectively.

And in the third minute of added time, Brackley’s new loan keeper Dean Snedker made a great save from a Ryan Qualter header. The ball ran agonisingly across the line but Danny Frost just couldn’t get there and Avenue went into the break an undeserved 1 goal down.

Avenue continued to control the game into the second half, but it was clear they needed a goal before the break to get themselves back into the game. The best of the play continued to be through Colbeck and Howarth on the right hand side.

However the visitors needed Danby to come to their rescue again around 10 minutes into the half. A great move from Brackley left the Avenue defence stranded, and Curtis McDonald just needed to hit the back of the net, but Danby made a top save to deny his well-struck effort from 10 yards out.

Colbeck was there to prevent a goal on the hour, as Green broke from an Avenue corner, he squared it for a tap in for the waiting player, but Colbeck made it back brilliantly just in time to cut it out.

A few minutes later, the pacey winger was up the other end as he created a glorious chance. His cross deflected to Chilaka, who had time inside the box but lacked composure and miscued well wide.

John Deacey started to make his attacking substitutions, but that coincided with a loss of shape and Brackley took advantage of that not long after the final substitution.

Avenue had just changed to 3 at the back and were wide open as an innocuous long ball found Green, who scampered away and finally beat his nemesis Danby with a composed finish into the bottom corner.

Substitute midfielder Richard Marshall caused problems in the final 10 minutes and he won the free kick which gave Avenue hope.

Marshall was brought down from behind, and Joe Colbeck rasped the 25 yard free kick at goal, it took a slight deflection and nestled in the back of the net, getting the goal that his performance deserved.

But just a minute later Colbeck could have made it two, as Marshall did brilliantly, driving a ball across the box which was crying out for a tap in, only for Colbeck to somehow hit it straight to the Brackley keeper, who covered what of his goal he could very well.

That was that for the visitors, who left St. James’ Park disappointed not to take even a point, never mind all 3 that their performance probably warranted.

Brackley Town: Snedker, Samuels, Carruthers, Eddie Odhiambo, Sharpe, Austin (c), Nelson-Addy (Kaziboni 67), Whittall, Rowe, Green (Pearson 90), McDonald (Eric Odhiambo 58)

Unused Subs: Built, Curtis

Goals: Neslon-Addy (11), Green (80)

Bradford (Park Avenue): Danby, Howarth, Price (c) (Marshall 78), Rea, Qualter, Heaton, Colbeck, Moke, Chilaka (Colley 73), Deacey, Frost (Barraclough 69)

Unused Subs: Davis, Walker

Goal: Colbeck (87)

Referee: Simon Barrow

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