Bradford (Park Avenue) extended their unbeaten run to 12 games, as Alex Davidson scored a late equaliser against Colwyn Bay at Llanelian Road.
The visitors took an early lead. A floated corner from Paul Walker was flicked by James Knowles into the path of Chib Chilaka. The striker improvised with an overhead kick to put the ball home from six yards.
Shortly after the opening goal, Walker nearly extended the Avenue’s advantage. Following a Chilaka effort, the ball spun into the feet of the winger, but his right-footed effort flew over the bar.
Two minutes later, Frank Sinclair’s men were denied an equaliser by the linesman. A cross from right back Danny Taylor was missed by Avenue’s centre back Steve Mallory with an attempted bicycle kick inside the penalty area. The delivery was brought down by Seagulls’ captain Rob Hopley, and his shot found the net from ten yards, but the striker was awarded offside.
However, the away side continued to search for a second goal. A foul from Danny Meadowcroft on Alex Davidson gifted the Avenue a free-kick on the edge of the box. A delivery from Walker was collected by Knowles, and his accurate cross was nodded over by Adam Clayton from six yards.
Despite being denied an early goal, Hopley scored the first goal for the home side. After Chris Howarth was dispossessed, the striker played a neat one-two, and the Avenue goalkeeper John Lamb was unable to save Hopley’s right-footed shot from 14 yards.
Then, the home side took the lead. Following positive play from recent signing Marc Williams, the number nine threaded a ball to Hopley, and his clever flick was slotted into the bottom corner by winger Louis Moss.
Again, the Seagulls continued to punish the visitors’ mistakes. After losing out in possession, the Avenue were lacking in numbers amongst their defence, but Williams’ acrobatic effort went wide from ten yards.
Nevertheless, in the torrential rain, John Deacey’s men were providing a threat in attack. A driving run from Davidson into the heart of the Seagulls defence caused problems, but his right-footed attempt faded wide from 20 yards.
Once more, Hopley was close to scoring his second goal of the afternoon. Michael Lea delivered a corner, and the striker rose above his marker to head the ball over.
With half time approaching, Davidson came close to equalising for the away side. After receiving the ball, the forward curled a right-footed shot towards goal, but the Seagulls number one Chris Sanna tipped the ball over. From the resulting corner, Knowles’ header failed to trouble the goalkeeper.
HALF TIME: COLWYN BAY 2-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
After the half time whistle, the home side nearly extended their one-goal lead. The Seagulls’ winger Gareth Evans was alert to a fumble from Lamb, but his left-footed effort narrowly went wide from 16 yards.
Trailing by 2-1, Deacey introduced Jason St Juste and Nicky Boshell to try and secure a positive result. Following the substitutions, the Avenue left three in defence and looked for a second goal.
A corner from Boshell was nodded by Knowles at the far post. The defender’s header deflected to Nathan Hotte, and the captain’s chip hit the crossbar from 20 yards.
But, the home side had a chance to wrap up the game. A through ball from the midfield found Evans, who held off Clayton, but his shot went wide of Lamb’s post.
However, the Avenue continued their recent habit of scoring late goals. The ball was worked into the feet of Chilaka, who laid the ball into the feet of midfielder Richard Marshall. The number four managed to spot the unmarked Davidson, who fired the ball underneath Sanna into the net.
Into additional time, the Seagulls nearly snatched a dramatic winner. After controlling the ball, Hopley found Williams inside the penalty area, but his powerful header was saved by Lamb.
FULL TIME: COLWYN BAY 2-2 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Taylor, Lea, Meadowcroft, Smyth, Crowther, Evans (E. Moss 85), Joyce (Ellison 68) Hopley (capt), Williams, L. Moss (Matthews 82).
Subs not used: East, Connor.
Scorers: Hopley (22), L. Moss (28).
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Clayton, Drury (Boshell 66), Marshall, Knowles, Mallory, Howarth (Maxfield 82), Hotte (capt), Davidson, Chilaka, Walker (St Juste 55)
Subs not used: Price, Quinn.
Scorers: Chilaka (7), Davidson (83).