Bradford (Park Avenue) edged a nine goal thriller at Steel Park, surviving a second half fightback from bottom of the table Corby Town.
For the game, John Deacey made changes from Monday’s draw against FC Halifax Town. The Avenue loanee Liam Wakefield started at right back and James Riley returned at centre back. Also, midfielder Nathan Hotte sat in the stands with an injury, therefore, Adam Clayton was pushed into a midfield role. The positive news for the travelling supporters, was the return of Amjad Iqbal on the bench.
The first opportunity on target came from the visitors, as Richard Marshall dribbled the ball through the middle of the pitch, and spotted the run of Jordan Deacey, but, his right footed strike from 20 yards struck the crossbar, and away from any potential danger for the home side.
Furthermore, the Avenue continued to attack, and Rob O’Brien latched onto a flicked header by Danny Holland, only for the midfielder to be denied by Greg Kaziboni, before getting a shot away, 20 yards from goal.
However, John Deacey was dealt a further injury blow as Adam Clayton went into a tackle and was withdrawn with a suspected ligament injury.
Shortly after, the visitors took the lead. Bradford were awarded a free kick, and Richard Marshall hit a fantastic right footed shot from 25 yards against the crossbar, but, the ball deflected off the back of the Steelmen’s goalkeeper Paul Walker and into the net.
After 34 minutes, the Avenue doubled their advantage. The winger Paul Walker played a neat through ball to Martin Drury, allowing the left back to deliver a low cross into the penalty area, and Danny Holland’s flick was volleyed into the roof of the net by substitute Tom Greaves.
Five minutes later, John Deacey’s side scored their third. After a clearance from Paul Walker in his own half, Corby Town’s Pierrick Briand and goalkeeper Paul Walker failed to clear the ball, and Tom Greaves was able to take a chance and took the ball around Walker, to tap into the net from six yards.
Nevertheless, a minute later, home side replied with a goal. A corner delivery was met by Paul Malone, only for his header to be cleared off the line by Martin Drury. However, the ball returned into the box and an unmarked Leon McKenzie side footed the ball past Tim Deasy from eight yards.
Just before the half time whistle, Bradford scored again. A long ball from Martin Drury was controlled by Danny Holland, and the striker set up Tom Greaves, but, the ball fell back into the feet of Holland, who turned to fire the ball past Paul Walker from 12 yards.
HALF TIME: CORBY TOWN 1-4 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Two minutes after the break, the away side extended their lead. Bradford worked the football to the right wing, and Greaves’ cross was met by Holland, who slotted the ball past the diving Walker from eight yards.
But, the goals continued, as Corby Town scored two minutes later. The Steelmen’s midfielder Tom McGowan turned inside Liam Wakefield to swing a cross towards Leon McKenzie, and the experienced striker scored his second of the afternoon.
With the scoreline at 2-5, the away side were forced to bring Jordan Deacey off, and Matt Dempsey filled in for the midfielder, playing in front of the back four.
However, the goals dried up for 30 minutes. The Avenue, missing key players with injury, were trying to create more opportunities through a more direct route. During this period, Bradford’s Danny Holland missed the target with a header from six yards, as well as striking the crossbar from 20 yards. Also, Tom Greaves was unable to get his hat trick, having seen his left footed half volley fly over the crossbar from ten yards.
The travelling fans were treated to the unexpected return of Amjad Iqbal. The defender was called upon by Deacey, as James Riley limped off with an ankle problem.
But, Ian Sampson’s side staged a late comeback to almost earn a draw, scoring twice in the last two minutes.
Firstly, Bradford’s midfielder Rob O’Brien conceded possession in the centre circle, and substitute Avelino Vieira delivered a cross onto the head of Josh Moreman, beating Tim Deasy into the bottom corner from eight yards.
Then, the striker scored again in the final seconds. A long ball from the defence, fell into the path of Moreman, and the Steelmen’s number nine struck a powerful right footed effort into the top corner from 12 yards.
The away side held on for victory, remaining unbeaten in the Blue Square Bet North, climbing into sixth place.
FULL TIME: CORBY TOWN 4-5 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Corby Town: Walker, Crowe, Fox, Malone (capt), Briand, McGowan (Miller 72), Kaziboni (Vieira 84), Wedderburn, Moreman, McKenzie (Magna 87), Ives.
Subs not used: Webb, Ingram.
Booking: Ives, Moreman
Scorers: McKenzie (40), (49); Moreman (88), (90)
Bradford (Park Avenue): Deasy, Wakefield, Drury, Marshall, Knowles (capt), Riley (Iqbal 71), Clayton (Greaves 21), O’Brien, Holland, Deacey (Dempsey 52), Walker.
Subs not used: Hume, Higginson.
Scorers: Walker own goal(23); Greaves (34), (39); Holland (45), (47)