A second half goal from Ciaran Toner saw Gainsborough Trinity record their third win of the season against a lacklustre Bradford (Park Avenue) at the Gainsborough Martin and Co Arena.
In a game that lacked goalscoring opportunities, it appeared that one goal would separate the two teams. And, Trinity sealed the win during the second half with a tidy finish from Toner.
Both teams made a promising start to the game, and it was the visitors who created the first chance.
Nathan Hotte found the run of winger Joe Colbeck who pulled the ball back to his striker Chib Chilaka. Before taking a second touch, the ball was taken off his feet by Paul Walker, but his drive was deflected over from 14 yards.
Then, Trinity responded with two opportunities.
Following some neat passing in the middle, the ball was spread out to Toner, but his left-footed strike was blocked by the Avenue debutant Billy Priestley.
Once again, Steve Housham’s men were playing some good football as loanee Curtis Bateson went on a mazy run, and as the Avenue left-back Martin Drury fell awkwardly on the floor, the striker’s left-footed effort flew wide.
Drury was unable to continue and the defender was stretchered off. Jamie Price took his place amongst the defence.
The Avenue were looking for a late goal to take a lead at the break, but were unsuccessful as Walker, Colbeck and midfielder Scott Kerr failed to trouble Mike Emery in the Trinity goal.
Shortly after the restart, the Avenue nearly managed their first shot on target. A neat pass from right-back Grant Black was collected by Marshall, but on the turn, the midfielder fired wide from 12 yards.
Trinity substitute Conor Higginson nearly made an immediate impact for his side, but the striker’s effort deflected wide from 12 yards.
Then, the away side had their best chance of the game. After good pressure from Marshall, the midfielder delivered a teasing cross from the right wing into the penalty area. But, the unmarked Chilaka could only the head the ball into the ground and over the bar from close range.
Minutes later, Trinity took the lead. With the Avenue struggling to regroup, Toner collected the ball in the middle of the park and struck a low shot into the bottom corner past John Lamb.
Again, the Avenue lacked numbers against the frontmen of Trinity, and the visitors came close to conceding a second goal. Substitute Darryn Stamp chested the ball to Liam Davis, who spotted the unmarked Higginson, but the striker failed to find the target.
Into added time, the Avenue threw players forward in the hope of securing a late draw but were unable to force a save from Emery and left Lincolnshire suffering their second defeat in the Vanarama Conference North.
Gainsborough Trinity: Emery, Roma (c), Lacey, Binns (Davis 71), Quinn, Picton, Russell, Toner, Bateson, Lobjoit (Stamp 45), Davie (Higginson 56).
Subs not used: Roberts, Salt.
Scorer: Toner (72)
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Black, Drury (Price 22) Marshall, Qualter, Priestley, Colbeck (Barraclough 76), Hotte (c), Chilaka, Kerr (Frost 66), Walker.
Subs not used: Rea, Banton.