Harrogate Town 1-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

A late equaliser from Paul Walker saw Bradford (Park Avenue) draw against Harrogate Town at the CNG Stadium in The Skrill North.

John Deacey made one change from the starting eleven that claimed three points against Leamington FC as his son Jordan returned from injury to replace former Town man Paul Beesley who dropped to the bench. Meanwhile, former Avenue player Steve Mallory lined up against his old club for the first time since his switch in December.

Prior to kick-off, Nathan Hotte passed a late fitness test, but was withdrawn after eight minutes and the Avenue captain was replaced by former Town striker Chib Chilaka.

The first attempt on target came from the home side. A foul from Danny Glover saw the referee award a free-kick, but Conor Sellars’ effort was easily saved by the Avenue goalkeeper John Lamb.

Shortly after, Town nearly took the lead. Another free-kick was awarded to the hosts, and Mallory’s delivery was flicked towards goal by Shane Killock, but the ball flew over from 12 yards.

Richard Marshall came close to scoring against his former club. A long ball from Adam Clayton was collected by Glover and his inside pass found the midfielder, but his powerful strike narrowly went over from 18 yards.

A defensive error led to the opening goal. A lofted ball bounced off the turf and Clayton stooped low to head the ball back to his goalkeeper, but it fell short, and Ashley Worsfold lifted the ball over Lamb and into the net.

Minutes later, both teams were reduced to ten-men. Following a tackle, an off the ball incident between Adam Bolder and James Knowles caught the attention of the referee who went to his pocket to show both players a red card.

As half time was approaching, the visitors grew in confidence.

Chilaka was proving to be a threat and troubled Peter Crook in the Town goal with a header from close range. Also, the substitute was strong to hold off several challenges, and managed to strike a right-footed effort, but Crook watched the shot drift wide from 16 yards.

Into injury-time, the Avenue nearly snatched a equaliser. Grant Black spotted Marshall in space, who delivered the ball into the penalty area, and Deacey got in front of his man, but his effort fell into the hands of Crook.

After the break, the Avenue continued to search for a vital goal.

The visitors won successive corners, and after the second delivery from Deacey, the ball fell to Paul Walker, but his left-footed effort rippled the side-netting from 18 yards.

Once more, the Avenue went on the attack but were denied by Crook. A quick flowing move ended with Glover flicking the ball to Chilaka, who fired an effort from 14 yards, but the Town goalkeeper produced a fine save.

Simon Weaver’s men continued to defend bravely. A corner from Deacey found Clayton inside the box, but his low effort was blocked by a number of Town players to deny the Avenue centre back.

Eventually, the Avenue equalised after sustained pressure. The away side worked the ball to Walker, and his teasing cross aimed for Chilaka bounced inside the box but the striker didn’t appear to connect with the delivery and Crook was unable to stop the ball finding the bottom corner.

Following the goal, both teams had chances to win the game.

Another flag-kick from Deacey caused problems for Town, but Ryan Qualter’s header was caught by Crook, and the defender sprinted back to his position raising his hands to his head.

At the opposite end of the pitch, substitute Craig Nelthorpe ran, unchallenged, with the ball and whilst approaching the penalty area, the midfielder drew Black out of position and threaded a ball to Abi Yussuf who fired an effort at Lamb.

And then, the Avenue thought they had grabbed a late winner for the second consecutive league fixture.

Ross Gardner, introduced as a substitute, provided a outlet on the right wing, and his good footwork allowed him to pick out Glover. The striker turned with the ball onto his left-foot and unleashed a shot from 18 yards, but the ball fizzed inches wide of the far post.

Harrogate Town: Crook, Samuels, Merris, Bolder, Heath, Killock (capt), Mallory (Smith 64), Nowakowski, Worsfold (Yussuf 72), Hall, Sellars (Nelthorpe 32).

Subs not used: Taylor, Bloomer.

Scorers: Worsfold (27)

Sent Off: Bolder.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Black, Knowles, Price (Gardner 75), Qualter, Clayton, Deacey, Hotte (capt) (Chilaka 7(Beesley 79)) , Glover, Marshall, Walker.

Subs not used: Howarth, Maxfield.

Scorers: Walker (77)

Sent Off: Knowles.

Attendance: 597