Harrogate Town 1-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Bradford (Park Avenue) held their opponents Harrogate Town at the CNG Stadium, to remain unbeaten in the Blue Square Bet North.

At a rain soaked CNG Stadium, John Deacey made one change from his starting eleven from the win at Vauxhall Motors, as James Riley replaced Liam Wakefield. Also, both Michael Duckworth and Rob O’Brien were named on the bench in place of Ben Higginson and Mark Hume.

However, it was the home side that looked more threatening in the opening five minutes. The Avenue goalkeeper Tim Deasy was forced into making early saves, having to deny both Chib Chilaka and Shane Killock with headers on target.

Eventually, Town were able to find a way past Deasy to open the scoring. A free kick was awarded, 25 yards from goal, and Dave Merris’ effort was deflected towards the goal by Shane Killock, with the ball skidding off the wet surface and into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

Nevertheless, the goal seemed to bring the best out of the visitors. After 20 minutes, Paul Walker squeezed a cross into the box, but, there were no Bradford attackers meeting the ball. Furthermore, Adam Clayton picked up the loose possession and found Danny Holland, but, the striker struck the ball over the bar from eight yards.

The visitors equalised after 30 minutes.

Once again, Richard Marshall scored one of the contenders for goal of the season. The Avenue’s number four received the ball, and, immediately struck a powerful right footed shot, from 35 yards, into the top corner, despite the full stretched effort of Jose Veiga.

Before half time, Town were trying to catch the away side on the counter attack, but, again, Deasy was equal to the header from Killock after a good delivery by Dave Merris.

HALF TIME: HARROGATE TOWN 1-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)

Two minutes after the restart, Harrogate Town put early pressure on the Bradford goal, as Chib Chilaka turned his marker James Riley inside the penalty area, only for Deasy to tip the ball wide of the post.

As the rain continued, the visitors struggled to cope with the Town attackers. Another free kick from Merris was met by Chilaka inside the area, but, his effort was deflected into the path of Killock, who could only blaze over the bar from a tight angle.

Shortly after an hour played, the home side were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. However, Adam Bolder’s right footed shot was deflected by the wall, and narrowly wide of the far post.

Once again, the Town striker Chib Chilaka continued to cause problems for the Bradford defence, but, again, his powerful strike from 12 yards was well saved by Tim Deasy.

The men from the Horsfall Stadium, rarely got outside their own half, but, eventually, they did, ten minutes before full time. It was Paul Walker who dribbled the ball past Dwayne Samuels, and his pass to substitute Rob O’Brien, was struck first time over the crossbar from the edge of the box.

Shortly after, the Bradford goalkeeper produced one of his finest saves of the afternoon. Town’s substitute Lee Elam cut inside Adam Clayton, and his right footed shot was heading into the same corner, in which Marshall scored, but Deasy was able to make a fingertip save, from 20 yards.

FULL TIME: HARROGATE TOWN 1-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)

Harrogate Town: Jose Da Veiga, Dwayne Samuels, Dave Merris, Adam Bolder, Alan White, Shane Killock, Alex Meechan (Robbie Youhill 45), Paul Bolland (capt), Chib Chilaka, Paul Beesley (Lee Elam 45), Luke Dean.

Subs not used: Daniel Stimpson, Matt Bloomer, Josh Garbutt.

Bookings: Dean, Bolder, Samuels

Scorer: Killock (16)

Bradford (Park Avenue): Tim Deasy, Adam Clayton, Martin Drury, Richard Marshall, James Knowles, James Riley, Matty James (Michael Duckworth 45) (Tom Greaves 86), Nathan Hotte, Danny Holland (Rob O’Brien 65), Jordan Deacey, Paul Walker.

Subs not used: Matt Dempsey, Liam Wakefield.

Bookings: Knowles, Hotte

Scorer: Marshall (30)

Attendance: 548