Bradford (Park Avenue) recorded their fourth consecutive victory with a comfortable win against a spirited Hinckley United side at the Greene King Stadium.
The Avenue took the lead from a sublime 30 yard strike by Danny Holland, and they doubled their lead thanks to their captain Nathan Hotte. During first half added time, Hinckley United scored to put pressure on their opponents with a cool finish from Jarred Pickering. However in the second half, a well taken goal from Nathan Hotte and a late Adam Baker back heeled effort secured three points for the away side.
For the trip to the Greene King Stadium, John Deacey made two changes from the starting eleven that defeated Harrogate Town. The Avenue’s Jamie Price returned from suspension, and the defender replaced Aiden Savory. Also, Jordan Deacey missed out with injury, and the youngster was replaced by Danny Holland, who crucially scored the winning goal against his former club on Wednesday.
With the sun shining down on the playing surface, the home side started brightly and managed their first effort on target. The Knitters worked the ball to winger Roland Agbor, and after cutting inside his marker, his low shot was easily saved by Bradford goalkeeper John Lamb.
The visitors were looking to take an early advantage during a tight opening ten minutes. A flighted corner from Richard Marshall was met by the Avenue striker Danny Holland, but his header was deflected into the hands of the hosts stopper Ashley Timms.
Once more, the home side threatened the Bradford goal. A long throw in was flicked by Knitters captain Jarred Pickering into the feet of midfielder Flavien Chambaud, but his effort whistled wide.
Nonetheless, Bradford orchestrated a good move to open up the stubborn Hinckley United defence. A well worked move saw Paul Walker denied by Ashley Timms in a one on one situation, however, the ball fell to Alex Davidson and his deep cross was nodded wide by captain Nathan Hotte at the back post.
Shortly after, Michael Duckworth tried a speculative effort to give the away side the lead. A neat one two between the full back and Davidson allowed the youngster to try his luck, but Timms denied the Avenue.
Eventually, the visitors started to find their rhythm, earning themselves a corner after another passing move. A low delivery from Marshall was fired over by Davidson on the volley from 16 yards.
Again, John Deacey’s side came close to open the scoring. Bradford right back Adam Clayton managed to escape Theo Brown, and his teasing cross was flicked wide by Holland from 12 yards.
A minute later, the striker scored his second goal in as many games. A lovely ball from centre back Tim Ryan found the striker, who spotted Timms off his line and expertly lobbed the goalkeeper from 30 yards.
Ten minutes later, the away side doubled their advantage. The Avenue were able to find enough room down the left wing, and a cross aimed for Holland was deflected into the path of Hotte, and his left footed shot squirmed under Timms from ten yards.
Furthermore, the Bradford captain nearly added his second goal to the scoreline. Following some skilful work from Marshall, Hotte was set free but he was unable to keep his shot down and the ball blazed wide from 18 yards.
Following an early challenge, John Deacey withdrew Davidson who picked up a knock, and Adam Baker entered the field for his side.
Before the break, the home side reduced the deficit. The Avenue were unable to stop Agbor pick out his team mate and captain Pickering, and the striker slotted the ball past Lamb from 14 yards.
HALF TIME: HINCKLEY UNITED 1-2 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
With only a minute played after half time, the Knitters nearly equalised. A lovely inswinging cross was met by Agbor, who managed to get in front of his marker, but his effort skimmed the far post.
Again, the already relegated side continued to attack searching for their second goal. However, a long range effort from Luke Richards trickled wide of Lamb’s far post.
As the second half went on, the Knitters made a double substitution to try and find a way to level the scoreboard. However, both sides were unable to trouble their opponents goal with a notable chance.
After an hour, the Avenue scored a vital third goal. Following good hold up play by Holland, the striker started a short passing sequence for the away side. The ball was worked into the feet of Hotte, and his driving run allowed the midfielder to shoot from 16 yards with the ball finding the bottom corner.
The Avenue introduced Jamie Jackson in place of Michael Duckworth, meaning another reshuffle amongst the back four. Also, Carl Heggs brought on Steffen McGrath and the substitute fired a powerful effort wide with his first touch of the game.
Soon after, a corner from Bradford was dealt with by the Knitters, and, again, McGrath tried his luck from distance with his left foot, only for the ball to drift wide.
However, the Avenue were always looking dangerous on the attack as the ball was passed into the feet of Paul Walker, but his low shot was deflected into the hands of Timms.
With the final whistle approaching, the Avenue substitute Tom Corner was unable to find the target from outside the box. Following a pull back from Adam Baker, the striker sprinted onto the loose ball to side foot his effort wide from 18 yards.
Then, the Bradford City loanee tried to add his name on the scoresheet. The lively Jamie Jackson spotted Baker’s run, but, the striker decided to go for goal from a tight angle, and the ball rippled the side netting.
Into injury time, the travelling Bradford supporters saw their side score their fourth goal, as Adam Baker managed to score his first for the Avenue. An error from the Knitters defence allowed Walker to cross for Baker who neatly back heeled the ball past Timms from close range.
FULL TIME: HINCKLEY UNITED 1-4 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Hinckley United: Timms, Kalonii, Branch, R. Conway (McGrath 75), Lopez (Bradshaw 57), D. Conway, Agbor, Chambaud, Pickering, Richards (Canavan 57), Brown.
Subs not used: Moraka, Peet.
Scorers: Pickering (45)
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Clayton, Duckworth (Jackson 71), Daly, Ryan, Price, Davidson (Baker 42), Hotte, Marshall, Holland (Corner 78), Walker.
Subs not used: Savory, Hume.
Scorers: Holland (27); Hotte (39), (67); Baker (90)