A resilient Bradford Park Avenue side failed to hold on to a one goal lead as North Ferriby United battled back to take all three points at the Eon Visual Media Stadium.
James Knowles’ first half header saw the visitors lead at the break with a narrow advantage. But the home side scored two unanswered goals in the second half as Danny Hone nodded in the equaliser before Anthony Wilson crashed in the winning goal.
For the trip to North Ferriby, the Avenue made three changes to the starting eleven that lost to Stockport County on Boxing Day. Chris Howarth, Jason St Juste and James Knowles replaced Chib Chilaka and the suspended duo of Jordan Deacey and Richard Marshall.
The Villagers nearly scored an early goal as striker Nathan Jarman went close with a clever chip over goalkeeper John Lamb that landed just wide.
The visitors resilience was rewarded as they broke the deadlock. A free-kick from Chris Howarth was delivered with his right-foot and the centre back Knowles rose above the defence to power a header into the top corner.
Following the goal, the home side reacted and began to pile pressure on the Avenue goal. Adam Clayton’s failed clearance landed straight at the feet of Jarman who rifled a first-time volley into the back of winger Danny Clarke inside the penalty area.
Again, the away side were threatening on the counter attack as Knowles missed a chance to extend the Avenue’s lead as he headed wide following a darting run and cross down the left from Maxfield.
The home side created another opportunity, both Jarman and Jamie Yates exchanged passes before the striker released a 25 yard strike that whistled over the bar.
Following Jarman’s effort, the Avenue went on the attack again and nearly made it 2-0. Paul Walker’s low shot was fumbled by the Villagers’ number one Adam Nicklin, but then, quickly regathered to block the rebound from Paul Beesley.
As the first half drew to a close, Lamb was alert to deny the hosts an equaliser. Liam King’s long range effort was parried by the Avenue goalkeeper, who reacted well to keep out the second effort by Wilson from close range.
Billy Heath’s men continued to search for their first goal of the game. Once more, the ball was worked to Wilson, but his acrobatic volley was kept out by the outstretched leg of Clayton inside the box.
Despite struggling to create any notable opportunities after the break, the Avenue were awarded a free-kick, 20 yards from goal, from a rare counter attack. The former North Ferriby United man Alex Davidson stepped up and drove a shot under the wall but Nicklin did well to deny the winger.
Then, the home side scored a deserved equaliser. Yates delivered another teasing free-kick, and Danny Hone found himself unmarked and nodded the ball past Lamb from six yards.
Rallied by their goal, the Villagers pushed on for the winner in the closing stages of the game. A neat back-heel from Wilson set up Jarman on the edge of the box, but his effort flew into the hands of Lamb.
The Avenue’s hopes of a much needed away point were crushed as Jarman lofted a precise pass over the defence to the feet of King, who drove into the box before playing a ball across goal to Wilson who smashed in from close range.
After late changes from the Avenue bench; Nicky Boshell, Tom Corner and Chib Chilaka introduced to give attacking options, the away side went close with the last kick of the game as Nicklin deflected Walker’s shot just inches in front of the run of Corner who faced an empty goal.
Despite a fifth consecutive defeat in The Skrill North, the Avenue assistant manager Mark Hume was encouraged with the performance:
“I thought it was a dogged performance compared to Boxing Day. The way we set out seemed to work, it was an organised display in the first half, and up until the first goal. We probably did not play as much football but we dug in. It’s another defeat which is very, very disappointing.”
North Ferriby United: Nicklin, Robson, Lisles, King, Anderson, Hone, Clarke (Clayton 60), Fry (capt), Wilson, Jarman (Kendall 84), Yates (D’Laryea 90).
Subs not used: Pecora, Bruce.
Scorers: Hone (61), Wilson (74)
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Howarth, St Juste (Corner 84), Price, Clayton, Knowles, Maxfield (Chilaka 75), Hotte (capt), Beesley (Boshell 81), Davidson, Walker.
Subs not used: Grayson, Clamp.
Scorers: Knowles (10)