A first half equaliser from Jordan Deacey saw Bradford (Park Avenue) gain a point against Oxford City on Wednesday in the Blue Square Bet North.
Jamie Cook gave the hosts an early lead in the first half but Deacey’s long range strike levelled the scoreboard. The reverse fixture was played on Monday night, in which Avenue fell to a 2-1 defeat.
Tom Corner and Matty James came into the side replacing Aiden Savory and Danny Holland and there was also a place on the bench for Bradford City loanee Adam Baker.
Oxford City started the brighter of the two sides, creating early chances. Paul Stonehouse created space on the left wing for a cross, which looked set to find the top corner. However Bradford goalkeeper John Lamb was able to tip the ball over the bar.
From the resulting corner, Oxford City had the ball cleared off the line. Mark Bell’s corner was met by the head of Adam Learoyd but the Avenue’s Michael Duckworth was alert on the back post to deny the centre back.
Shortly after, a free kick from Deacey nearly led to the opening goal. The delivery from the midfielder found Tom Corner, but he was unable to connect properly with the ball, allowing the Oxford City defence to clear any danger.
Twice in three days, Mike Ford’s men took the lead against the Avenue. A free kick from Bell found Cook in space, and after cutting in onto his left-foot, the striker fired a low shot past Lamb in the Avenue goal.
But it didn’t take long for Avenue to find the equaliser. Richard Marshall slipped in Deacey, and after carrying the ball, the youngster struck an effort from 20 yards which flew into the top corner, despite a deflection from Oxford’s defender Chris Willmott.
A long ball from Stonehouse then caused problems for the Avenue backline. Nathan Hotte’s misplaced header gave Cook the chance to try his luck from goal. However his lob failed to trouble Lamb.
Before the break, the visitors came close to taking the lead. A loose pass from Adam Clayton was picked up by Marshall who fired a left footed curling strike. But Oxford City goalkeeper Nick Townsend responded with a superb save to deny the midfielder another long range goal.
HALF TIME: OXFORD CITY 1-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
John Deacey made one change at half time. Danny Holland came on to replace Jamie Price who was on a yellow card. This allowed Hotte to drop back into defence and Duckworth switched to left back.
The Avenue started to play some quick passing football. Again, Marshall found space for a long range shot and his effort was well held by Townsend with Corner waiting for a chance to strike a rebound.
With the score level, John Deacey brought Jamie Jackson to add pace to his attack replacing Paul Walker. Also, Ross Daly was introduced in place of Tom Corner.
After slow and patient build-up play from Bradford, the ball was eventually delivered into the box by Daly. The delivery was met by Clayton and the ball fell to James, but his back heel was saved by the legs of Townsend.
The away side continued to create chances. Following another well worked move, Deacey spotted Holland and after his first shot was blocked, the substitute’s second effort on the half volley skimmed the bar.
After his introduction, Jamie Jackson nearly added Avenue’s second goal of the match. Following Bradford centre back Tim Ryan gaining possession, Holland’s flick found Daly, and the midfielder managed to lift the ball to the unmarked Jackson. However the winger’s first time volley did not have enough power to trouble Townsend.
With the game near its end, Oxford City nearly snatched three points, but were denied by the the Avenue defence. As the home side pushed forward, Ryan provided a brave block to prevent Learoyd a shot on goal.
FULL TIME: OXFORD CITY 1-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)