Bradford (Park Avenue) crashed out of the FA Carlsberg Trophy with a disappointing defeat to Evostik Northern Premier Division side; Stafford Rangers, at Marston Road.
Following a positive performance against Doncaster Rovers a week ago, the Avenue struggled to gather any momentum, and failed to show their difference in divisions throughout the game.
The first ten minutes lacked goalscoring opportunities.
Nonetheless, a minute later, the Avenue created their first effort on target. After neat work from Jordan Deacey, the midfielder spotted Danny Holland on the edge of the box. The Bradford’s number nine passed the ball inside to Alex Davidson, but, the winger’s driven shot from 12 yards was pushed away by Danny Read.
Shortly after, the home side came close to opening their account. A well delivered corner from Ryan Brown was met by Liam Walshe at the back post, only for his header to drift over the crossbar.
Furthermore, Stafford Rangers continued to cause problems from set pieces. A flighted delivery from Ryan Brown was nodded by Christian Dacres into the path of his striker Fabrice Kasiama, and, despite holding off Nathan Hotte, Kasiama was denied by Avenue stopper Tim Deasy.
It took the Avenue, twenty minutes to get their next shot on goal. Despite Craig Radcliffe’s free kick being cleared by the Rangers’ defence, the left back received the ball back, and struck a low effort inches wide of the post from distance.
Nevertheless, the Evostik Northern Premier Division outfit failed to make the most of a good opportunity. The Avenue’s Richard Marshall was dispossessed inside the centre circle, and despite the home side having three on two, Fabrice Kasiama was unable to get his shot away, after a late block from the desperate Bradford defence.
A minute later, Greg Clowes’ men were unfortunate, again, to not open the scoring. Once more, Ryan Brown produced a dangerous cross towards the penalty spot, but, Karl Espley’s glancing header grazed the post from close range.
One minute before half time, the Avenue took the lead. Against the run of play, Bradford put pressure on the opponents back four, and Richard Marshall controlled the ball, and struck a powerful effort from 25 yards which struck the crossbar and bounced, according to the linesman, over the line.
HALF TIME: STAFFORD RANGERS 0-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Four minutes after the break, the home side equalised. The Avenue’s Craig Radcliffe conceded a free kick, 25 yards from goal, close to the touch line. However, Ryan Brown’s inswinging delivery caught out Tim Deasy, and the ball nestled in the top corner.
The home side grew in confidence and were searching for their second of the afternoon. Another free kick conceded by Radcliffe caused trouble for the Avenue. However, Karl Espley’s effort from 20 yards was well saved by Tim Deasy.
Again, the team in black and white stripes threatened with a free kick. This time, substitute Jon Sheldon managed to strike his effort over the wall, only for Deasy to save from 25 yards.
The home side’s dominance eventually was rewarded with a goal. After some fine passing from Stafford Rangers, the Avenue defender Nathan Hotte fouled Kasiama inside the box, and the referee awarded a penalty. Despite Tim Deasy’s recent impressive record at saving penalties, Danny Quinn fired his shot into the top corner.
The game was nearly over, with ten minutes later. As the Avenue were pushing, all but two men, forward, Stafford Rangers caught Bradford on the counter attack. A ball from Jimmy Turner found Kasiama, and, after dribbling past Michael Duckworth, the striker’s effort cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and away from danger.
With three minutes left, the game was over. A poor kick from Tim Deasy was controlled by Danny Quinn, who picked out the unmarked Fabrice Kasiama, and the striker wrong footed Deasy to find the bottom corner from ten yards.
The Avenue tried to respond with an attack of their own. Nevertheless, Michael Duckworth’s effort from 12 yards narrowly went wide of Danny Read’s far post.
FULL TIME: STAFFORD RANGERS 3-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Stafford Rangers: Read, Turner, Brown, Walshe, Espley, Dacres, Heler (Sheldon 60), Downes (c) (Carr 45), Quinn (Kinsella 89), Kasiama, Davies.
Subs not used: Sheldon, Kinsella, Curtis, Alcock.
Scorer: Brown 49, Quinn 71 pen, Kasiama 87.
Bradford (Park Avenue): Deasy, Duckworth, Radcliffe, Marshall, Knowles (c), Hotte, Davidson (Jackson 60), James (O’Brien 75), Holland (Greaves 75), Deacey, Walker.
Subs not used: Drury, Daly.
Scorer: Marshall 44