Two goals from Paul Walker ensured Bradford (Park Avenue) picked up three points with victory against Vauxhall Motors at Rivacre Park.
Walker, playing as a number nine in the absence of the suspended Alex Davidson, tapped home from a low cross by Jason St Juste. After the break, Richard Marshall spotted the winger, who delivered another excellent cross for Walker to head the ball past Zac Jones from close range.
With only five minutes on the clock, the Avenue midfielder Jordan Deacey cut inside and fired a 25 yard strike over the bar.
Vauxhall Motors were quick to respond as the lively Lloyd Ellams skipped past three challenges before curling a shot wide of the post from the edge of the box.
The visitors missed an opportunity to take an early lead as the influential St Juste produced a threatening low cross that flashed across the six yard line, narrowly avoiding the outstretched leg of Walker before being cleared at the far post.
Moments later, a similar passage of play gave the Avenue the opener. Captain Nathan Hotte lofted a precise diagonal ball to St Juste who instantly burst towards the byline where he cut back a cross to Walker, who smashed in from close range, taking his side into the break with the lead.
In the early stages of the second half, it was the Avenue that continued to attack as Walker beat defender Tom Hannigan and charged into the box before firing a low shot that was cleared off the line.
The home side then replied with a number of chances. The Motormen’s centre back Andy Nicholas controlled well before blasting over from five yards, before winger Matty Kosylo saw his 20 yard volley sail narrowly wide of the post.
John Deacey’s men extended their advantage as St Juste spotted Walker at the far post with an excellent floated cross, and the striker headed home from close range.
Shortly after the second goal, the Avenue midfielder Richard Marshall was hoping to replicate one of his spectacular strikes from the previous season, but his 20 yard effort stung the gloves of the Motormen goalkeeper Zac Jones.
Nevertheless, the hosts came close to reducing the Avenue’s lead.
Firstly, a deep cross from substitute Steve Wainwright found Chris Noone, but his low shot was saved by Lamb from close range. Then, left-back Louis Barnes delivered a dangerous cross to the unmarked Danny Fearnehough, who headed wide from close range.
John Deacey, the Avenue manager, was thrilled with the victory and praised Jason St Juste for his contribution:
“One to eleven worked very hard and delivered an excellent performance to get us a result at a hard place to get three points. St Juste hasn’t played for a while and made both goals so I’m very pleased.”
The Avenue’s Nicky Boshell was happy with the win over tough opponents:
“I thought we played very well today and the lads were buzzing with a clean sheet.”
Vauxhall Motors: Jones, Fearnehough, Barnes, Hannigan (capt), Nicholas, Noone (Hughes 84), Clair, Williams (Rutter 45) Tames, Ellams (Wainwright 76), Kosylo.
Subs not used: Stott, Martindale.
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Price, Knowles, Marshall, Clayton, Boshell, Howarth, Hotte (capt), Walker, Deacey, St Juste.
Subs not used: Maxfield, Corner, Clamp, Grayson, Hume.
Scorers: Walker (37), (59).
Referee: M Amphlett
Photo’s By John Rhodes