Bradford (Park Avenue) suffered their first defeat during their pre-season against Whitby Town at the Turnbull Ground.
The game was delayed by 15 minutes due to traffic problems, with some of the Avenue players arriving late. John Deacey was missing Adam Clayton, Alex Davidson and Matty James, and Tom Greaves was ruled out by a hamstring problem.
In a first half that was full of endeavour, there was a lack of real goalscoring opportunities. The first chance fell to Bradford’s captain Rob O’Brien, but, his placed shot from 12 yards was easily saved by Nick Liversedge.
Shortly before the clock read 15 minutes, the visitors saw a goal disallowed. A fine pass over the top of the defence by Nathan Hotte found the run of Jamie Jackson, only for the linesman to raise his flag to award an offside decision. The pacy forward neatly chipped the ball over Liversedge from 10 yards, but, the referee blew his whistle.
The home side responded, as Graeme Armstrong picked out his midfielder David McTiernan, only for his fine right footed shot to be saved well by Tim Deasy from 12 yards.
One of the best chances for Bradford came from a corner. Jordan Deacey flighted a delivery towards the penalty spot, and Jackson rose to powerfully head the ball, forcing Liversedge into a magnificent save to tip the ball over the bar.
The away side continued to create opportunities, but, failed to convert their chances. John Deacey and Mark Hume could only lean on the back of the dugout, watching Jordan Deacey’s dribble and shot from eight yards saved, Rob O’Brien’s powerful effort drag wide from 16 yards, and Danny Holland failing to hit the target from eight yards, blasting over the bar.
HALF TIME: WHITBY TOWN 0-0 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
The away side made two changes after the break, with Matt Dempsey and Paul Walker replacing Michael Duckworth and Rob O’Brien.
It only took two minutes for the Blue Square North outfit to open the scoring. A cross from the right wing was met by Danny Holland in the penalty area, and the striker steered his header past Nick Liversedge into the bottom corner.
After conceding that goal, it was Whitby Town who took control of the game.
Ten minutes later, Graeme Armstrong equalised for the home side. The striker met Nathan Evans’ cross from the left wing, and tapped the ball past Tim Deasy from five yards.
Furthermore, with an hour played, Nathan Mulligan gave his side the lead. Whitby’s winger Liam O’Mahoney turned inside Martin Drury and delivered a teasing cross into the box, and Mulligan nodded the ball, unmarked, past Tim Deasy.
The Avenue struggled to play their passing football, and failed to level the scores. There were attempts on goal, but both Danny Holland and Richard Marshall were unable to put the ball into the net, forcing good saves from Nick Liversedge.
With only four minutes remaining, Whitby Town extended their lead. The Avenue’s substitute Matt Dempsey tried to pass the ball to Jamie Jackson, but, it was intercepted by Mark Robinson, and the cross from the left back was struck first time by Callum Hussan past Tim Deasy from eight yards.
FULL TIME: WHITBY TOWN 3-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Whitby Town: Liversedge, Wilson (Williams 73), Robinson, Burgess, White (James 66), Portas, McTiernan, Tait (Evans 55), Armstrong (Hussan 63), Mulligan (Snaith 63), O’Mahoney.
Sub not used: Campbell.
Scorers: Armstrong (57), Mulligan (60), Hussan (86)
Bradford (Park Avenue): Deasy, Duckworth (Dempsey 45), Drury, O’Brien (Walker 45), Knowles, Riley, Jackson, Hotte, Holland, Deacey, Marshall.
Subs not used: Higginson, Greaves
Scorer: Holland (47)