A late header from Steve Mallory gave Bradford (Park Avenue) their first victory in The Skrill North, with a win against Worcester City at Aggborough on Non League Day.
The visitors took the lead as Paul Walker’s low effort went through the legs of Worcester City goalkeeper Jose Veiga. However, Ethan Moore equalised before Mallory scored his second goal in two appearances to leave Kidderminster with three points.
John Deacey gave a debut to Scott Maxfield in place of Jason St Juste at left back. Also, Chib Chilaka returned from injury to replace Ross Daly, and Louie Swain was rewarded with an impressive second half performance against Oxford City with a starting role as Tom Corner dropped to the bench.
The Avenue created the first opportunity on goal. A neat flick from Swain found Maxfield and the left back struck a low effort that was well saved by Jose Veiga from 25 yards.
Two minutes later, the away side won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. A delivery from Maxfield was headed over by centre back Steve Mallory at the far post.
However, the home side responded with two opportunities of their own. Following several passes, Danny Glover struck a right-footed shot into the hands of goalkeeper John Lamb from 20 yards. Furthermore, City nearly took the lead but captain Tom Thornley’s strike from 25 yards went narrowly wide of the post.
Paul Walker was alert to give the Avenue an early advantage. The visitors’ midfielder Alex Davidson played a fine through ball to his captain Nathan Hotte, but his effort was deflected into the feet of the winger and his powerful strike went through the legs of Veiga from 20 yards.
Shortly after, John Deacey’s men had two attempts to extend their one goal advantage. Firstly, Walker’s delivery was met by James Knowles, but his diving header brushed the side-netting from six yards. Secondly, the Avenue striker Louie Swain, on loan from Bradford City, received a through ball and his left-footed effort struck the bottom of the post.
Again, the home side continued to search for an equaliser. A free kick found centre back Graham Hutchison, who was able to get above his marker Adam Clayton, but Lamb produced an excellent save to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Before half time, the visitors were unable to score a second goal. The Avenue midfielder Richard Marshall saw his 35 yard strike nearly find the top corner. Then, Worcester City defender Exodus Geohaghon had his pass intercepted, but Davidson’s weak effort was easily saved by Veiga.
HALF TIME: WORCESTER CITY 0-1 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
After the break, Luke Hubbins replaced Ashley Sammons for the home side.
Within seconds, both teams nearly added a goal to the scoreboard. Firstly, the Avenue striker Chib Chilaka could not find a way past Veiga from 16 yards. From his save, Worcester City were quick to play the ball into the feet of striker Daniel Nti, but his right-footed effort flew over the bar from 14 yards.
However, the Avenue defence could not prevent an equaliser. A one-two between Glover and Geohagon allowed the winger to cross, and Moore converted home from close range.
From a corner, the visitors came close to regaining the advantage as Walker delivered the ball into the penalty area and Chilaka headed the ball against the crossbar. Shortly after the header from Chilaka, Walker struck a low effort from 25 yards, but Veiga produced a fine save to push the ball wide.
John Deacey decided to make two substitutions as Chris Howarth and Ross Daly replaced Chib Chilaka and Louie Swain.
With full time approaching, the Avenue scored a late winner. Another corner from Walker was met by Mallory who nodded the ball past Veiga to the delight of the travelling Avenue supporters.
FULL TIME: WORCESTER CITY 1-2 BRADFORD (PARK AVENUE)
Worcester City: Veiga, G. Williams, Deeney, Thorley (capt), Hutchison (Walker 70), Geohaghon, Glover, Sammons (Hubbins 45), Nti, Rooney (A. Williams 70), Moore.
Subs not used: D.Williams, Sargeant.
Scorer: Moore (60)
Bradford (Park Avenue): Lamb, Clayton, Maxfield, Marshall, Knowles, Mallory, Chilaka (Daly 65), Hotte (capt), Swain (Howarth 80), Davidson, Walker.
Subs not used: Corner, Clamp, St Juste.
Scorers: Walker (17), Mallory (86)