Academy Report: Avenue 2-5 Eccleshill

Bradford Park Avenue’s Academy slipped to defeat in their second game of the season, as an impressive Eccleshill United side ran out victorious at the Horsfall Stadium.

Two goals late in the first half saw Avenue go in at the break 2-0 down, but looked in the ascendency just after the restart when Jordan Botwood pulled one back.

A number of missed chances followed before the visitors retook their two-goal advantage, Andre Tavernier pulling one back in the last 10 minutes to give Bradford hope but a further two late strikes created a larger scoreline than the hosts deserved.

The game started slowly as both sides adjusted to the wet conditions at Horsfall, though the visitors should have scored when a free header from a corner was planted straight at Alfie Stevens-Neale.

Just a minute later Avenue almost broke the deadlock, Tavernier forcing Stevens-Neale’s opposite number into a smart save at his near post.

Tavernier then forced another save from the visiting goalkeeper as he was played in by an excellent through ball by Tanvir Ali.

Both stoppers were on top form as Stevens-Neale made an excellent save low to his right, before doing brilliantly to deny what looked a certain goal as the away side got in on goal.

Another good save from a one-on-one followed before Bradford’s goalkeeper was finally beaten, the ball falling to Eccleshill’s number nine in the six yard box and he finished well.

And then right on half time, the visitors had a second as a cross came in from the right and the impressive number seven swept home.

Avenue came out fighting after the break though and pulled one back almost instantly, half time substitute Botwood latching onto another Ali pass before finishing neatly into the bottom corner.

Brad Oliver and Callum West both shot wide from good areas as the away side looked shaky but Alex Meechan’s men couldn’t take advantage and soon found themselves chasing a two-goal defecit once more.

It was an error that brought about the goal, a throw-in being taken back to Stevens-Neale who had the ball nicked from him by the number nine, the striker then with the simplest of tasks to make it 3-1.

Tavernier controlled well in the area and hit one just over the bar, before Matthew Rowntree’s excellent corner was headed just over by Botwood.

Avenue wasted two good chances as the game headed towards its closing stages, West and Hassan Ali both failing to convert after miskicks from the Eccleshill goalkeeper.

Tavernier did pull one back with six minutes to play in spectacular fashion, picking the ball up on the right and cutting inside before finding the bottom corner from 25 yards.

However it was all in vain as Bradford were exposed chasing an equaliser when the number seven rifled in at the near post to seal the victory.

And he was involved again as they added a fifth right on the full time whistle, rounding Stevens-Neale before squaring for a teammate to grab an easy finish.

Next up for Meechan’s youngsters is their first tie in the English Colleges FA league, hosting Hanson Academy at Grange Technology College with a 1.30pm kick-off on Wednesday.


Bradford Park Avenue U19: Stevens-Neale, R.Hall, Ridley, J.Hall, Johnson, Sewell, H.Ali, T.Ali, Oliver, Tavernier, West

Substitutes (rolling): Rowntree, Carter, Athey, Botwood, Gill

Goals: Botwood (47), Tavernier (84)

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