Bradford beaten in controversial derby

Bradford (Park Avenue) were condemned to their first league defeat since October 2018 by Guiseley, in a Yorkshire derby somewhat marred by controversy.

In contrasting fashion to the Boxing Day encounter, Guiseley carved open more opportunities than Bradford did in the early stages.

An in-swinging delivery from Alex Purver caused chaos in the box and Will Thornton and Kingsley James both saw efforts blocked in the midst of a goalmouth scramble.

Thornton came close again moments later, sending a glancing header agonisingly wide of the post after Andrew Halls delivered from the right.

Bradford, however, grew into the game and began to cause problems of their own as the half progressed.
Jake Beesley nodded into the path of Oli Johnson, who drew a save from Marcus Dewhurst with a low drive.
The visitors were then given another scare when Lewis Knight’s cross struck the crossbar before dropping behind for a goal-kick.

Guiseley remained in contention despite an increase in the frequency of Bradford’s attacks and another goalmouth scramble ensued on the half-hour mark. Several players saw shots blocked before Oli Johnson managed to blast clear.

Lions stopper Dewhurst was forced to pull off a magnificent save to deny Beesley, tipping his flicked header over the woodwork after the striker met Nicky Clee’s long-throw.

Minutes after his throw teed up Beesley, Clee found himself furiously appealing for a penalty after being bundled to the ground by Kingsley James. Despite the protests from an incensed group of Bradford players, the referee deemed the incident to have taken place outside of the box.

The deadlock was broken by Guiseley on the stroke of half-time when Kayode Odejayi met Alex Purver’s free-kick delivery and nodded beyond the outstretched glove of Drench.

HALF-TIME: Bradford (Park Avenue) 0-1 Guiseley

Dewhurst was called into action early in the first-half, being forced to deny Beesley with his left leg after the forward burst into the box and struck low.

The pinpoint accuracy of Purver’s crosses continued to cause Bradford problems in the second-half and he found Rowan Liburd with a particularly impressive one. The forward leapt above his marker to meet the delivery but directed his header wide.

Former Nethermoor favourite Johnson drew level with 25 minutes remaining on the clock, steering home from close-range after the ball fell kindly to him inside the box.

However, celebrations were short-lived as Guiseley’s advantage was restored just five minutes later. Liburd advanced before flicking beyond Drench and into the bottom corner.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Bradford substitute Jamie Spencer was shown a second yellow card following a scuffle with Niall Heaton. To the fury of the home supporters, the Lions defender didn’t receive his marching orders for his involvement in the fracas.

The ten-man hosts failed to trouble the visitors in the late stages, miscuing crosses and shots whilst struggling to find any sort of rhythm.

Guiseley’s lead was almost added to on the stroke of full-time, but Mark Ross denied Liburd with an excellent block in the 6-yard box.

FULL-TIME: Bradford (Park Avenue) 1-2 Guiseley

Bradford (Park Avenue): Drench, Toulson (Nowakowski 80’), Lowe, Hurst (Spencer 50’), Ross, Havern, Knight, Branson, Beesley, Johnson (c) (McKenna 82’), Clee.

Unused substitutes: Wroe, Killock.

Guiseley: Dewhurst, Moyo, Heaton, Purver, Thornton, Halls (c), Odejayi, James, Liburd, Hatfield, Smith (Felix 85’).

Unused substitutes: Green, Walsh, Walters, Clayton.

Referee: Paul Brown

Attendance: 665