The Avenue started well as the rain cleared in time for kick-off. With players playing in unfamiliar positions, Jordan Windass crossed the ball from his right wing but Adam Nowakowski’s header was saved by Matt Urwin from eight yards.
The away side weathered the early storm and started to create plenty of chances themselves. Looking to their number nine Harry Cardwell, the Magpies worked the ball into his feet on several occasions but he was denied by Dan Atkinson.
Then, the striker had two great opportunities to give his side the lead. One header was saved expertly at the near post and another from a corner went wide, despite being unmarked in the penalty area.
As the half went on, it was Mark Bower’s men who could’ve opened the scoring. Isaac Marriott dribbled past three players and his final shot was pushed wide by Urwin from 20 yards.
Shortly after, Jamie Lyons was unlucky not to score. An excellent cross from Windass was toe-poked by the Academy starlet towards goal, forcing Urwin into another fine save from close range.
After the break, Chorley FC were quick out of the blocks and took the game to the hosts.
Within the opening couple of minutes, Elliott Newby tried to catch Atkinson out at his near post but the Avenue number one made a fine save with his outstretched leg.
Then, a big moment in the game saw striker Connor Hall brought down, 30 yards from goal, by Atkinson. The referee went to speak to his assistant and the goalkeeper a yellow card.
A few minutes later, defender Lewis Baines found himself in the penalty area, but his header from a Newby cross flashed wide from 12 yards.
The Avenue, having not conceded, grew in confidence and nearly broke the deadlock. Jake Hibbs pulled the ball back from the right wing to substitute Lewis Knight, who tapped the ball into the feet of Windass, but the winger’s right-footed shot was saved by Urwin.
Then, a second game-changing decision saw Atkinson give away a penalty, after bringing down Hall inside the box. Substitute Lewis Reilly stepped up and Atkinson, somehow, made a stunning save to his right and got back up to make an equally impressive block from the rebound.
With the final whistle approaching, the Avenue nearly snatched a dramatic winner.
Harry Boyes, once again impressing in the white and green jersey, received a neat pass from Nicky Clee, and the left back’s effort took a deflection which brushed past the post from 14 yards.
Bradford (Park Avenue): Atkinson, Ross, Boyes, Marriott, Havern (c), Lund, Toulson, Hibbs, Nowakowski (Knight 46), Windass (Downing 80), Lyons (Clee 52)
Sub not used: Fawcett
Chorley FC: Urwin, Birch, Walker, Halls, Leather (c), Baines, Shenton (Reilly 70), Calveley, Cardwell, Hall, Newby (Conn-Clarke 64)
Subs not used: Smith, Marah, Garrett
Referee: Aaron Bannister