Bradford (Park Avenue) battled it out with Blyth Spartans on Saturday afternoon at Croft Park, producing an exciting FA Cup showdown that ended in a hard-fought 1-1 draw. The result has set the stage for an eagerly anticipated second qualifying round replay at the Horsfall Stadium on Monday evening.
Kick Off is at 7:45pm, and gates open at 6:30pm. Adults will pay just £13 entry, Concessions are in at £10, Students with a valid ID pay just £5, Youth (12-17) is just £3, and u12s go completely free!
MATCH REPORT –
The match kicked off with both teams showing their intent to get on the front foot. Blyth Spartans, led by Graham Fenton, initiated the action, with Will McGowan’s involvement instrumental in crafting two early attacks. However, these promising openings failed to materialise into a real threat on George Sykes-Kenworthy’s goal.
Bradford (Park Avenue) faced an early setback when Jak Whiting had to be substituted due to injury in the 13th minute, with Lewis Hey stepping in.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 22nd minute when persistent work from Elliot Forbes on the right flank allowed him to deliver an enticing cross into the penalty area. The ensuing scramble saw Jack Bodenham unleash a venomous left-footed strike into the bottom left corner, leaving Sykes-Kenworthy with no chance.
As the first half progressed, JJ Hooper had a fantastic opportunity to double the lead but narrowly missed the target with a header from a Michael Liddle cross. Moments later, Alex Mitchell was forced into a terrific point-blank save by Will Longbottom.
Avenue continued to grow into the game, with Jordan Preston narrowly missing the target after a set-piece situation and Cedric Main steering a strike wide of the far corner. However, Spartans held their 1-0 lead going into halftime.
Half-time: Blyth Spartans 1-0 Bradford (Park Avenue)
The second half kicked off with a flowing move in the early minutes, but Main failed to connect cleanly with his shot. Bradford’s Brad Dockerty then came close to equalising, hitting the side netting from an acute angle in the penalty area.
Cedric Main had several attempts for Blyth Spartans but couldn’t find the target, including a lofted effort and a powerful strike over the crossbar. As the match progressed, momentum shifted in favour of Bradford (Park Avenue).
Alex Mitchell made a sharp low save to deny Preston before having to be alert again to keep out the Park Avenue number 10. Preston continued to threaten and, on the 74th minute, glanced a header off the post from close range after connecting with Harry Colville’s cross.
In the 82nd minute, Bradford (Park Avenue) found their equaliser in an unconventional manner. Harry Colville’s first-time cross-cum-shot from 35 yards on the right-hand side looped over Alex Mitchell to level the scoreline.
As the match concluded, both Main and substitute Harry Arnison had golden opportunities to test Sykes-Kenworthy, but they couldn’t find the target.
The encounter finished level, setting the stage for a replay on Monday evening at the Horsfall Stadium.
Full-time: Blyth Spartans 1-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)
Referee: Elliott Swallow