Bradford Thwarted By Late Equaliser

Bradford succumbed to a late equaliser for the second consecutive game as Hemsworth Miners Welfare salvaged a draw.

Once again, Mark Bower fielded two different sides in each half as he continues to assess his squad ahead of the 2018/19 season. Ten trialists featured over the course of the 90 minutes and Academy talents Matthew Rowntree and Hassan Ali both made appearances. New recruit Danny Lowe was also introduced after the break to give him his first outing in a Bradford shirt.

The hosts, managed by former Horsfall stalwart Wayne Benn, won a series of corners in the opening exchanges and pinned Bradford in their 18-yard box for a prolonged spell.

It wasn’t long, however, before the National League North side found their stride and began to ask questions of the Hemsworth backline. A trialist will have been disappointed to have struck into the Hemsworth goalkeeper’s midriff after rounding the right-back.

Nicky Clee, despite operating at left-back, offered glimpses of his attacking potency with some marauding runs and neat exchanges around the opposition’s 18-yard box. A particularly slick exchange with a trialist opened space for him to shoot from around 20-yards but the effort was blocked.

Ben McKenna forced a defender to hook clear a teasing cross from the right as pressure began to mount on Hemsworth, and Clee forced the opposition’s stopper to scramble across his goal to save a well-struck effort from distance.

After a period of sustained Bradford pressure, the threat that the hosts posed became apparent as the half-time interval drew near. Hemsworth’s right winger whipped in a dangerous delivery from the right that longed for the slightest of touches to poke it over the line, but it eluded the on-rushing forward.

HALF-TIME: Hemsworth Miners Welfare 0-0 Bradford (PA)

Bradford flew out of the blocks after the interval and were fired into the lead by a trialist after just two minutes. He tucked the ball away in the bottom corner with admirable composure after some neat build-up play.

The same trialist then almost netted his second, drifting wide to the left before audaciously attempting to chip the goalkeeper. His effort, however, clipped the woodwork and dropped behind for a goal-kick.

He then had another opportunity to add to his tally after bursting past Hemsworth’s centre-back pairing, but his low-drilled effort flew wide of the post.

A lapse in concentration from Danny Boshell then enabled a Hemsworth forward to disposses him and run at Adam Nowakowski, but the towering utility man challenged strongly.

As the game entered its final 20 minutes, Bradford continued to pin Hemsworth back and press forward in search of a two-goal cushion. Academy midfielder Hassan Ali’s struck the post with a low drive that, fortuitously for the goalkeeper, bounced into his arms.

The hosts soaked up the pressure before being rewarded for their patience in the 83rd minute, as a Hemsworth forward poked home following a brief scramble in the box to salvage a draw.

FULL-TIME: Hemsworth Miners Welfare 1-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Bradford’s next pre-season test sees them face EFL opposition in Mansfield Town on Thursday 12th July.