Makeshift Bradford Side Beaten By Brighouse

A makeshift Bradford (Park Avenue) side suffered a heavy defeat to Brighouse Town in the second round of the West Riding County Cup.

Bradford’s starting eleven featured three scholars from the Horsfall College of Sport and four were named as substitutes.

It took just four minutes for Brighouse to take the lead, opening the scoring through Gabriel Johnson’s well-struck free-kick.

The lead was doubled shortly after when Marley Grant capped off a slick attacking move with a composed finish that left Jack Atkinson helpless.

Atkinson did, however, make a crucial save to deny Mohammed Ibrahim at point blank range after the forward connected with a cross from the right.

The Bradford stopper’s palms were then stung by Rhys Jenkinson, who struck low but was thwarted by the goalkeeper.

Bradford first opportunity of the evening fell to stand-in skipper Adam Nowakowski, who raced in to capitalise on a rebound when Matt Smith parried Ben McKenna’s strike. He managed to reach the ball ahead of a scrambling Smith, but the goalkeeper managed to beat away the effort.

The energetic hosts then added a third when Ibrahim fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the 18-yard box.

The third goal seemed to rally Bradford, who pulled one back just a minute after conceding. Danny Boshell delivered from the left and Nowakowski escaped his marker before steering a header past Smith.

Nowakowski almost netted his second mere minutes later but his curling shot failed to beat Smith.

Another opportunity then fell Nowakowski’s way when Chris Dawson found him with a defence-splitting pass, but the Bradford man lifted his effort into Smith’s clutches.

Alex Hurst found himself in a promising position after accelerating away from Sam Wright, but his shot from the left-hand side of the box was blocked by Kurt Harris.

Nowakowski remained a threat to the Brighouse backline and was unlucky to see his thunderous piledriver rattle the woodwork before bouncing on the line and being hacked clear.

HALF-TIME: Brighouse Town 3-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Brighouse had no intentions of simply defending their lead and continued to pile bodies forward after the break. Rhys Jenkinson surged forward down the right flank and pulled the trigger but blasted over the crossbar.

Town then added to their advantage when Jack Normanton latched on to Finn Donovan’s delivery and steered past Atkinson.

The confidence of the hosts was evident as they embarked on a hunt for a fifth goal immediately after scoring. Atkinson was forced to react quickly and palm away Harris’ flick before the ball was hacked clear by Joseph Ockerby.

Donovan lifted a cross in from the right and found substitute Ellis Nicholls, but his header found the wrong side of the post.

Bradford scholar Jordan Botwood was introduced in the second-half and drifted into space on the edge of the box but couldn’t find the target with his shot after being teed up by Lewis Knight.

Vill Powell’s side struck again with just two minutes remaining on the clock when James Hurtley headed into Ibrahim’s path, allowing him to fire past Atkinson from close-range.

FULL-TIME: Brighouse Town 5-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Brighouse Town: Smith, Jenkinson, Wright, Jones (Nicholls 45’), Harris, Hurtley, Grant (Donovan 60’), Heeley (c), Ibrahim, Johnson (Normanton 63’), Thomas.

Unused substitutes: Haigh, Robinson.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Atkinson, Toulson, Ridley, Rowntree, Holmes, Spencer (Knight 45’), McKenna (Botwood 60’), Boshell, Nowakowski (c), Dawson (Ockerby 66’), Hurst.

Unused substitutes: Garside, Mayfield.

Referee: Jamie Rhodes