Match Report: Alfreton Town 4-0 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Bradford (Park Avenue) fell to a fifth defeat of the season thanks to a 4-0 loss away at Alfreton Town.

A first-half brace from Amari Morgan-Smith was followed up by a Danny Clarke strike and a Mitchell Lund own goal in the second period to condemn Avenue to yet another heavy loss in the National League North.

Akeem Hinds had a goal ruled out for offside and Lewis Knight saw a goalbound effort tipped onto the bar but Bradford were second best for the majority of a difficult afternoon at North Street.

The visitors actually started the game on the front foot playing down the slope at Alfreton, but that was all undone when Ben Hedley sold debutant and captain Rhys Taylor short with a backpass, Morgan-Smith nipping in and rounding the goalkeeper for the easiest of finishes.

Alfreton had a couple of penalty appeals waved away as the game slowed down, Knight hitting a free-kick which flicked off the wall and landed just over the bar.

Bradford then found the back of the net with a well-worked goal, Alex Hurst slipping in Hinds who finished confidently under former Avenue stopper Jack Atkinson, only for a dubious linesman’s flag to rule him out.

Moments later and the referee did point to the spot as Jon Moran pulled down Morgan-Smith, the striker picking himself up and sending Taylor the wrong way from 12 yards.

The hosts should have made it three just before the break as one full-back found the other, but Josh Wilde could only stab Josh Clackstone’s excellent ball over the bar.

Just after the interval, Clarke had a similar chance and found a similar fate, volleying over the bar from Wilde’s cross.

Bradford’s big chance came six minutes into the second period when Elliott Holmes’ low cross ran all the way through to half-time substitute Rod Orlando-Young, but he sliced his effort horribly wide.

And once again the visitors were stung as five minutes later, Alfreton capitalised on another mistake to extend their lead. It was Moran this time who underhit his backpass and Clarke ran through to make it 3-0.

Clackstone came close with an effort that skimmed the roof of the net, in between good saves from Taylor to deny Clarke and Morgan-Smith adding to their earlier efforts.

But with 15 minutes to play, Alfreton’s pressure paid off as Wilde’s cross from the left was deflected past a wrong-footed Taylor by Lund.

Avenue did strike the woodwork late on, Knight cutting inside before improvising a clipped effort which looked to have beaten Atkinson, only for the ‘keeper to preserve his clean sheet with an impressive fingertip save onto the top of the bar.

Alfreton Town: Atkinson, Clackstone, Wilde (c, Bacon 80), Lynch (Whitham 67), Killock, Qualter, Thacker, Smith, Clarke (Tomlinson 75), Morgan-Smith, Johnson

Subs not used: Blake, Williams

Goals: Morgan-Smith (12, 39P), Clarke (57), Lund (OG 74)

Booked: Clarke (43), Whitham (70)

Bradford (Park Avenue): Taylor (c), Hedley, Hinds (Orlando-Young 46), Lund, Cresswell, Moran, Marriott, Holmes, Hakeem (Clarke 62), Knight, Hurst

Subs not used: Bennett, Laird, Rathbone

Booked: Cresswell (31), Moran (39)

Referee: Michael Barlow

Attendance: 378