Match Report: Avenue 1-1 Spennymoor

A late equaliser from Adam Boyes denied Bradford (Park Avenue) a second win of the season against Spennymoor Town.

Former Bradford striker Boyes netted in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time to cancel out Brad Dockerty’s opener – his second in two games.

Avenue were left to rue missed chances as Lewis Knight could have had a hat-trick, but visiting goalkeeper Matthew Gould was in fine form.

Josh Heaton was brought straight into a line-up which also included a returning Rhys Taylor and Dockerty, following his goal off the bench last time out at Boston.

Avenue started quickly, winning a corner within 13 seconds, but it was the visitors who had the first attempt at goal, Andrew Johnson cutting inside, but his curled effort flashed past the post.

Law’s side were picking up a lot of loose balls and sloppy moments from the Spennymoor midfield, and one of those allowed them to grab the opener.

Marcus Wood picked up a loose ball and drove forward, waiting for the perfect moment to draw the defender out and slip in Dockerty, who just about managed to squeeze his shot under Gould and into the back of the net.

New signing Heaton was making a clear difference at the back, and he was called upon to make a key block as Johnson latched onto a long throw, with the ball looking destined to ripple the back of the net.

Then it was Taylor, returning after sitting out two games with a calf injury, who needed to be at his best, doing brilliantly to tip over as James Roberts struck powerfully towards the top corner from a tight angle.

Spennymoor started to see more of the ball but couldn’t get through a stern Avenue formation, and it was actually the hosts who should have extended their lead just before the break.

The hosts got a corner cleared and Wood played a brilliant ball over the top to Lewis Knight. His touch was excellent to take him through one-on-one with Gould, but his low finish was weak and was denied by the goalkeeper’s outstretched leg.

And Gould foiled Knight once more just after the interval. Avenue broke in numbers, led again by Wood, and he slipped in the winger whose powerful strike was acrobatically tipped over the bar by the visiting goalkeeper.

Knight was left disappointed though when he finally beat Gould, latching onto a brilliant Alex Hurst pass, and an excellent first touch saw him get past the goalkeeper, but he could only find the side netting with his finish from a tight angle.

Moments later the visitors came oh so close to drawing level, as Andrew Johnson met a corner with a thumping header which rattled the crossbar.

Taylor then had to be alert to tip away Johnson’s effort and the ball almost fell for Boyes, but it got stuck under his feet and Avenue scrambled it away.

The goalkeeper made a good double save denying Roberts and Johnson, before the pick of the bunch with 10 minutes left on the clock.

A shot had come in from Johnson and substitute Gavin Cogdon flicked it on from inside the six yard box, but Taylor reacted phenomenally to tip the ball over the bar.

Bradford were clinging on as Spennymoor had a huge number of late corners, Taylor tipping over from Nathan Buddle, and the sickening equaliser eventually came in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

A high ball in was headed down by Robert Ramshaw, and Boyes was unmarked six yards from goal, free to prod the ball past a helpless Taylor and rescue a point for the visitors.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Taylor, Bazeley, Calder, Wood (c), Lund, Heaton, Knight (Holmes 65), Marriott, Dockerty (Johnson 62), Hurst, Headley (Cresswell 73)

Subs not used: Gibbons, Bennett

Goal: Dockerty (11)

Booked: Bazeley (30), Johnson (83)

Spennymoor Town: Gould, Williams (Hibbs 50), Brogan, Chandler, Buddle, Curtis (c), McKenna, Ramshaw, Boyes, Roberts (Cogdon 76), Johnson

Subs not used: Mason, Atkinson, Webb

Goal: Boyes (90+5)

Referee: Andy Sykes

Attendance: 402

Words: Joe Cockburn
Image: John Rhodes