Match Report: Avenue 2-4 Morpeth

Bradford (Park Avenue) crashed out of the FA Cup with a frustrating home defeat to Morpeth Town.

Riccardo Calder had equalised after Joe Walton opened the scoring, but new signing Dan Sweeney missed a crucial chance, with Sean Reid firing the visitors in front moments later.

Josh Heaton was sent off for two yellow cards just after the hour, and Reid fired his second from the resulting free-kick to sink Bradford. Walton added his second late on before Brad Dockerty – who twice struck the woodwork – added a consolation, his third goal in three games.

Avenue were afforded a great chance to open the scoring with less than five minutes on the clock, as the referee adjudged Morpeth to have played a backpass, but from the indirect free-kick Calder could only fire the ball over the bar.

And with their first foray into Bradford’s third, the visitors took the lead through Sean Reid.

Captain Wayne Phillips played in Liam Henderson, who controlled the ball and managed to hold off both Mitch Lund and Rhys Taylor, before finding Joe Walton who finished confidently into the bottom corner.

Calder was causing a lot of problems down the left, and he got on the end of a long ball, his near post effort well saved by Dan Lowson.

Moments later, Avenue struck the woodwork through the in-form Brad Dockerty. He picked up a pass from Marcus Wood and worked some space in the area, his low, left-footed strike cannoning off the foot of the post.

And finally all Avenue’s possession and pressure paid off as Calder levelled the scores on the end of a fantastic move.

Bradford advanced down the left and the full-back played a brilliant one-two with Sweeney before finishing brilliantly into the bottom corner with a powerful finish.

Sweeney should have doubled the advantage with Avenue on top, Alex Hurst doing brilliantly down the left before cutting back for the Solihull loanee, but he planted his first time finish wide of the post from just six yards out.

Just three minutes later, Bradford were made to pay as Morpeth regained the lead. Sean Taylor picked up a loose ball on the right and delivered a teasing cross to the back post which Reid powered into the net with his head.

Avenue had the first sniff of a second half which started much scrappier than the first, Lewis Knight latching on to Hurst’s ball over the top, but a good tackle from Chris Reid denied the shooting opportunity.

And from the resulting free kick, Reid brilliantly fired the ball into the top corner, giving Taylor absolutely no chance.

The goal and sending off killed off Avenue’s hopes of a comeback, with quality dropping as Marcus Law threw players on chasing a goal.

Dockerty struck the post for the second time with just over five minutes to play, getting in on the right with his shot across goal tipped onto the woodwork, before Ryan Cresswell completely fluffed the rebound.

The visitors then struck the frame of the goal themselves, as Taylor beat away Shabz Mohammed’s free kick, with Jack Foalle heading the loose ball onto the bar.

Walton added his second and his side’s fourth with two minutes to play, taking aim from range with his shot possibly taking a deflection which wrong-footed Taylor and saw the ball nestle in the bottom corner.

Pretty much straight from kick-off, Avenue pulled one back, Dockerty doing well on the left before angling a shot into the corner across the goal with his weaker foot, but it was a mere consolation.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Taylor, Bazeley, Calder, Wood (c, Holmes 67), Lund, Heaton, Knight (Cresswell 74), Marriott (Johnson 69), Sweeney, Hurst, Dockerty

Subs not used: Gibbons, Bennett, Moran

Goals: Calder (25), Dockerty (89)

Booked: Heaton (55), Lund (86), Hurst (90+1)

Sent off: Heaton (63)

Morpeth Town: Lowson, Forster, C.Reid (Mohammed 55), Phillips (c), J.Henderson, Turner, Taylor, Hodgson, L.Henderson (Foalle 72), S.Reid (McKeown 78), Walton

Subs not used: Harmison, Potter, Giles, Wilson

Goals: Walton (9, 88), S.Reid (35, 65)

Referee: Matt Scholes

Attendance: 217

Words: Joe Cockburn
Image: John Rhodes