Mark Bower’s Bradford (Park Avenue) side returned to action at the Horsfall Stadium with a visit from Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley’s Chester FC side, looking for their first win of 2019.
It took barely 30 seconds for Bradford to open the scoring, and a bizarre goal it was. Lewis Knight’s cross looked to have gone out, however Jake Beesley played to the whistle and tapped in to score the opening goal.
Chester looked to get back on terms immediately. Anthony Dudley received the ball with his back to goal and his snapshot deflected wide with Charlie Andrew rooted to the spot.
Around ten minutes later Bradford’s young stopper was at it again. A brilliant save when Dudley was bearing down on goal preserved Avenue’s slender, early advantage.
Bradford’s next chance came courtesy of Knight. His 40 yard free-kick had plenty of movement and went all the way through but just wide, although a Bradford man was adjudged offside.
This time it was Daniel Mooney’s turn to test Andrew. A ball slipped inside was driven towards goal by the visiting winger, but Andrew stuck out a boot and ensured his clean-sheet was still intact.
Bradley Jackson was next to come close for Chester. He kept the ball in well ahead of Macaulay Langstaff, his curling left-footed effort was flicked on but unfortunately for them dropped just wide of the far post.
Another Charlie Andrew saved proved to be the catalyst for a second Bradford goal, as little over a minute later Jake Beesley had Grant Shenton retrieving the ball from the back of his net a second time.
Jackson’s slack pass was intercepted by the onrushing Beesley, who bore down on Shenton’s goal, who despite making a good initial save, couldn’t make the second one as he struck his second of the game.
Two could well have become three, five minutes before the break. Langstaff found himself free at the back post but his volley was thrashed over after the opportunity was worked by Knight.
Knight was central to the action again, the first chance of the second-half came from the winger. Mark Ross’ inch-perfect cross was met by Knight who’s volley never stopped rising.
Then, Chester looked to come back into it once more. A corner – the first of many in the second-half – was headed over by George Waring as the signs looked a little more promising.
With 18 minutes to go, two nearly became three again. Alex Hurst found himself in a good position, and from a tight angle looked to shoot across Shenton who made a good save at the near post.
Danny Livesey looked to get his side a goal, the first of a few headers from the on-loan Salford City defender dropped just wide of Andrew’s goal.
Beesley – on for a hattrick – will have been disappointing not to seal one, when a ball was swung in but the Bradford striker couldn’t make the desired connection as the game showed no signs of slowing down.
With five minutes to go, Livesey could have put his name on the score sheet but for a great intervention from Jamie Spencer, who heads it off the line, with Andrew beaten.
However that proved to be that, as Bradford secured their first win of 2019 to end a bad run of form.
Bradford (Park Avenue):
Andrew, Ross, Clee (Crichlow-Noble 69′), Hurst, Killock, Havern, Knight (Toulson 90′), Nowakowski, Beesley, Langstaff (East 67′), Spencer
Shenton, Jackson, Waters, Burton, Livesey, Howson, Mahon (Murray 73′), Roberts, Waring, Dudley, Mooney (Marsh-Hughes 73′)