Match Report: Bradford (Park Avenue) 0 – 3 Kidderminster Harriers

Bradford (Park Avenue) showed signs of improvement but couldn’t prevent a third defeat of the season against Kidderminster Harriers.

Marcus Law led the team out for the first time since his interim appointment, however goals from Corey Davidson, Reece Williams and Ashley Chambers saw Kidderminster take all three points from a blustery Horsfall Stadium.

French centre-back Nelson Digbeu made his debut from the start, while fellow new recruit Amos Kabeya was among the substitutes after the pair were announced as available for the match just hours before kick-off.

Conditions were tricky in Bradford, and with Avenue playing against the wind in the first period, Law’s side struggled to enjoy and substantial periods of pressure. 

Both sides were still adjusting to the elements when the visitors took the lead, the ball falling to left back Davidson, whose low, angled strike from just inside the box zipped into Charlie Andrew’s bottom left-hand corner.

Moments later, Isaac Marriott caused the first sight of danger for Avenue from outside the box, fizzing a low strike comfortably wide of the post. 

Skipper Ben Hedley then forced visiting goalkeeper Cameron Gregory into his first piece of action, pushing a well-struck free-kick round the post, with Alex Hurst firing over from the resulting corner.

Ryan Johnson glanced a header well wide for Harriers, before Davidson tried his luck once more, a powerful free-kick deflecting wide off the wall.

A set-piece did however ultimately lead to Avenue’s downfall, the hosts failed to clear Weeks’ corner and Liverpool loanee Williams headed into the top corner.

Kidderminster were looking to extend their lead even further before the break, but some brave defending saw Richard Peniket and Ed Williams unable to finish, Jon Moran at the heart of the action with a terrific block.

The game restarted in an open manner, Lewis Knight dragging a shot wide after another dangerous burst into the box, before blocks from Digbeu and Moran kept out Peniket and Chambers.

Peniket then thought he’d got on the scoresheet as he brought down a floated long ball and found the bottom corner, but the linesman’s flag denied him despite the former Halifax forward’s protests.

Avenue were clinging onto the game as Chambers ran through and should have scored, but a tremendous save from Charlie Andrew saw his powerful effort tipped away, before Peniket ran clear on the right but could only find the side-netting.

Hurst then put in a dangerous low cross which was deflected just behind substitute Kabeya, before Andrew was again on hand to deny Sam Austin at the other end.

The hosts huffed and puffed, but the game was made completely secure in the 87th minute, as Chambers went one-on-one with Moran and managed to squeeze a shot past the Bradford defender and an on-rushing Andrew.

Knight could have opened Avenue’s account for the season in stoppage time, as Hurst’s floated ball over the top found him deep inside the Kidderminster area, but his prodded effort went comfortably over the bar.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Andrew, Lund, Hinds, Marriott, Digbeu, Moran, Hurst, Hedley (C, Holmes 68), Hakeem (Kabeya 60), Knight, Clarke (Dockerty 68)

Subs not used: Croft, Wright

Bookings: Knight (44), Hedley (60), Moran (77)

Kidderminster Harriers: Gregory, Austin, Davidson (Higginson 63), R. Williams, Moyo (C), Johnson, Weeks, Butterfield (Prosser 89), Chambers (Scott 90+3), E. Williams, Peniket

Subs not used: Mountjoy, Lewth

Goals: Davidson (14), R. Williams (39), Chambers (87)

Bookings: Davidson (45+3), Weeks

Attendance: 379