It was a much needed win for Bradford (Park Avenue) as they defeated Gloucester City 2-0 on the road to advance in the FA Trophy.
Goals from Isiah Bazeley and Alex Hurst sealed the win for the Avenue in what was their first victory in 6 games.
Bradford showed intent from the first whistle and very much deserved the victory having more possession and the better chances throughout.
Man of the Match Reece Staunton, the 17 year old debutant on loan from Bradford City, set the tone for his performance early on, with a brilliant tackle of Gloucester’s Myrie-Williams who looked to be through on goal to keep the score at 0-0.
Avenue pushed on from this and in the 16th minute they were rewarded when they were given a free kick from around 25 yards out. Lewis Knight took the free kick and his effort struck the post, fortunately for Avenue the opportunity didn’t entirely go to waste as the ball then fell to Isiah Bazeley who calmly struck the ball through Gloucester keeper Will Henry to give Avenue to the lead.
Bradford gained confidence from taking the lead and minutes later could have doubled their advantage when Oli Johnson raced through on goal, but his strike at a tight angle was well saved by Henry.
Then on the 22nd minute Gloucester were handed a penalty, with the ref judging Green to have connected with Marlon Jackson when he was going for the ball. Luckily for Avenue Green saved the spot kick before also saving a diving header from Hanks on the rebound — a superb double save that seemed to give Avenue even more momentum for the remaining minutes.
Avenue continued to dominate possession from then on, but chances were few and far between — the closest coming for Gloucester when a speculative effort by Myriel-Williams from around 25 yards out hit the bar when it looked to have been dipping in.
But it was Bradford who scored the 2nd and vital goal in the 83rd minute. Alex Hurst, on the break, raced into the Gloucester box and cut inside leaving Hammilton for dead and his shot — which took a deflection going in — hit the back of the net to spark jubilant scenes for the Avenue who sealed their first victory in more than a month in what must be a major confidence booster for Mark Bower’s side.
1 Green 2 Bazeley 3 Staunton 4 Lowe 5 Nowakowski 6 Priestley 7 Knight 8 Toulson 9 Johnson 10 Hurst 11 Marriott
12 Lyons 13 Dickinson 14 Boshell 16 Johnson
1 Henry 2 Thomas 3 Harper 4 Hamilton 5 Daly 6 Russe 7 Parker 8 Hanks 9 Jackson 10 Robert 11 Myrie-Williams
12 Jackson 14 Avery 15 Hainault 16 Johnstone 17 Smith