McKenna Salvages Point Against Pilgrims

Bradford (Park Avenue) extended their unbeaten league run to eleven games with a 2-2 draw against Boston United.

The high-flying visitors raced out of the blocks, heaping pressure on a Boston side that seemed shell-shocked by the early bombardment of attacks.

Oli Johnson was denied by Pilgrims stopper George Willis at close-range before Alex Hurst’s follow-up was hooked off the line in dramatic fashion.

Lewis Knight demonstrated his willingness to drive at Boston’s backline with an incisive dart that took him past Ashley Jackson, but his low cross was collected by Willis.

The onslaught continued, and Johnson was unlucky to see his cross fail to be capitalised upon after reaching the byline and firing across the face of goal.

The Bradford talisman then saw a close-range effort kept out by the right leg of Willis before Nicky Wroe’s follow-up found the wrong side of the crossbar.

Willis was called into action again soon after, being forced to push Gianluca Havern’s header wide after the defender had connected with Lewis Knight’s free-kick delivery.

Boston did enjoy an opportunity of their own on the half-hour mark, but Gavin Allott’s shot from inside the 18-yard box cannoned off the outstretched leg of a sliding Shane Killock.

The visitors were rewarded for the intense pressure heaped upon the hosts in the 35th minute when Knight opened the scoring in sensational fashion. The in-form marksman lifted the ball over the head of Willis from a long-range free-kick to send the travelling supporters into a frenzy.

He then came close to doubling his and the team’s tally, but his chipped effort found the wrong side of the woodwork.

HALF-TIME: Boston United 0-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Bradford were delivered an early blow in the second-half when Killock was adjudged to have fouled Nicky Walker inside the box. Ben Davies stepped up and converted despite Drench getting a fingertip to the effort.

Three minutes later, Max Wright fired the Pilgrims into the lead with a deflected strike that wrong-footed a helpless Drench.

The double salvo rallied Boston, who began to take control of an affair that Bradford dominated in the first-half.

Ryan Qualter nodded over the woodwork after connecting with Davies’ delivery, moments before Jay Rollins found Wright with an inch-perfect cross and the midfielder rattled the crossbar with a header.

Substitute Jordan Slew almost made an immediate impact following his introduction, drawing an impressive stop from Drench with a low drive from the left-hand side of the box.

Allott then tried his luck from close-range but was thwarted by Danny Lowe, who made a superb block.

Bradford launched a swift counter-attack as they hunted for an equaliser and Adam Nowakowski skipped past two players as he accelerated down the right flank. He squared to Beesley, who struck into the midriff of Willis and could only watch as Hurst followed up and fired over the crossbar.

Beesley was thwarted again just two minutes later as Willis tipped his powerful header wide at full stretch.

A scramble in the box saw several Bradford players desperately swing their foot at the ball as it bounced around, but Qualter hacked clear.

Deep into stoppage time, a point was salvaged when Ben McKenna burst forward and drilled past Willis with admirable composure.

FULL-TIME: Boston United 2-2 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Boston United: Willis, Davies, Jackson, Thanoj, Gibbens, Qualter, Wright, Abbott, Allott, Rollins (Slew 69’), Walker (Wafula 83’).

Unused substitutes: Chisholm, Rowe.

Bradford (Park Avenue): Drench, Ross, Lowe, Wroe (Clee 76’), Killock (c), Havern, Knight, Branson, Beesley, Johnson (Nowakowski 72’), Hurst (McKenna 82’).

Unused substitutes: Toulson, Spencer.

Referee: David McNamara