Goalless at The Horsfall
15 April 2017
After the defeat at now ‘playoff denied’ Darlington, Tamworth travelled to the Horsfall Stadium (unfortunately a week after the Grand National) to face Bradford PA – a venue that The Lambs had never lost at, and in fact an opponent they had never lost to, winning 4 and drawing 1 of the 5 encounters over the last three seasons, including a 5-1 win at The Lamb earlier in the campaign.
Andy Morrell made three changes to the side that ran out at Blackwell Meadows with Callum Powell, Joe Clarke and Jed Davies all starting, while Lambs scholar Chandler Pegg took a place on the bench on the day of his 16th birthday.
With the running track around the ground, the sight of a new ‘home fans only’ mini stand behind the goal was a surprise but made one end of the pitch a little less open than on previous visits and Tamworth kicked off.
The win was whipping down the ground in Tamworth’s attacking direction so early balls skipped away and out of play.
A foul on 4 set up Avenue with their first chance of the game, a freekick 35 yards out which Chippendale planted into the box but Lane headed it away.
A corner on the left fell to Chippendale on 7 but his shot was easy for the keeper to take and neither could get to grips with the wind.
A deflected shot from Johnson on 15 went out for a corner on the left which Rothery struck into the danger area, but Newton nipped it away and out into the Bradford half looking for Deeney with a cross field ball that didn’t quite come off.
On 20, Worsnop made his first save of the game, low to his right to parry Davies’ low strike after Newton set him up with a chance on goal from the edge of the area.
The ball came out but the Avenue defence were quickest to get to it.
Newton and Dyer saw shots deflected behind for corners around the half hour mark but neither threatened and a long ball forward was headed high over the target by the latter on 34.
The half finished without a flurry of forward play from the home side, but Chippendale’s ball into the area was booted away and a last minute corner was headed away preventing any further chances for either side, and both keepers having had very little to do for the most part.
Bradford restarted proceedings with the rain coming down at a 45 degree angle and Jezeph was called into action early, but only due to a bouncing ball coming his way.
Powell nearly opened the scoring on 47 with a swirling cross towards the far post that struck the top of the bar and went behind, as the rain stopped as quickly as it had started.
A deep Morley freekick was taken by Worsnop at height on 54 and Avenue forced a corner shortly after which Jezeph was more than equal to, Burns put in a good tackle to deny an Avenue attack on the hour, but from the throw Sharp got a header on target and Jezeph did spectacularly well to tip it around the post.
A foul on Newton by Nowakowski earned the Avenue player a yellow card on 63 which Powell struck from the left channel into the wall, and Clarke’s return ball was cleared.
Davies made way for Brandon Fox on 69 and on 74 Powell did well to find Dyer in the box but he was quickly surrounded by five home defender and the chance broke down.
On 78 Worsnop denied Newton his 24th of the season when the striker cut back in the area, wrong footing Hill, and then unleashing a left footed drive from the right of the area which the keeper tipped over in full flight and at full stretch.
On 86, a long mazy run by Fox ended with a tackle that the referee judged to be a foul so it set up Clarke with a freekick on the edge of the D which came back off the wall and allowed the home side to break but the ball ran through to Jezeph.
Hill was booked for a leading elbow on Fox on 89 and then Morley picked one up for a late challenge on Boshell as three minutes added time was shown.
Jezeph, Burns, Morley, Deeney, Jones (c.), Lane, Powell, Clarke, Newton, Dyer, Davies (Fox (Brandon) 69)
Subs: Fox (Ben), Styche, Taylor, Pegg
Y: Morley 90
Bradford Park Avenue Team:
Worsnop, Toulson (c.), Hill, Wroe (Boshell 81), Killock, Nowakowski, Chippendale (Sinclair 72), Hibbs, Sharp, Johnson, Rothery
Subs: Payne, Hall, Spencer
Y: Nowakowski 62, Hill 89
Referee: Mr. R. Wootton