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Bradford (Park Avenue) 2 Harriers 1    FA Trophy 1st rd

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Date: 30-11-13gif Venue: Horsfall Stadiumgif att: 335gif away fans: 50 (est)
Harriers Trophy dreams over for another year

gif Report by Centreforeword
On a cool but bright early winters' afternoon, for the second time in the space of five weeks, Kidderminster Harriers paid a visit to Cemetery Road for their first and only FA Trophy game of the 2013/14 season.

As expected, Steve Burr and Gary Whild made a number of changes to what would ordinarily have been their first choice starting eleven.  On the pitch from the off were Jamie Grimes (whilst Josh Gowling watched from the stands) and Aaron Brown for his debut (with no sign of Marvin Johnson either on the pitch or in the ground).  Also spectating were Danny Jackman in a large hoodie which cleverly disguised his identity and Lee Fowler in a strikingly fetching bright bobble hat.

Kyle Storer and Amari Morgan Smith were also earning well deserved rests, Burr and Whild making sure that those sitting on four yellow cards were available for the following week's FA cup clash.

The conditions were clearly going to be very testing.  As was the case the previous month the surface of the pitch was very uneven resulting in a significant number of bobbles during play.  In addition heavy showers the previous evening had greased the turf making the playing surface slippery, especially it seemed for the Harriers players in the first few minutes of play.

Undoubtedly the 'Park' element in the Bradford team's name was not going to help the quality of the football.  The amount of rain the area had endured was evidenced by the fact that the long jump pit adjacent to the running track, remained deluged.

The homes side began the brighter of the two sides and the referee set his stall out after only a few minutes by booking Callum Gittings for what looked like a relatively innocuous challenge.  Things then though went from bad to worse for the Carpetmen when Bradford's Paul Walker (who thankfully is very much still alive), made a great run down the Harriers' left to the by-line.  Walker crossed the ball and instead of belting it clear, Jamie Grimes slid in and only succeeded in poking the ball into the net.

1-0 Bradford PA.

Thereafter, Harriers stepped up a gear.  On twelve minutes Gittings was involved in excellent build up play before releasing Joe Lolley who shot over the bar.  A few minutes later the same player was set up this time by Mickey Demetriou, but a slight mis-kick meant the attempt became something of a weak effort and was easily saved by the BPA goalkeeper John Lamb.

On twenty one minutes Lee Vaughan then entered the referee's note book for kicking the ball away and that was soon followed by a penalty appeal for Harriers as some thought the Avenue's Adam Clayton had stopped a cross with his arm.

Up the other end in the thirtieth minute the bearded Alex Davidson slipped in with a great chance but his low drive was well saved by Danny Lewis.  Davidson, as in the first two encounters, proved to be a handful all afternoon.

Then on forty one minutes the home side struck again.  Nicky Boshell was producing telling corners for BPA and this time was no exception.  The Harriers defenders impeded one another and the ball bounced nicely for Chib Chilaka who finished easily with a close range volley.
  HT: 2 - 0
The first half was reasonably even but the without question conditions suited the hosts.  The Aggborough outfit were always wary of the pitch and felt unable to play their flowing passing football whereas BPA were more accepting of the conditions.  The same tenor ran through the second period too.

In response to their first half performances, Grimes and Anthony Malbon were removed from the fray at half time in favour of Jamie Tolley and James Dance.

In the second period it was the visitors' turn to speed out of the gates forcing two early corners from which Aaron Brown came quite close to scoring.  On forty eight minutes Michael Gash let loose with a rising shot that Lamb managed to save at the second attempt and this was soon followed up by a Lolley drive which Lamb again managed to smother.

After fifty five minutes a ball in from the left saw James Dance diving forward to head just wide of the goalkeeper's left upright.

In the fifty ninth minute a tussle then broke out.  Much to the surprise of all the players on the park from both sides a free kick was awarded to the Harriers rather than the Avenue.  James Knowles held the ball to his chest and retreated to prevent the boys in red from taking a quick free kick.  In frustration Brown attempted to grab the ball and in doing so pushed Knowles over.  Result: a yellow card apiece.

Only five minutes later Knowles then clipped Jack Byrne as he raced forward on the edge of the BPA penalty area.  Another booking for Knowles was then converted to a red card and the hosts were down to ten men and everyone thought that would then mean the circling of the wagons for the hosts.  Generally speaking they were right as the crowd shuffled to the left to get closer to the action around the home side's goal area.

On sixty five minutes Chey Dunkley's powerful header was tipped over by Lamb and then shortly after the same player headed down for Brown to fire over the bar.  Harriers' final change of the afternoon was Nathan Blissett coming on for Gittings.

The men from Worcestershire continued to pound the BPA goal.  On seventy seven minutes Vaughan's angled drive was fired across the face of the goal and on eighty minutes Blissett flicked an attempt just wide.

The hosts were still dangerous on the break though.  In the final minute of normal time Davidson fired a good chance over Danny Lewis' bar, shortly before Harriers managed to get their consolation strike.

A scything cross from Lee Vaughan was met by the head of Michael Gash on the stroke of ninety minutes.  However, in spite of five extra minutes Harriers could not pierce the Bradford rearguard once more and so were left to go crashing out of the Trophy to a lower league team.

Minds automatically then turned to the FA Cup and promotion leaving Steve Burr to launch a surprisingly scathing attack on those that were given a chance to shine but failed.  Whilst we all share the disappointment, all in all not very motivational nor ingratiating.
  FT: 2 - 1

 Goals for Bradford PA: Grimes (og) 7, Chilaka 41
 Goal for Harriers: Gash 90


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Bradford (Park Avenue)  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Lamb     Lewis  
Haworth     L Vaughan
Knowles   Demetriou  
Marshall     Brown
Clayton     Dunkley  
Boshell     Grimes gif (og) gif  
Chilaka gif gif   Byrne  
Hotte     Gittings gif
Davidson     Gash gif  
Deacey gif   Malbon gif  
Walker     Lolley  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Corner     N Vaughan  
St Juste     Blissett gif - 64
Price gif - 77     Tolley gif - 46  
Maxfield gif - 84     Dance gif - 46  
Hume     Morgan-Smith  

REFEREE:
Mr A Backhouse
Cumbria





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