The Harriers overcame the potential banana skin of Bradford Park Avenue tonight with a resounding 4-1 win to put us into the next round of the FA Trophy and a home tie against Altrincham in the New Year. The game was played this evening after the game was called off on Saturday due to a frozen pitch and even until earlier today it was still in doubt of being played.
With illness in the camp we started with a few changes to the line-up from our previous game against Nuneaton two weeks ago. Both Jack Byrne and Aman Verma were out so in came Jake Green and Reece Styche while amongst the four players named on the bench was Kennedy Digie. He had played for the Academy team in the FA Cup against Blackpool last Wednesday and now less than a week later he found himself on the brink of the first team.
This was the fourth time we have played Bradford with two games in the FA Cup and a Trophy game last season. We won through the FA Cup games after a replay at Aggborough but lost the Trophy game at the same stage up there so it was obvious we owed them one. That was delivered in some style tonight.
After a tentative start we opened the scoring through Marvin Johnson in the eighth minute. Reece Styche managed to block (some say with his hand but the ref ruled that out) a Bradford clearance upfield and played the ball back in for Johnson to take it on towards the former Harriers keeper John Danby in goal for the home side and then slot the ball beyond his grasp.
Ten minutes later and the Reds went 2-0 up. A Craig Reid corner was played over and Josh Gowling got there first to send the ball beyond Danbys reach once more.
Callum Gittings had a goalden chance to make it 3-0 later on when he missed a sitter from close range with the goal at his mercy but he somehow could only direct it into the side netting and then just before the break Reece Styche sent an equally easy shot just the wrong side of the post and Johnsons shot crashed against the crossbar. The closest the hosts came to scoring was soon after when Chib Chilaka laid the ball in for Lamin Colley who also poked the ball wide.