Saturday, 13 March 2010

Bradford Park Avenue v Worksop Town - UniBond League Premier Division

Saturday 13th March 2010. UniBond League Premier Division
at Horsfall Stadium, Bradford

Bradford Park Avenue (0) 1 (O'Brien 57)
Worksop Town (0) 0

Admission £8, Programme £2, Free Team Sheet
Attendance 475
This afternoon, I saw the UniBond League leaders host the third from bottom club.
I don't think I'd be exaggerating, if I was to say, that by the end of the game the difference between the two sides out on the field of play today was negligible for long spells.
Did you ever wonder what became of Orville when he grew up?

Horsfall Stadium is a multi sports arena, with the football pitch stuck in the middle of an athletics track.
There is a big stand along one side of the ground, the seats in it used to live at Lords cricket ground.
But around the rest of the 'stadium' there are no spectator facilities at all, just pitch level hard standing outside the perimeter fence that acts as a boundary to the running track.
At the end of the ground where the bar is this means you have to watch the game from quite a distance away from the pitch.
I didn't read about it anywhere, though there is no earthly reason why I would have done, me not being a fan of equestrian sports n' all, but it looks as though they have just staged the Horse of the Year show on the pitch.
It was in a very poor state.
On a bumpy surface and with the wind blowing across the pitch, the game wasn't always pretty to watch.
Avenue created a few chances early on, but they were soon to discover that Worksop had arrived intent on matching them every inch of the way for effort and that they weren't in for an easy afternoon.
Jamie Jackson (or Jermaine Jackson as I heard somebody call him) was causing the home side problems down the right flank and from dead ball situations (see below). It looks like he's going to be a great signing given the impact he's already had.
Incidentally, Gary Townsend powered an header just over the bar from the corner being taken in this picture.
Bradford are a really strong side and not easily knocked off the ball, they are not leading the pack at present by default.
But just before half time one of the lightest players on the pitch, Ben Tomlinson, nearly fired Worksop ahead after Jackson and Townsend had combined well to set him up.
Alas, Steve Dickinson was equal to Ben's effort and snuffed out the danger at the last moment and the sides went into the break level at nil apiece.

Kevin Dexter at a Tigers game? I never thought he'd be back ;-)

After the break, Kevin Davies hit a long range rasping shot that BPA's keeper did well to hold on to, but then the home side went about showing why they are top of the league and the Tigers had to weather a bit of a storm for a while.
On 57 minutes a ball that ought to have been cleared was hit out onto the edge of the area instead, where Rob O'Brien seized upon it and neatly hooked the ball over Jon Kennedy into the top corner of the net.
An elderly 'exotic dancer' carrying his shopping around the pitch.

Avenue's Stephen Downs hit the Worksop crossbar, but a few minutes later he had a chance to make amends for his miss when the Tigers conceded a penalty.
Just before Downs took the spot kick, the Horsfall Stadium PA announcer dropped a bit of a bollock by playing the clip of music that he usually greets the scoring of a goal with.
A little bit premature then.
Downs then stepped up and dropped an even bigger bollock, by belting the ball so high over the crossbar it was in danger of smashing the WTSC '08 coach window, which was parked in the street outside.
Downs drops an even bigger bollock

The penalty miss spurred Worksop on and Bradford had to defend their lead right until the death now.
The closest the Tigers came to sharing the points was when Matt Austin hit a shot narrowly over the crossbar and Luke Shiels hit a pile driver that smashed against the crossbar.
These things go in for you when you're top of the league, but when your luck's out ... well, they don't.
In the words of John Deacey, Avenue's manager "It was a good performance by Worksop who worked hard throughout and when your own team is not on top form it's results like this that see you to promotion", Worksop will just have to wait until next season to see if that theory is correct I guess ... remember where you read it first!