Gloucester City 3 Bradford Park Avenue 3
AVENUE and rivals Harrogate Town will both go into tonight’s Conference North derby at Horsfall Stadium looking for their first win of the season.
Bradford showed their determination as they came back three times to earn a point from a six-goal thriller at Gloucester City.
Simon Weaver’s Town were frustrated as they were held to a goalless draw at home to Tamworth.
Gloucester still play their home games at Cheltenham Town’s Abbey Business Stadium and the spectators there for Saturday’s league opener were treated to an excellent game.
John Lamb made a good early save but his opposite number, Mike Green, was also alert as he denied Matty James – twice – and Grant Black. The home side broke the deadlock just after the half hour when Charlie Griffin stroked the ball past Lamb after intercepting a defensive pass.
James eventually beat Green with a header to convert a Joe Colbeck cross, which ensured the teams went into the break on level terms. Both keepers maintained their good form in the second half but were beaten from the penalty spot.
Griffin netted his spot-kick just before the hour mark, after Bradford’s Steve Mallory had fouled Chris Jones. Avenue boss John Deacey brought Richard Marshall on from the bench soon after and he was impeded in the area before slotting in the visitors’ penalty himself.
A stunning 25-yard free kick from Billy Jones put the Tigers in front for a third time but a neat through ball from Black found Paul Walker and he lobbed Green to level again.
Avenue had a chance to snatch a dramatic winner but Marshall just failed to convert a teasing James cross in stoppage time.
The sides could not be separated but a draw from the entertaining contest was a fair result.