Mallory debut and return of key men provide timely boost for Bradford Park Avenue (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Mallory debut and return of key men provide timely boost for Bradford Park Avenue
Avenue’s Alex Davidson gets the better of Oxford City’s James Clifton during Saturday’s second-half revival at Horsfall Stadium
Bradford Park Avenue travel to Worcester City in Skrill North on Saturday with both clubs – tipped as play-off contenders before a ball was kicked – looking for their first win of the campaign.
After five games the rivals are languishing in the bottom five of the table.
Worcester have drawn two and lost three while Avenue have drawn three and lost two.
Last week’s draw felt like a victory as they came back from a 3-0 half-time deficit to earn a point, with ten men.
There was a reaction after some tough talking and positive decision-making from Bradford boss John Deacey together with a superb second-half display from Steve Mallory on his debut.
Deacey said: “I’m not going to comment on the sending off other than to say I saw some studs so Adam Clayton has given the referee the decision to make.
“If Adam didn’t lunge like that then the ref couldn’t have done anything, no matter what the reaction from the other player was.
“But focusing on the positives, I thought we were excellent in the second half after I went with the brave selection of three across the back. We were a man down, we needed to be positive and it worked.”
One of the reasons why it worked was the stand-out display of Mallory, who was signed from neighbours Farsley after having previously played in the West Yorkshire League.
He played for Farsley as a wide midfielder, mainly on the right flank, so had never played in defence.
Deacey started him at right back but moved him to centre back in the half-time reshuffle and Mallory even scored the all-important last-gasp equaliser.
Deacey added: “I thought Steve deserved his goal because he was fantastic in the second half.
“All ten of them were excellent, with the subs, Louie Swain and Nicky Boshell, making things happen up front but we needed to be strong at the back and Steve looked pure class.”
Avenue’s skipper Nathan Hotte returned to action after serving a four-game ban while close-season signing Adam Quinn was back on the bench after injury.
The sight of Martin Drury and Jordan Deacey warming up with the rest of the squad was also a welcome sight and the pair could be included in Saturday’s squad for the first time this season.
Worcester, who play at Kidderminster Harriers’ ground, are marking Non-League Day by allowing season-ticket holders of any club in for the reduced price of £5.
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