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Bradford Park Avenue claw way back to gain point
Bradford Park Avenue 2, Solihull Moors 2
Another defensively naive opening spell by Bradford Park Avenue proved costly as they had to battle back from two goals down to snatch a point at Horsfall Stadium.
Solihull Moors were third in the Skrill North table before yesterday’s trip north, while their hosts were ninth.
Avenue could have reeled in their visitors and earned their fourth straight victory had they not started so disastrously.
Omar Bogle fired the visitors into a second-minute lead after being gifted possession inside the area. The home defence failed to deal with a routine attack and the ball dropped to the unmarked Moors man.
The performance of the officials came under question, with many contentious decisions throughout the game.
Two of those centred around strong penalty appeals for Avenue when first Nathan Hotte was bundled over and minutes later Nicky Boshell clearly had his shirt tugged as he tried to get away from experienced centre back Stuart Pierpoint.
Those dismissed claims came into sharp focus in the 13th minute when Solihull were awarded a penalty of their own. Chris Howard was guilty of a push on Bogle and the Moors striker despatched the spot-kick himself.
The hosts were shell-shocked but they did regroup quickly to find a way back into the game.
Following a half-clearance in the 18th minute, Paul Walker returned the ball with interest to net a superb dipping shot from distance.
Solihull made a substitution at the interval but it was a like for like change as they adopted the same system and tactical outlook.
They had an extended spell on the front foot during which time Avenue seemed incapable of gaining possession.
The key thing was that the home side did not concede again and they battled to wrestle the initiative back.
Richard Marshall went close just before Avenue scored their equaliser as Boshell struck just after the hour mark.
A strong run from Chib Chilaka down the right flank gave the visitors problems and when he slid the ball into Boshell’s path, the forward lashed it into the net from the edge of the area.
Avenue created enough chances to have won it after that but it remained a tight contest as Solihull still looked dangerous on the break.