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Walker finds his scoring boots for Bradford Park Avenue
Vauxhall Motors 0 Bradford Park Avenue 2
Bradford stretched their latest unbeaten run to five games with a superb victory at Vauxhall Motors’ Rivacre Park on the south shores of the Mersey estuary.
The 2-0 victory, courtesy of a rare brace from Paul Walker, lifted Avenue up one place to ninth but more importantly it kept them above neighbours Guiseley on goal difference ahead of tonight’s Conference North derby at Horsfall Stadium.
The Motormen were two places above Avenue before Saturday’s fixture but the defeat saw them tumble to 12th spot, below Avenue and the Lions, in the congested mid-table as clubs scramble to stay within reach of the play-off places.
Avenue signed young defender George Grayson on a month’s loan from Scunthorpe United on Friday and the 19-year-old was in Saturday’s squad, although was an unused substitute.
Boss John Deacey did not make any changes during the game because Avenue were injury free and doing so well that he felt alterations were unnecessary.
The breakthrough came with six minutes of the half remaining when Walker slotted in Jason St Juste’s low centre.
Just before the hour mark Walker was again on the end of a good move.
Midfielder Richard Marshall sent St Juste down the flank again and this time his high cross was converted by Walker’s close-range header.
Marshall had a late chance to make it 3-0 but he was denied by a good save from Motormen keeper Zac Jones.
Walker’s strike-rate is low given his silky skills and attacking intent so his double will have pleased supporters and management alike.
It came as Walker was handed a more central role. With Alex Davidson suspended, St Juste filled Walker’s regular left side berth.
Deacey still has problems regarding suspension for tonight’s eagerly-anticipated clash with the Lions.
The fixture was due to be on the last Saturday of last month but was shelved because both clubs were involved in the first round of the FA Trophy on that day.
Both won through against Conference Premier opposition – Avenue against Kidderminster Harriers while the Lions saw off FC Halifax Town – and were then drawn against each other in the last 32.
That second-round tie is at Nethermoor this Saturday.
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