Encouragement despite another Bradford Park Avenue loss

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: James Knowles put Avenue in front before Ferriby hit back to win 2-1 James Knowles put Avenue in front before Ferriby hit back to win 2-1

North Ferriby United 2 Bradford Park Avenue 1

Bradford Park Avenue took an early lead at promotion contenders North Ferriby United but still ended with a fifth consecutive defeat in the Conference North.

Avenue looked bright and it was a much more encouraging display than the one that saw them heavily beaten at Stockport County on Boxing Day.

They had a different look to their midfield, with Jordan Deacey and Richard Marshall sidelined through suspension, but skipper Nathan Hotte was given excellent support by Jamie Price and Scott Maxfield.

They broke the deadlock in the tenth minute from a set-piece. Chris Howarth sent in a free-kick and James Knowles, back from his suspension that ruled him out of the Stockport game, nipped in to head Bradford in front.

Fourth-placed Ferriby had chances in the first half but Avenue keeper John Lamb’s goal was not unduly threatened. The efforts the home side mustered were mainly off target, so the visitors reached the break with their slender advantage intact.

The home side equalised just after the hour-mark. They also needed a set-piece to register, the unmarked Danny Hone converting.

Ferriby’s winning goal was particularly frustrating for Avenue as it stemmed from a throw-in they had deep into the home side’s half.

They lost possession and Ferriby launched a rapid counter-attack that culminated with Anthony Wil-son’s neat finish.

Avenue never lost their desire and they came close to snatching a point in stoppage time when Paul Walker got a shot in but the home keeper managed to parry it.

Avenue’s press officer Lewis Sale said: “We looked much better than we did at Stockport.

“Mark (Hume, assistant manager) described it as a ‘dogged’ display.

“We held the lead for a long time and our midfield did really well. We looked organised and dangerous on the break.

“It was a shame that their goals came within 13 or 14 minutes of each other because that seemed to affect our players.

“Heads didn’t drop but it was another blow to the confidence. It’s difficult for Mark with John Deacey (manager) away but the selection problems would be the same even if John was here.”

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