Bradford Park Avenue 0 Stockport County 2
Park Avenue slipped to a home defeat last night but the 2-0 scoreline flattered Stockport County.
A goalless first half was played in difficult conditions, with the pitch cutting up and starting to freeze over in the low night temperatures.
Avenue had chances after the break but could not convert them and County made them pay with two goals in the last 15 minutes.
The home side were under early pressure as Stockport forced three corners but a tenth-minute cross-cum-shot from Bradford’s Grant Black was touched on to the bar by keeper Christian Dibble.
Avenue’s Paul Walker was having some success on the left but it was Richard Marshall who had their best opening of the first half.
The midfielder was in a superb position but elected to cross rather than test Dibble.
County’s former FC Hali-fax Town forward Adriano Moke broke into Avenue’s area and let fly but his effort was over the target.
Home keeper John Lamb saved later but, at the other end, debutant Jacob Hazel sent in a header that was on target, although it didn’t trouble Dibble.
Bradford manager John Deacey made a change at the interval, with striker Chib Chilaka replacing Hazel. Within minutes, the former Bantam was bearing down on County’s goal but his shot was finger-tipped on to the post by Dibble.
From the resulting corner Boshell’s shot was also parried for a flag kick.
Chilaka was put through again by a good through-ball from Danny Glover as Avenue continued to create chances.
However, the failure to make one of them count came back to haunt them as Stockport were awarded a 75th-minute penalty by the referee’s assistant. Centre back Ryan Qualter was adjudged to have made an offence and County’s vastly experienced Phil Jevons stroked in from the spot.
Forwards Ross Gardner and Paul Beesley were sent on for the hosts, who created a great chance as Marshall and Walker combined before Marshall’s shot was parried for a corner.
However, County broke from the set-piece and Ian Howard profited when Lamb was caught in two minds to add the visitors’ second.