Deacey dismissal takes its toll late on as Avenue lose unbeaten tag (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Jordan Deacey dismissal takes its toll late on as Bradford Park Avenue lose unbeaten tag
Buy this photo » Paul Walker, left, celebrates Avenue’s goal with creator Tom Greaves
Bradford Park Avenue 1, Stalybridge Celtic 3
Avenue tasted defeat for the first time in Blue Square Bet North tonight when Stalybridge Celtic ended the Bradford club’s unbeaten start in their sixth league fixture and leap-frogged them in the process.
The Cheshire outfit are expected to be promotion contenders and they underlined their credentials with a win at Horsfall Stadium against ten men.
Avenue midfielder Jordan Deacey was dismissed just minutes into the second half.
Stalybridge had the ball in the net in the fifth minute when Greg Wilkinson’s quick thinking saw him float a free-kick over home keeper Tim Deasy.
The strike, from inside Celtic’s own half, was ruled out because it was an indirect free-kick.
The visitors did not have long to wait before breaking the deadlock though.
Just after the quarter-hour mark they opened the scoring. Johnny Lindsey’s cross was helped on by Corey Gregory, and Jack Laird fired a shot under the diving Deasy.
Avenue levelled midway through the first half following good work from Tom Greaves.
A positive run and neat cut inside from Greaves fed Paul Walker and he chipped Celts’ keeper Alex Cairns from the edge of the area.
Deacey had been booked for a late challenge in the first half, and just three minutes after the break he was guilty of another rash challenge.
Even though they were a man down, Bradford still created chances, and when Greaves latched on to a Danny Holland flick, it brought a good save from Cairns.
Celtic’s man advantage finally told when they took the lead in the 70th minute, Wilkinson finishing from Jamie Mullan’s low centre.
But Avenue almost levelled a minute later when a Holland effort struck the bar.
Stalybridge substitute Callum Warburton put the gloss on their win when he fired home from eight yards 12 minutes from time.
The victory took the Cheshire club up to fifth in the table while Avenue slipped one to seventh.
Avenue spokesman Lewis Sale said: “It was disappointing to lose but there were several positives to come out of it.
“Paul Walker had a fantastic game – his best since signing in the close season – and Greaves and Holland were very good.
“Another positive was that even with ten men the players didn’t change their attitude and still felt they could get something out of the game.”