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Bradford Park Avenue and Thackley blow away the cobwebs
Buy this photo » Thackley keeper Mark Bower thwarts Avenue’s James Riley at a corner
Thackley 1 Bradford Park Avenue 1
The bragging rights were shared in a lively opening friendly fixture between Thackley and Bradford Park Avenue at Dennyfield.
Avenue fielded an entirely different outfield team for the second half while Dennyboys manager Vince Brockie began to ring the changes for his side after just 20 minutes. The home side made a total of six changes.
Matt Hall had an early effort for Thackley but it was from distance and too high to trouble Ben Higginson in the Bradford net.
The keeper was one of three ex-Thackley players in the visitors’ squadm while former Avenuite Brice Tiani was in the engine room for the home side and ended the game as captain after Matt Morgan’s substitution.
Avenue soon put some pressure on the Dennyboys’ defence, with new signings Danny Holland and Jamie Jackson looking particularly dangerous. But the home side were coping well and their keeper Mark Bower was relatively untroubled.
Bower had no chance when Avenue broke the deadlock in the 37th minute, however. The threat and industry of Holland had forced a corner, which Jordan Deacey delivered to the far post and Avenue skipper James Knowles converted with a towering header.
Avenue’s second-half team was skippered by club captain Rob O’Brien and had new recruits Paul Walker and former Bantams midfielder Luke Sharry in it, as well as a host of last season’s regulars who won promotion for Avenue.
It was a strong line-up but they couldn’t prevent Thackley from snatching a deserved equaliser 12 minutes from time.
It stemmed from a well-placed diagonal through ball that was brought under control by John Mallinson and he drilled a low shot from 14 yards past the outstretched hand of Higginson.