BRADFORD (Park Avenue) battled hard throughout and had their chances, but they bowed out of the FA Trophy last night after a 3-1 defeat at Chester in the second round.

The game was played in front of a small crowd too, the first spectators at a competitive Avenue match since March.

The home side went ahead through a George Waring header early on, before an Anthony Dudley penalty doubled their lead on the hour mark.

A late Will Goodwin goal sealed victory, although Lewis Knight did pull back a consolation for Avenue in injury-time.

The visitors gave a debut to teenage goalkeeper Will Huffer, while there was a first start for new midfielder Regan Booty.

It was Bradford who started brightest, as Knight pounced on a stray pass and fired in a shot from 16 yards out after eight minutes.

Goalkeeper Louis Gray spilled the ball, but Matty Downing saw his effort on the rebound well blocked.

But Chester started to come into the game, and after Brad Jackson and Goodwin both had good chances, the latter seeing his effort superbly saved by Huffer, it was the hosts who took the lead.

Jackson swung a deep cross in to the back post, and Waring rose highest to nod home.

Huffer made his first error just before the break, when he came to punch a corner away but missed the ball.

Fortunately, Chester captain Simon Grand headed the resulting chance wide.

The superb Declan Weeks then powered through for the hosts, but crashed a 20-yard effort just over, with Avenue left hanging on by the break.

Right-back Jordan Windass picked up a knock in the first half, and was replaced by Nicky Clee at the interval, forcing Luke Lyons back into defence and Mark Ross to move over to full-back.

It was a quiet start to the second period, but Chester won a penalty after 59 minutes, when Lyons fouled Dudley.

The striker picked himself up and dusted himself down, before sending Huffer the wrong way from the spot.

Grand headed wide trying to make it 3-0, while Knight could not convert from an excellent run and cross by substitute Tabish Hussain.

Avenue struggled to create any more chances to halve the deficit, and the hosts made it 3-0 when Goodwin latched on to a poor clearing header from Lyons, and rounded Huffer to score.

That Hussain and Knight combination did work in injury-time, when the former sprinted down the right wing and delivered a lovely cross into the box for the latter to score from close range and grab Avenue a consolation.

After the game, Bradford’s assistant manager Danny Boshell said: “The players are still learning the game and learning this level, but I’m proud of our efforts tonight.”

It is Chester then that will visit a strong Altrincham side in the third round this Saturday, while Avenue are now without a game until they host rivals York City in the National League North on Boxing Day.