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Darlington v Bradford Park Avenue

Darlington 1 - 0 Bradford Park Avenue
29 Mar 2017 - 19:45

Darlington’s teenage substitute Harvey Saunders struck late in the game to give Quakers three valuable points against Bradford.

the 19 year old had only been on the field as a sub for Liam Marrs when he was in the right place to fire the winner from a few yards out.

Quakers are now joint third in the table, and are well on course for the play offs with six games remaining.

Bradford had the first chance on 7 minutes when Danny Boshell found space and struck a low shot that Adam Bartlett comfortably held.

Quakers nearly scored on 11 minutes when Josh Falkingham found the overlapping Josh Gillies down the left with a great ball, Gillies crossed first time into the middle where David Syers headed against the angle of post and crossbar.

Stephen Thompson then did some good work, beating a couple of players on the left touchline, played a 1-2 with Mark Beck, and then fired a couple of yards wide.

But Quakers had a let off when Shane Killock fired a shot from a corner towards goal and Liam Marrs just managed to scramble the ball off the line,  then Wayne Brooksby headed the follow up wide.

Quakers had a penalty shout on 25 minutes when Syers won possession, played a 1-2 with Thompson and went down in the box, but the referee waved play on.

Bradford had another chance when Gavin Rothery fired wide from 20 yards out, but Quakers replied when Thompson set up Falkingham, whose right foot effort was deflected wide.

Bradford’s Danny Boshell was booked for a foul on Thompson after 40 minutes.

Gillies won a corner from a free kick just before half time, but Worsnop held on to the ball when it came into the middle.

Half time: Darlington 0 Bradford PA 0

Quakers hit the post again on 51 minutes. This time, Ferguson crossed deep from the left for Mark Beck, standing on the edge of the box, to volley left footed first time against the left hand post.

Nathan Cartman came on for Gillies on 59 minutes.

Quakers forced a corner on the hour that was swung in by Thompson and Syers was inches away from getting a touch.

There was a chance for Quakers when Beck and Syers caused problems in the Bradford box and the ball dropped for Cartman who dragged his shot wide.

But Quakers had to be careful about the Bradford counter attack, and sub Oli Johnson crated space well for himself and hit a powerful right foot shot that Bartlett pushed around the post with a flying save.

Quakers had a let off when Galbraith slipped and let Nicky Wroe through, and as Bartlett came out, Wroe tried to play the ball inside instead of shooting, and Marrs intercepted and got the ball away.

Marrs was replaced soon after, with Saunders coming on, Quakers going with four up front.

The switch paid off on 80 minutes. Thompson won the ball in midfield, put the ball in the box, and after Beck had a shot cleared off the line, Saunders gleefully fired the loose ball home — his second goal for the club.

Bradford piled men forward, and in one scramble, Ferguson made an excellent last ditch tackle to prevent a goal, while Bartlett’s handling was top class.

 

Darlington:

Bartlett, Marrs (sub Saunders 77), Ferguson, Turnbull, Galbraith, Brown, Syers, Falkingham, Beck, Thompson, Gillies (sub Cartman 59)

Subs: Wilczynski, Hunter, Scott, Saunders

Bradford PA

Worsnop, Hibbs, Hill, Wroe, Killock, Knowles, Brooksby, Boshell (sub Chippendale 80), Sinclair (Sharp 76), Nowakowski, Rothery (sub Johnson 64)

Subs: Toulson, Hall

Bookings: Boshell, Sinclair

Attendance 1,333