Bradford Park AvenueSpennymoor Town FC
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Spennymoor earned a crucial and hard-fought three points at fellow play-off hopefuls Bradford Park Avenue courtesy of goals from David Foley and Chris Mason.
In a scrappy contest, not helped by the blustery conditions, Moors edged out an Avenue side who boasted an impressive recent record.
Foley’s sixth goal of the season from close range gave Moors the advantage in the first half, before Mason headed in his second goal in three games.
Bradford Park Avenue substitute Nicky Clee pulled one back for the home side with eleven minutes remaining, but Moors held on to move five points clear of their opponents.
Kallum Griffiths was the only absentee from the side that started the New Year’s Day win over Blyth Spartans, with Matthew Dixon replacing the full-back who failed a late fitness test.
It was clear from the outset that the game would be decided by fine margins, with the condition of the pitch not allowing any free flowing football to break out.
Moors started the brighter of the two sides, and when Rob Ramshaw broke down the right, he found Foley who struck a shot which cannoned off a defender and behind.
Foley wasn’t to be denied minutes later as he scored his first goal since November 11th. Ramshaw was the architect again, and when his cross was steered against the post from Mark Anderson, Foley was on hand to slam home from point blank range.
The home side created little in the first period, but should have found themselves level twenty minutes before the break when Oli Johnson missed a guilt-edge chance.
Adam Nowakowski was first to an intwining corner, and when his header fell to Johnson six yards out, the in-form striker could only swipe his effort over the bar.
Shane Henry went close for Moors with a stinging drive from distance ten minutes later, but it was ultimately a half lacking in quality and fluidity.
Chances were at a premium in the second half as a similar pattern emerged, but after a spell of Moors pressure, Mason popped up to double his side’s advantage.
James Curtis headed a corner back across goal and Mason stooped to guide the ball in past a helpless Steve Drench.
Bradford Park Avenue rallied soon after, and after breaking down the right, Shane Bland did well to save Jamie Spencer’s low drive, only for the ball to fall to second half substitute Nicky Clee who swept into the bottom corner.
The goal gave the home side renewed hope after a lacklustre display in front of their home fans, and they were almost level when Clee saw his shot turned round the post by the alert Bland.
Despite a flurry of late pressure, Moors could have extended their lead further in the final ten minutes. The outstanding Anderson was inches away from capping a man of the match performance with a goal, but his free-kick struck the bar.
The referee’s final whistle was greeted with rapturous celebrations from the Moors dugout, signalling the enormity of a win which cements Moors’ play-off position.
Next up is the rescheduled FA Trophy clash with Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday night.
|6th January 2018||1:30 pm||National League North||2017/18|
|27 Cemetery Rd, Low Moor, Bradford BD6 2NG, UK|