Bradford Park Avenue 2, Gloucester City 1: Penalty miss proves costly
SCRAPPY Gloucester City squandered the chance to take all three points on their first visit to Bradford Park Avenue.
Lacking composure and the influential presence of Lewis Hogg, City did well to draw the score level but wasted chances and lost focus to concede again in the second half.
Bradford Park Avenue took the lead on nine minutes, Paul Walker nipping through to beat keeper Mike Green.
Feeling the pressure, City failed to get a grip on the game in the early stages, with the absence of the suspended Hogg being felt in midfield.
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But in the space of a couple of minutes the Tigers turned the game back in their direction.
City drew level on 29 minutes through a Darren Edwards goal, the experienced striker taking advantage to poach a shot after Mike Green fumbled a Mitch Harding cross.
A minute later he had a chance to put them ahead with a penalty but scuffed the ball straight into Tim Deasey's arms.
Jordan Goddard collected a ball from the City defence on 39 minutes but struggled to find the target when through on goal as City began to look dangerous in possession. Edwards' acrobatic stretch was not enough to reach a deep cross from Chris Holland moments later as Gloucester looked to take the lead.
Steve Davies, revelling in City's new 3-5-2 formation, broke forward to test Deasey before the break.
Defender Mike Green made way for Jordan Tilson at half-time and City started the half brightly, but Edwards, perhaps unsettled by his penalty miss, found himself offside more than once as City failed to take advantage of possession.
Bradford regained the lead after half an hour of the second half, Rob Marshall running past the stranded Matt Coupe and beating Green.
With Jack Harris on in place of Mitch Harding, City looked increasingly disjointed, although Harris hit the ground running playing with typical fearlessness.
Despite a last flurry of chances nothing would stick and City's record away from home remains a cause for concern.
Bradford Park Avenue: T Deasey, M Duckworth, M Drury, R Marshall, J Knowles, N Hotte, T Greaves (D Holland 58), L Needham, A Davidson, R O'Brien, P Walker. Subs: M James, C Radcliffe, M Hume, B Higginson.
Gloucester City: M Green, M Green (J Tilson 46), C Holland, M Coupe, T Hamblin, T Webb, M Liddiard, J Goddard, D Edwards, M Harding (J Harris ), S Davies. Subs: J Harris, S Rawlings, A Mann, A Corrick.
Referee: G Hart
Star man: Mike Green (goalkeeper)