Own goal helps Gloucester City defeat Bradford Park Avenue
GLOUCESTER CITY 1
BRADFORD PARK AVENUE 0
by Simon Clark
AN OWN goal from Bradford Park Avenue's Nathan Hotte proved enough as City recorded a second victory in a row.
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A sublime ball from Will Morford had found substitute Adam Mann in the middle, but efforts from Hotte saw the midfielder bundle the ball into his own net.
The victory sees David Mehew's team leapfrog further away from the relegation zone and solidly into midtable.
The Tigers almost made a perfect start to the game, but a teasing cross from Tom Webb which found Darren Edwards wasn't converted by the striker.
Edwards had a chance to make amends within minutes but City's talisman couldn't finish after top work from Morford on the right.
The Yorkshire side started to gain momentum and were close to taking the lead after a wicked Alex Davidson free kick was deflected wide by the charging Mike Green in defence.
Bradford Park Avenue's Michael Duckworth then rocketed down the right and found Richard Marshall in the middle whose header went just right of the woodwork.
The visitors counter-attacked once more and peppered Mike Green's goal, but an impressive effort from the dangerous Davidson went to the left of the upright.
With half-time looming, the Avenue looked the more likely to score and, once again, were close but a curling Paul Walker shot missed the goal by a foot.
The Yorkshiremen were pressurising the City defence and the ball found Nathan Hotte on the edge of the box, whose tame shot went straight in to Green's hands.
Only seconds after the restart, defender Green bombed down the right hand side to cross a beautiful ball into substitute Adam Mann whose header was stupendously saved by Bradford goalkeeper John Lamb, a save of the highest class.
In an end-to-end contest, the visitors struck back again but a stinging shot from James Knowles was dealt with well.
The breakthrough finally came after a brilliantly timed run from Morford resulted in a cross to Mann who bundled the ball, with the aid of the helpless Nathan Hotte, into the net to put David Mehew's men into the lead.
Gloucester started to get into a groove and almost doubled their lead but Edwards couldn't capitalise on a one-on-one and was easily saved by Lamb.
Once more, Edwards broke the offside trap and supplied a great ball into the path of Morford who couldn't keep his shot down.
However, the Yorkshire side were still in the contest and after great interplay from the two substitutes Matty James and Tom Corner saw a shot go inches wide of the post.
Lewis Hogg pick pocketed Bradford in the centre circle to unleash Morford yet again who couldn't slot the ball home.
Finally, great play from Edwards saw the striker delicately chip over the on-coming keeper Lamb, but wasn't enough as it bounced past the far post.
Gloucester City: MJ. Green, MF. Green, D. Andrew, M. Coupe, T. Hamblin, T. Webb, L. Hogg, J. Harris (Mann 45), D. Edwards, W. Morford (Rawlings 77), S. DaviesSubs not used: C. Holland, N. Mustoe.
Bradford Park Avenue: J. Lamb, M. Duckworth, M. Drury, R. Daly, J. Knowles, A. Clayton (Holland 70), A. Davidson, N. Hotte, R. Marshall (James 65), J. Deacey, P.Walker (Corner 64)
Subs not used: J. Price, R O'Brien