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Disappointment at Bradford Park Avenue for Harrogate Town AFC

A much depleted Harrogate Town bowed out of the F A Trophy with a 4-0 defeat at the Horsfall Stadium.

Academy players,George Eustace and Dom Rogers,were given places on the subs bench as Town’s injury crisis really took hold.

After early Avenue corners, Alex Metcalfe posed Town’s first real threat with a shot wide of the upright.

Dave Merris soon found his way into Referee Fyvie’s notebook with a scything tackle on Alex Davidson.

An excellent penetrative run by Dominic Rowe saw him ghost past Chris Haworth and create a chance for Chris Hall but John Lamb managed to block his shot.

Anton Brown was the next Town player to set up Hall but he was halted by a superb tackle by Steve Mallory.

On 29 minutes, Avenue took the lead when Adam Bolder conceded a free kick on the left.

Jordan Deacey’s ball into the box was flicked on by Nicky Boshell and James Knowles knocked in at the far post.

Simon Lenighan and Boshell than combined to send Davidson through,but luckily for Town ,his low drive was just the wrong side of the upright.

Bradford were in the ascendency and Craig MacGillivray had to make a full length save from Davidson,followed by a point blank save from Deacey to keep the score down.

Town hit back when Cleveland Taylor’s high through ball was chested down by Rowe,but Lamb came quickly of his line to collect.

Three minutes before the break, Avenue stretched their lead when Matt Bloomer got the wrong side of Davidson when attempting to deal with a through ball and both players went down.

The Referee saw fit to award a penalty which Boshell hammered into the corner of the net.

Taylor’s accurate free kick which Lamb saved at the foot of the post almost pulled one back for Town,but Avenue took a 2-0 lead into the break.

Town opened the second half with an Adam Bolder lob which sailed over the bar after Lamb had strayed well off his line.

On 52 minutes MacGillivray pulled out a fine save to deny Davidson,but it was only a stay of execution because a minute later Paul Walker’s cross was turned in at the far post by Knowles.

Adam Mitchell replaced Bolder,but Avenue with the pressure off them were totally dominant.

Craig MacGillivray produced a fine save to keep out sub Tom Corner’s header from fellow sub Jason St Justes cross.

Paul Beesley and George Eustace entered the fray with six minutes left, but it was Avenue who struck again.

Knowles headed in Boshell’s free kick to complete his hat trick and seal a comprehensive victory for Bradford,who now look forward to a home tie with Kidderminster Harriers.

Bradford Park Avenue 4 – 0 Harrogate Town

Meanwhile, Town must hope that their injury crisis eases before Saturday’s trip to Workington.

Town 1 MacGillivray, 2 Taylor, 3 Merris, 4 Bolder (c) (Mitchell 59 mins), 5 Bloomer, 6 Brown,

7 Worsfold (Beesley 82) 8 Metcalfe, 9 Hall, 10 Rowe ( Eustace 84), 11 Nelthorpe.

Unused subs 16 Rogers, 18 Crook (Gkpr) Bookings Merris, Nelthorpe.

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