8 goal thriller at Meadow Park
Posted on 14th November 2020 at 20:59
Gloucester City continued their unbeaten start in the National League North with a thrilling 4-4 draw against Bradford Park Avenue.
Park Avenue took the lead in the second minute through a long-ranged Lewis Knight effort, but City were 3-1 up before the half hour mark thanks to a brace from Asante and a poachers finish from McClure.
Jake Hibbs scored before the break to bring Bradford back in the game, and the visitors were level in the 46th minute courtesy of a Harry Boyes wonder-strike.
Bradford took the lead in the 53rd minute through Jordan Windass but Bernard Mensah equalised nine minutes later to ensure that the points would be shared at Meadow Park.
James Rowe’s men were aiming to extend their position at the top of the league as they took on Bradford Park Avenue in the National League North.
City made two changes from the side that defeated Telford on Tuesday night with Rhys Lovett and Josh Thomas coming in to replace Louie Moulden and Tommy O’Sullivan.
City started fast and went close to opening the scoring in the second minute. Bradford failed to clear a Gavin Gunning free kick and Liam Daly met the loose ball with a fierce volley that struck the post.
Bradford responded well to the early City pressure, and they were rewarded for their early resilience in the sixth minute. The visitors caught City by surprise with a short corner and Knight created space to whip into the top corner to give Park Avenue the lead.
Morgan and Daly were a constant threat in the opposition box in the opening 20 minutes and the aerial pressure would tell in the 16th minute. George Carline delivered a long throw in that was flicked on by Morgan and Asante was the first to react to the loose ball and fire home.
City were now in firm control and they would take the lead just a minute later. Gavin Gunning found space on the left to deliver a perfect cross to the back post for an on-rushing Carline. Dan Atkinson was equal to Carline’s effort, but McClure was alive to latch onto the rebound and blast home.
The Tigers were hungry for more and they would score a third just six minutes later. Daly once again got his head on a lofted cross into the box and the referee blew for a penalty as the ball struck a Bradford arm. Asante stepped up and confidently converted to give City a two-goal lead that their first half performance warranted.
The first half drama was not yet over, and Bradford would be given a lifeline in the 32nd minute. A City defensive mix-up gifted Hibbs a golden opportunity, and the Bradford midfielder made no mistake in firing Park Avenue back into the game.
Park Avenue had their tails up after the second goal, and they went agonisingly close to scoring an equaliser before half time. Knight burst in behind the City back line and delivered a teasing ball across the face of goal. Sanyang directed the cross towards goal but Lovett was across to deny Bradford and maintain City’s lead.
Morgan then thought he had scored his first City goal in the last minute of the half, but the linesman flagged for offside and an eventful first half ended 3-2.
Park Avenue were quick out the blocks in the second half and they would equalise in the 47th minute through Boyes. The Park Avenue full back was gifted space on the edge of the box and his spectacular effort sailed into the top corner.
Bradford were now firmly on top and they would retake the lead with a driven Windass effort five minutes later.
The rain was lashing down, and the wind was howling but City would not be beat. In the 62nd minute, Kevin Dawson made a bursting run down the right and delivered a perfect cross for Bernard Mensah to head home at the far post.
The Tigers pressed for a winner, but Bradford remained resolute and the score remained 4-4. City’s best chance came in added on time as substitute Tommy O’Sullivan latched onto a loose ball in the box and fired towards goal. Atkinson was equal to the effort and Park Avenue were able to break up the other end.
The Visitors now had a golden chance of their own in the last minute of the game, but Jack James tracked back to cut out the cross and Lovett was able to gather.
The final score finished 4-4 and City remain at the top of the National League North. The Tigers are next in action on Tuesday night away at Hereford.
After the game, Akwasi Asante gave his thoughts on today's match;
Gloucester City starting 1. Lovett 2. Carline 3. Whittle 4. Gunning 5. Daly (C) 7. Dawson 8. Thomas 9. Asante 10. McClure 11. Mensah 23. Morgan
Substitutes- Robert, O’Sullivan, Bailey Nichols, James, King
Bradford (Park Avenue) XI- 1. Atkinson 2. Ross 3. Boyes 4. Marriott 5. Windass 6. Lund 7. Toulson 8. Hibbs 9. Sangyang 10. Knight 11. Clee (C)
Substitutes - 13. Huffer 14. Downing 15. L.Lyons 17. Nowakowski
Match report Jack Goodridge
Photos Neil Phelps
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