BRADFORD PARK AVENUE
In their third National League North fixture an impressive Chorley side grabbed three deserved points as they put Braford Park Avenue to the sword on Tuesday night writes Josh Vosper. The game itself started slowly, although the home side had much more of the possession and the visitors looked nervous at the back.
On 15 minutes the Magpies created their first meaningful attempt on goal. After a short corner by Whitham, the ball was whipped in and Jarvis unleashed a shot which blazed over the bar. That gave Jansen’s men the incentive they needed to push on and five minutes later Carver made a breakthrough, running inside a defender only for keeper Ryan Jones to make a point blank block. Josh O’Keefe had a chance but his glancing header went wide and off target. When Park Avenue did finally mount an attack of substance, the Chorley back-line stood firm and resolute. On the half hour mark a dangerous cross was floated into the Bradford box for the onrushing Jarvis who saw his volley fly high and wide.
It was all one way traffic and the hosts looked dangerous every time they had the ball, with the Victory Park crowd urging them forward. Marcus Carver hit an angled shot wide of the far post and then the striker was caught up in the action again. After a pass from Gonzales to Jarvis, the ball was hooked over and after three jumping in the air, the ex-Accrington Stanley player was the first to get a touch as his header went wide. Chorley were now playing with much confidence and on the stroke of half time took a deserved lead. After a clumsy foul on Cottrell, the referee awarded a free-kick on the left and Whitham proved the perfect ball for Gonzales who nodded home his second goal of the season.
After the interval Chorley stepped things up and Carver was the first to test Jones on 47 minutes but the keeper saved comfortably. At the other end the referee awarded Bradford a free-kick on the edge of the box after a foul from Charnock and Ashton pulled off an important save from Liam Dickinson. The game itself was heating up as the Magpies started to dominate. On 62 minutes the ball landed perfectly for Gonzales who saw his effort flash just past the near post. That was to be his last piece of action and he left the field to loud applause, being replaced by Jason Walker. The introduction to Walker gave the home side the impetus they needed and it was soon two. Jarvis jinked past numerous defenders on a run along the by-line before lifting a cross from the tightest of angles to the onrushing Whitham who had the simple task of heading in from close range, as Jones was left grasping thin air.
The home side didn’t rest on their laurels and were causing havoc in the Park Avenue box yet again. On 70 minutes Marcus Carver managed to break free, leaving the defence for dead and but his effort crashed against the post. Five minutes later the striker had another chance, as there was a mix-up in the visitors’ box. Goalkeeper Jones went to clear, but hit Carver as the ball looped in the air. As it came back down he couldn’t control and Bradford managed to clean their lines. With ten minutes remaining, the influential Paul Jarvis, who had also received the man-of-the-match award was taken off and replaced by Will Beesley. Carver then deservedly stroked the ball into the back of the net, but the referee had adjudged him to have fouled Park Avenue defender Luke Dean in the box and awarded a free-kick to the visitors.
Bradford did have a short spell of chances and after a corner, Ben McKenna unleashed an effort which Ashton magnificently tipped over the bar. The game was now end to end and it was Carver in the middle of the action yet again. After a mazy run, beating numerous defenders the striker pulled the ball back to Josh O’Keefe who had the goal at his mercy, but somehow managed to miss the target. Jansen then made his last change as O’Keefe replaced Blakeman. On 90 minutes the game was comfortably wrapped up. After some lovely passing by strikers Carver and Walker the ball was played perfectly to Will Beesley who slotted expertly to score his first goal for the club.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Matt Challoner, Paul Jarvis, Keiran Charnock, Scott Leather, Stephen Jordan, Jake Cottrell, Dale Whitham, Marcus Carver, Sefton Gonzales, Josh O’Keefe
Subs: Andy Teague, Jason Walker (Gonzales), Adam Blakeman (O’Keefe), Will Beesley (Jarvis), Waqas Azam
Goals: SEFTON GONZALES (45), DALE WHITHAM (68), WILL BEESLEY (89)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Paul Jarvis