Report | Bradford (Park Avenue) 0-1 Blyth Spartans | National League North | 22/23

Spartans escaped the relegation zone with a 1-0 win over Bradford (Park Avenue) thanks to a Troy Chiabi header, who leapt like a salmon at the back post to secure all the points for Spartans.

With Spartans just over 48 hours removed from their last league game, manager Graham Fenton decided to only make one change from the Kettering game, with loanee striker Sam Hodgson replacing Troy Chiabi.

Spartans started the game on the front foot with captain Nicky Deverdics rifling one at Sykes-Kenworthy in the Park Avenue goal but he was equal to the effort.

Will McGowan was next to trouble the Bradford (Park Avenue) defence as he effortlessly dribbled the ball through the middle and passed 4 Bradford defenders before laying a ball off to onrushing Curtis Round on the left flank who whipped a ball in but it was deflected away for a corner. Sadly through the resulting corner floated across the box.

7 minutes in and Blyth were at it again when Cedric Main broke down the right hand side and played in Sam Hodgson who was unable to stab the ball home from close range. 

Moments later Blyth broke on the counter with Sam Hodgson driving through the middle of the park before laying off the ball to onrushing McGowan but before he get onto the ball he was brought down by the Bradford keeper who pounded as his feet and brought him down. The referee though wasn’t interested and seared Bradford a goal kick to the fury of the travelling Spartans fans. 

Park Avenues first real chance came when a ball floated in from a free kick nearly 40 yards out to the edge of Spartans box and was headed toward goal by a Bradford PA forward but it wasn’t hit with much power as it awkwardly bounced into the box only to be cleared away by Rhys Evans. 

They had another golden chance to take the lead when the Bradford (ParkAvenue) left back threaded a perfect ball all the way through to Dockerty who was leading the line for Bradford but he was closed down by Lees before he could get a proper shot away. 

As the half went on Park Avenue got more comfortable in the game, and once again full back Reece Staunton fired a ball deep into the box that was eventually headed down to Dockerty but his effort was smashed into the side netting. 

Before the end of the half Spartans very nearly had a chance to have an effort as Cedric Main got into space and tried to pick out a pass for around but the soaking wet artificial pitch saw the ball zip out of play passed Curtis Round.

At half time Troy Chiabi came on to replace Sam Hodgson who appeared to go off with an injury. 

Bradford had a good chance early in the second half to establish a lead when full back Louie Chorlton floated in a cross to the back post where a Bradford forward beat Rhys Evans to the header but on the follow up Dockerty couldn’t strike the ball cleanly when it fell to him. 

Soon after Blyth we’re back on the attack will McGowan dribbling it into box past a few defenders before his cross was blocked but it only went as far as Cedric Main, who floated in the perfect ball to Troy Chiabi at the back post to head  home and put Spartans 1-0 up, sending the travelling Green Army into raptures.

Soon after Spartans second substitute was made when Matty Elsdon came on to replace Curtis Round to reinforce the defence. 

Following that Bradford tried to press on and grab the equaliser, but they failed to really get a shot on target with numerous crosses and corners floating across the box or being cleared away by the Spartans defence. 

75 minutes in and Michael Spellman was brought on to replace Cedric Main who immediately began to cause the Bradford defence problems as he pressed the back line relentlessly. 

Bradford (Park Avenue) confined to create sporadic half chances but it was Spartans who created the next real chance with 6 ministers to go when Evans played a great ball into Chiabi who beat his man and played it into the box for the onrushing Michael Liddle who smashed the ball well over the ball. 

Just moments later Spartans had another chance when Evans broke forward, played the ball into Chiabi who threaded to ball back to Evans but his left footed effort didn’t cause the keeper any worries and it went wide of goal. 

In the 5 minutes of added time the hosts failed to really create any chances to threat Mitchell in the Spartans goal. 

Attendance | 464 (60 away fans)

Bradford (Park Avenue) | Sykes-Kenworthy, Chorlton, Staunton, Lancaster, Havern, Coulton, Spencer, Richman, Blyth, Dockerty, Longbottom

Unused subs – La-Bastide, Hall, Hooper, Fielding, Johnson 

Blyth Spartans | Mitchell, Evans, Liddle, Lees, Hickey, Round (Spellman) 75’,McGowan, Deverdics, Main (Elsdon) 60’, Cousin-Dawson, Hodgson (Chiabi) ‘45

Unused subs | Dopson, Pani

Posted by BSAFC Media Team