North Ferriby United 1-2 Bradford Park Avenue
By Graham Riley
North Ferriby were edged out through Aidan Savory's 77th minute strike as Bradford Park Avenue picked up the points in this Yorkshire derby at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium. Ferriby took the lead late in the first half through top scorer Gary Bradshaw, only for Mark Greaves to put the visitors level on the stroke of half time. The match saw Paul Harsley return to the Ferriby line-up for the first time since picking up an injury in early January.
Avenue had the majority of the game's early chances, Nathan Hotte headed over the bar from Martin Drury's in-swinging free kick, and Steve Wilson in the Ferriby goal held onto Liam Shepherd's shot on the turn from the edge of the area. It was somewhat against the run of play that Ferriby took the lead on 36 minutes, Kevin Larvin's deft lob from a Sam Denton free kick cannoned off the bar, but Gary Bradshaw slotted home the rebound. Wayne Brooksby could have doubled the advantage after a fine solo run put him through on goal, but an Avenue boot lifted the shot over the bar. The visitors grabbed an equaliser a minute before the break through Mark Greaves, who cut inside and lashing a cross-shot past Wilson.
The second half began in cagey fashion, with possession evenly spread but chances scarce. Avenue midfielder Rob O'Brien nearly shocked the game back into life with a spectacular volley on the turn, which Wilson did well to swat away, and the Ferriby keeper did well again when he caught substitute Savory's dipping cross with Greaves rushing in at the far post. The points were secured in favour of the home side 13 minutes from the end when Brice Tiani played in Savory, who turned on the edge of the box, and fired into the bottom corner. Wilson prevented Hotte from adding a third in the final five minutes when he blocked the winger's powerful low shot and smothered from the feet of Greaves. The two sides will meet again in a week's time at Avenue's Horsfall Stadium, in the meantime Ferriby travel to bottom club Retford United on Tuesday night.
Man of the Match: Rob O'Brien (Bradford PA)
Ferriby: Steve Wilson, Paul Harsley, Steve Burton, Sam Denton, Paul Foot (c), Peter Davidson (James Williams, 68), Russell Fry (Luke Thompson, 87), Chris Bolder, Alex Davidson (Kevin Larvin, 24), Gary Bradshaw, Wayne Brooksby Subs not used: Ben Turner, Adam Nicklin
Bradford PA: John Lamb, Matt Plummer, Martin Drury (Henry McStay, 78), Rob O'Brien (c), Adam Clayton, James Knowles, Nathan Hotte, Steve Burton, Matty James (Aidan Savory, HT), Tom Greaves, Liam Shepherd (Brice Tiani, 68) Subs not used: Tom Claisse, David Heagney