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FC United in goalless draw at Bradford Park Avenue

FC United in goalless draw at Bradford Park Avenue

FC United drew 0-0 at Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday afternoon in a typical end of season match between two teams that had very little to play for.

With the Reds already guaranteed a place in the Vanarama National League North for the third consecutive season, they could afford to play at a relaxed tempo. Our hosts started the day needing seven more points to be sure of safety but didn’t do enough to warrant a win that could have helped them on their way.

Both sides had one decent chance each to take all three points but the main highlight for many supporters was the rare opportunity to sit on an uncovered terrace in the warm April sun. Such was the pace of the game, the joke on the terrace was that it was Tom Greaves’ testimonial. Greaves was named to face his old club, his first start in a league match since December, and he had the Reds’ best chance.

Four minutes into the second half, Greaves broke free from his marker as Dale Tonge curled in a superb cross from the right. However, the striker could only loft the ball over the bar with his first time effort. Bradford’s best chance came with 18 minutes go when substitute Aidan Chippendale tried to walk the ball into the net after taking advantage of a defensive mix up. However, Jordan Fagbola made amends with a fantastic goal-saving tackle at the near post.

17-year-old Ryan Schofield started in goal for FC United, an emergency loan signing from Championship club Huddersfield Town. He was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the first half but mainly with catching, fetching and kicking as neither team had many shots on target.

In fact, the Reds just managed one all game. Tomi Adeloye forced former FC United keeper Jon Worsnop into a fairly routine save midway through the first half after good build up play with Matthew Wolfenden, who was making his 300th appearance for the club. Earlier, striker Chris Sharp smashed one over the bar for Avenue and captain Nicky Wroe curled a decent effort wide of the far post after making space for himself on the edge of the box.

Into the second half and Greaves had United’s best chance but he didn’t make a great connection with Tonge’s cross. His half volley lifted over the bar with just Worsnop to beat. Down at the other end, Bradford were struggling to trouble United’s goal. Schofield played very well on his debut but the young keeper was a bit reluctant to come and collect the ball on a couple of occasions. One such time led to a mix up between him and Fagbola that allowed Chippendale through on an open goal.

Inexplicably, the Bradford substitute decided not to shoot but tried to walk the ball over the line. As he did so, Fagbola raced back and flung himself at the ball to save the day. Four minutes later, Schofield was the saviour with a fine diving catch from Adam Nowakoswki’s back post header.

Into the closing minutes, FC United had two final chances to snatch victory. Greaves saw a fierce effort deflected over the bar after a neat lay off by substitute Jason Gilchrist. Luke Ashworth headed the resulting corner from George Thomson over the bar, which proved to be the final action of the game.

Website man of the match: Jordan Fagbola. Did well in the air throughout and made sure FC United came out on top in the most dramatic moment of an otherwise forgettable game.

Report by Matthew Haley

First Posted ~ 16:59 Sat 8 Apr 2017
News ID ~ 7402
Last Updated ~ 09:05 Tue 11 Apr 2017