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United and Avenue in entertaining draw

Promotion hopefuls FC United and Bradford Park Avenue played out a hard earned and entertaining 0-0 draw in front of 1,264 noisy supporters at the Horsfall Stadium on Monday night.

The two teams put in good displays, showing why they are both pushing for promotion into the UniBond Premier Division, all they really lacked was a bit of cutting edge in front of goal.

The best chances for United fell to Rory Patterson, Jerome Wright and Simon Carden whereas Gareth Morris and Tristram Whitman went close for the hosts. However, both defences looked strong, particularly Reds’ captain David Chadwick who was once again immense, meaning clear cut opportunities were kept to a minimum and a draw was a fair result.

The first chance of any real note came from Whitman who latched onto to a through ball poked down the left wing by Paul Gedman. Rob Nugent and Liam Foster, who was also another stand out performer, had to scurry back to close the striker down but despite their best efforts he cut inside onto his right foot before unleashing a rasping drive. Fortunately for United it sailed over Sam Ashton’s crossbar.

Ten minutes later Rob Nugent was involved at the other end as he headed a Nicky Platt corner just wide of the right hand post. Platt was back in the team after his double hernia operation last month and his fresh legs enabled him to put in a commanding display in the centre of the park.

One of the best chances of the first period fell to Simon Carden. The dynamic midfielder received the ball on the halfway line after good play by Rory Patterson and began to stride forward. With acres of space around him, Carden had the option to release the ball down the right wing to Jamie Baguley but instead he carried the ball to about 25 yards out before electing to shoot. However, he didn’t really get hold of it as well as he would have liked to and Avenue keeper Jon Worsnop gathered at the second attempt.

The hosts’ best effort came via a long range free-kick. York based referee, Mr Greenwood adjudged that Carden had pushed one of the Yorkshire side and Morris, who was starting in midfield in the absence of injured skipper Steve Connors, was able to try his luck from 35 yards out and in all fairness he wasn’t far off scoring a sensational strike but the sides went in level at the break.

United upped the tempo early in the second half and within five minutes of the restart Platt had a 25 yard drive deflected away for a corner. Seconds later Patterson raced clear down the left before cutting infield and onto his right foot. He drove the ball diagonally across goal and Worsnop had to collect at the second attempt again as Stuart Rudd was ready to pounce.

The two teams battled bravely for much of the second half and chances were at a premium until the last 10 minutes when gaps started opening up, most probably due to tired legs. Morris stole in on the left flank and his cutback was almost on a plate for Whitman. However, Ashton, who had been somewhat erratic, made a finger tip save to push the ball behind the expectant striker.

In the closing minutes, United looked to have the Bradford back-line a bit stretched. Patterson played through Wright but he could only lash a tired attempt straight at centre-half Paul Stoneman and seconds later Bradley Howard fed a teasing ball into the box which substitute Nick Robinson was agonisingly close to poking home. In the end though the stalemate reflected a fair result against two evenly matched teams.

FC United
S Ashton
L Foster
B Howard
N Platt
D Chadwick (capt)
R Nugent
J Baguley
S Carden (cautioned 69)
S Rudd
J Wright
R Patterson
C Baguley (for 9 72)
N Robinson (for 7 85) (cautioned 89)
S Roscoe

Bradford Park Avenue
J Worsnop
D Hockenhull
D Warner
M Hotte (cautioned 65)
P Stoneman
T Baker (capt) (cautioned 9)
C Williams
G Morris
P Gedman
T Whitman
M Bett
R Clegg
M Moseley (for 10 84)
P Collins

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First Posted ~ 10:04 Wed 9 Apr 2008
News ID ~ 1596
Last Updated ~ 17:14 Fri 11 Oct 2013