Tigers drop to second bottom with defeat

A late comeback wasn’t enough for Gloucester City as Bradford Park Avenue held on and saw the Tigers head further into the relegation mire.

Late goals from Matt Groves and Will Morford gave the Tigers a glimmer of hope as they attempted to gain a draw from a three goal deficit.

Jordan Deacey, Adam Clayton and Alex Davidson had put the Yorkshire outfit thoroughly in control and in the end just proved enough.

Morford did have the ball in the net between the two City goals but was harshly adjudged to have fouled in the build-up, cancelling out a dubious offside decision seeing Richard Marshall have a strike chalked off.

The defeat means local rivals Worcester City leapfrog Dave Mehew’s side with Gloucester dropping to 21st in the Skrill North table.

After a tentative opening period, it was the Tigers who had the first clear opportunity after 18 minutes with Matt Groves shooting wide after turning on the edge of the box.

However, it was the Yorkshire side who took the lead with a bizarre goal.

Defender Jamie Price had shot horrendously wide, but on a soggy pitch the ball stuck by the corner flag, and Bradford capitalised on City’s sleeping defence with Deacey slotting home for the lead.

Bradford doubled their lead almost immediately with Deacey swinging in a corner that saw Clayton rise highest to head home.

New signing Danny Glover had a duo of opportunities and substitute Richard Marshall had a goal disallowed for offside; a let-off for a ragged defensive unit.

With the possibility of Park Avenue running away with the game, the Tigers managed to force them onto the back foot with Matt Groves continuously pressing, and was very unlucky not to score after a sensational low save from John Lamb denied the winger.

Lewis Hogg and Darren Mullings peppered the Bradford goal before Marshall narrowly shot wide after a breakaway attack.

The Tigers were handed a golden opportunity just before the break, but Edwards managed to somehow squander the opportunity, missing an open goal from three yards out after Mullings had given it on a plate.

City were much improved heading into the second half with Groves and Edwards both testing Lamb early on.

But, the game was put to bed on 63 minutes with Davidson breezing his way past full-back Green and tucked home for a third goal.

City boss Dave Mehew attempted to switch the City system by bringing on youngsters Sam Turl and, making his 50th appearance for the club, Matt Liddiard.

Groves, who had been the Tigers main attacking outlet throughout the contest saw his header superbly saved by Lamb.

A minute later the winger picked up the ball in the Bradford half and unleashed a well-driven effort that stung the hands of Lamb and trickled into the net.

City continued to press forward and were rewarded with a second with three minutes remaining after Morford latched on to a Mullings free-kick delivery.

Park Avenue, who were rattled, steadied the ship and took the intensity out of a potentially nervy finish to hold on to all three points.

Gloucester City: M. Green, M. Green, M. Giglio, M. Coupe, J. Harris, L. Hogg, J. Parker (Morford 54), D. Mullings, D. Edwards (Liddiard 72), S. Wilson (Turl 72), M. Groves

Subs not used: N. Phillips, L. Binns

Goals: Groves 78, Morford 87

Bradford Park Avenue: J. Lamb, C. Howarth, J. Knowles, J. Price, A. Clayton, N. Boshell (Marshall 16), A. Davidson (Quarter 83), N. Hotte, D. Glover (Beesley 72), J. Deacey, P. Walker

Subs not used: C. Chilaka, S. Makefield

Goals: Deacey 21, Clayton 24, Davidson 63

Attendance: 294