Bradford City 0-1 Peterborough United

Standard

Bradford City’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end against Peterborough United in the club’s final match before Wednesday’s derby with Leeds United.

In awful conditions, the visitors sealed the three points when Michael Smith rode through a challenge by City captain Stephen Darby before cutting inside to the area and squaring to Kyle Vassell who picked out the top corner from ten yards.

The goal was a double blow to the home side as it came just a matter of minutes after centre back Andrew Davies had to leave the field with a serious looking arm injury after colliding with his own keeper, Jordan Pickford.

Following the game, manager Phil Parkinson told the media about Davies: “He’s got a crack in his arm so we’ve sent him for an X-Ray now to have a look, so won’t know until later this evening.”

The Bantams, fresh off an impressive midweek victory away at Crawley, had the first chance of the afternoon when Alan Sheehan’s free kick to Rory McArdle fell to the feet of Filipe Morais, but the former Chelsea youth man put his effort wide of Ben Alnwick’s post.

After this chance, the visitors took a real grasp on the game and fluffed two great chances to break the deadlock. Washington first put a shot over the bar before his effort was well saved by Pickford and Jason Kennedy’s fantastic sliding tackle denied Kane Ferdinand from the rebound.

This wouldn’t be the last time in the game the Bantams were troubled by Washington as with Boro’s next meaningful attack he was denied again, this time by a deflection of Rory McArdle after great link up play with Vassell.

City did have a chance to score in the halves dying moments when Billy Knott’s long range effort was saved by Alnwick and Mason Bennett’s cross was put out for a corner despite appearing to come off Josh Payne’s hand.

After the injury and goal early on in the second half, Parkinson’s men looked out of the game and Smith, who provided the assist for the goal, tried his luck from 25 yards but only to put the ball into the stand.

Vassell threw away a glorious opportunity to double his and his side’s tally for the afternoon when his free kick from the edge of the area went over the bar without even testing Pickford in the Bradford goal.

City pressed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages and after a fantastic save by Alnwick denied James Hanson, former Peterborough star Aaron McLean could only find the keeper with a header from close range and Mark Yeates put his late chance over.

CITY: Pickford, Darby, Davies (Meredith 55), McArdle, Sheehan, Knott, Kennedy, Liddle, Morais (Yeates 68), Bennett (McLean 68), Hanson. Subs Not Used: Williams, Dolan, Routis, McBurnie.

PETERBOROUGH: Alnwick, Brisley, Burgess, Santos, Ferdinand, Payne, Mendez-Laing (Smith 20), Anderson, Newell (McCann 83), Washington, Vassell (Barnett 82). Subs Not Used: Day, Luto, Anderson, Edwards.

Bradford Park Avenue 2-1 Leamington

Standard

A turnaround in the space of four second half minutes saw Bradford Park Avenue pick up another three points and continue their undefeated start to the new Vanarama Conference North season.

John Deacey’s side drew level in the 66th minute when Paul Walker headed a Joe Colbeck cross back across the Leamington goal and left the Horsfall Stadium in amazement as the ball somehow dipped into the net.

Then, in the 69th minute, Avenue secured victory with a fantastic individual effort by summer signing Scott Kerr when the ex-Bradford City midfielder, picked the ball up on half way and ran at the visiting centre half before curling the ball into the top corner past a helpless Brakes goalkeeper.

Deacey said following the game: “They’ve shown great character and Scott Kerr showed that when he came on. He’s not been starting in our previous three games, but he influenced the game for us in the second half. Leamington had the better of the midfield and I had to have a look at it and change it and it worked.”

The home side were unlucky to not break the deadlock in the first half when after good pressure by Matty James on left-back Stephen Morley near the byline, the midfielder then pulled the ball back to striker Richard Marshall who put the ball into the bottom corner, however, the linesman had his flag up.

Leamington had the lead going into the half time break when Jordan Goodard took a neat one two just inside the area before placing the ball from eighteen yards into the bottom left corner of John Lamb’s goal.

The second half proved a more chance laden affair, and this showed just moments after the restart when Colbeck fired narrowly over from twenty-five yards.

The former Bantams winger also scored inadvertently when a snapshot from fellow midfielder Nathan Hotte caught the bottom of his boot and fizzed narrowly wide of the far post.

Speaking to the club’s website post match, Colbeck, a summer arrival from Grimsby, told Avenue’s club website: “We did well today. Maybe the weather conditions helped us out with the wind being with us in the first half and then it changed, it was with us again in the second half, but I’m pleased with the win.”

And jubilation of the turnaround slowly became frustration at the home side’s inability to kill the game off as Walker received the ball on the flanks and spotted an unmarked James in the box, however the midfielder’s first time effort fell into the arms of Collett between the sticks.

Despite these efforts, the Avenue turnaround proved to spark the Warwickshire side back into life and they nearly drew level when Stefan Moore stole the ball of Martin Drury before the left back recovered and blocked a shot from the prolific hitman.

And in the games dying moments, countless pressure on Avenue’s defence nearly proved to be there downfall after a superb cross from Daniel Newton bettered the countless number of bodies in the box apart from Moore, whos deflected effort failed to hit the net.

AVENUE: Lamb, Black, Drury, Rea (Price 56), Qualter, Colbeck, James, Hotte, Chilaka (Frost 86), Marshall (Kerr 56), Walker. Subs Not Used: Mallory, Howarth.

LEAMINGTON: Collett, Mace, Morley, Magunda (Wint 89), Tank, Pierpoint, L Moore (Dodd 77), Goodard, S Moore, Newton, Batchelor (Edwards 77). Subs Not Used: Connolly, Maher.

FC Halifax Town 0-0 Braintree Town

Standard

As far as games go, this Thursday night goalless draw at The Shay between two sides chasing the play off places was hardly a classic.

FC Halifax Town welcomed Braintree Town for what was the visitor’s sixth game in the space of just thirteen days for a fixture in which the referee was focal point.

The officials gave a number of bizarre decisions topped off with a comical second half error which resulted in a free kick decision being reversed into a drop ball and the back to the original call.

In a poor first half, Braintree should have taken the lead on two occasions but both times Dan Holman pulled his shot wide when one on one with Halifax keeper Matt Glennon.

Halifax had the game’s first shot on target late in the half when Lois Maynard’s effort was well held by Nick Hamann between the sticks for the Essex outfit.

The Shaymen had two other opportunities earlier on in the proceedings with Paul Marshall’s left footed effort from the edge of the area and Marc Roberts header going wide of Hamann’s goal.

In a somewhat levier second half, Neil Aspin’s side must have felt they deserved more than just a point out of this game.

Hamann held onto a Simon Ainge header with substitute Scott Spencer, on debut following his loan move from Hyde, making a positive impact.

Within minutes of coming on, Spencer had two chances to score but both times but the ball in Row Z rather than the top corner of the Braintree goal.

The Iron’s defence held out strong against a Town strike force which contained the highly rated free scoring Lee Gregory and Alan Devonshire’s men tried to hit Fax on the break.

Braintree’s defensive display got this reaction from Neil Aspin: “If you look at the work-rate and when our wide players got the ball, there were always two banks of four. They worked exceptionally hard and they were difficult to break down. That is why we haven’t been able to be as fluent tonight because they put in a tremendous shift.”

The deployed tactic nearly came to fruition in terms of a goal but Matty Pearson fantastically outmuscled Luke Daley and forced a goal kick.

Braintree, who have played Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday for the past two weeks, have taken thirteen points along the way which has seen them move up to third in the table. The Shaymen remain in sixth, one point outside the play off place.

FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Bolton, Roberts (Lowe 65), Pearson, Ainge, McManus, Maynard, Smith (Spencer 61), Crowther (Jackson 82), Marshall, Gregory. Subs Not Used: Senior, Wilson.

Braintree Town: Hamann, Paine, Massey, Habergham, Wells, Daley (Jakubiak 80), Isaac, Sparkes (Laurent 46), Peters, Holman, Marks. Subs Not Used: McDonald, Holdsworth, Cox.

Keighley Cougars 24-42 Sheffield Eagles

Standard

After the Cougars heroics at Workington a week previous, the Cougars were brought back to earth with a bump by the ruthless Sheffield Eagles attack.

The Eagles broke the deadlock early on in proceedings when Duane Straugheir was the beneficiary of a defensive line gap from a Gareth Owen play the ball.

Despite trailing for just over sixty seconds, Straugheir sent the always dangerous Quentin Laulu-Togagae in for the Eagles second of the afternoon.

The Eagles secured an eight point half time interval when Michael Knowles controversially scored of a forward pass despite nearly knocking the ball on in the pass collection.

Three tries in the opening ten minutes of the second half for the Eagles secured the victory whilst killing the Cougars hopes of a bonus point off in the process.

The Eagles took less than two minutes to score when a flowing cross field passing move saw Scott Turner collect the ball and touch down in the corner.

A ludicrous forward pass which was missed by the official allowed the Eagles record try scorer Menzie Yere to get on the score sheet.

The man known as ‘QLT’ grabbed his second when he broke the Cougars line and sprinted fifty metres to touch down underneath the sticks and continue the Sheffield domination.

Sheffield got their fourth try of the second half after Pat Walker took advantage of a Elliot Cosgrove mistake to dummy through next to the sticks.

The Eagles final try of the afternoon came when substitute Matt Garside scored after some more poor defending by the home side.

Cougars looked like pushing Sheffield close when Scott Law luckily touched down a Danny Jones chip over the top to give the Lawkholmers an early two point lead.

After finding themselves eighteen points down, Cougars had some brief hope when Jack Lee’s kick over the top was spilt by Scott Turner on the line to be touched down by Josh Lynam.

The Cougars grabbed a third try when Andy Shickell powered through the Eagles line and stretched out to grab himself a four pointer.

Scott Law rounded of the scoring with his second try of the afternoon when he successfully fought through a tackle to get over next to the posts.

Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Ross Peltier – The big prop caused the Eagles all sorts of problems during his fifteen minute stint off the interchanges bench. Being stopped on the line three times by a number of defenders, Ross also threw in some big defensive hits and aided the Cougars effort immensely whilst on the pitch.

Cougars: Jesse Sheriffe, Barnett, Cosgrove, Lawton, White, Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Law. Interchanges: Jode Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Lee, Peltier.

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae, Turner, Yere, Straugheir, Taulapapa, Walker, Brambani, Lillycrop, Owen, Stringer, Knowles, Green, Hope. Interchanges: Tagaloa, Davey, Garside. Burke.

Workington Town 22-24 Keighley Cougars

Standard

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is a phrase overused in the game, but very appropriate for this dramatic Cougars victory.

Despite trailing by eighteen with twenty two minutes on the clock, Josh Lynam’s second try of the afternoon followed by a nail biting Paul Handforth conversion wrapped up the narrow victory.

The lad’s tremendous effort was not missed by Player-Coach Paul March: “Sixteen points down, probably should have been game over but we talked at half time about attitude and I think we showed that and I’m proud of the comeback.”

The Cougars were on the back foot for most of the game despite breaking the deadlock when Sean Hesketh dragged two Town defenders over the line before touching down.

Some shambolic defending by the visitors allowed Workington to take a twelve point into the half time interval much to the frustration of the Cougars defence.

Town took the lead when Andy Morris was the beneficiary of some lovely passing play from the halves, Carl Forber and Callum Phillips, to register the first points for the home side.

They would then go onto extend the lead when Brett Phillips broke through a half-hearted tackle before selling Handforth a dummy to send Jason Mossop through for a second try in five minutes.

The twelve point deficit at half time was wrapped up when a Morris break resulted in a flowing cross field move which caught the defence short to allow Callum Phillips over in the corner.

In between the Mossop and Phillips try, it seemed a miserable afternoon was to be impounded when Ash Lindsay departed injured.

Following the game, March gave us an update on Ash: “The doctor says it looks like Ash has cracked a bone in his leg, he’s going to have to go to hospital to have an X-Ray.”

A Cougars defeat looked certain when Town opened up an eighteen point lead Wigan dual registration star Jordan James powered over in similar style to Hesketh’s try.

But a resilient Cougars showed no mercy in the closing twenty two minutes to wrap up a fantastic comeback victory for themselves and the travelling support.

James Craven continued his recent hot streak when just made the whitewash to score despite appearing to knock the ball on in the process of grounding.

More dubious decisions then saw Josh Lynam score under the Town posts from a clear Danny Jones forward pass, one of many which infuriated Town coach Phil Veivers: “I need to look at the video, but there was a few dubious decisions I thought.”

Josh, who grabbed two tries including the winner, putting in an outstanding shift which saw him grab the man of the match award said post match. “It was disappointing to concede a few tries but we came out second half and stuck to our plans and won.”

Veivers mood could have only been worsened when a Danny Jones grubber on the last was missed by three defenders before being touched down by Elliot Cosgrove, who was in apparent offside position.

Then the Lynam winner came with five minutes left leaving the defence to hold out strong under immense pressure despite a last minute Town penalty five metres from the line.

Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Josh Lynam – An immense eighty minute shift from the second rower which saw him grab two tries was topped off with constant defensive line breaking runs in attack as well as many last gasp defensive tackles to stop Town running away with the game.

COUGARS: Craven, Barnett, Cosgrove, Lawton, White, Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Lindsay. Interchanges (All Used): Jode Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Graham, Lee.

TOWN: Murphy, Mossop, Stack, Morris, Connor, Forber, C Phillips, Dudson, Lupton, Shackley, B Phillips, Farrell, McAvoy. Interchanges (All Used): Coward, Duerden, Lucock, James.

Attendance: 746.

Keighley Cougars 42-0 Wath Brow Hornets

Standard

The Cougars saw off a potential cupset in convincing fashion as they swatted the Wath Brow Hornets to the side to book a place in the fourth round.

Danny Lawton got the scoring underway after sixteen very drab minutes squeezing over after three of his teammates were held out in succession by some tenacious defence.

The creative halves pairing of Danny Jones and Paul Handforth came into force as they offloaded back and forth before the latter sent Josh Lynam in under the posts.

Handforth got another assist moments later when he broke and offloaded to James Craven who staved off two Wath Brow defenders to touch down.

Some great Cougar teamwork was the force behind the fourth try when some fantastic link up play was followed up by Paul White skipping past three Hornets players to send the home side into the interval with a twenty point advantage.

Eight minutes after the restart, White was over in the corner again for his second of the afternoon despite a last ditch tackle attempt by the Hornets winger Luke Davison.

The tiring Wath Brow defence was then punished in the final twenty minutes, first of all by Handforth who powered through a three man tackle to get over.

Tiger, Danny Jones and the forward pack showed Wath Brow up with the impressive display which could have only impressed on looking Bradford Bulls coach Francis Cummins.

Two tries in two minutes finished off the game and scoring with the Cougars showing no mercy to the amateur Cumbrian outfit.

Jack Lee made it two in two when he collected the ball after a flowing move and dummied his way through a challenge to fight over the whitewash.

And from the restart, Richie Barnett broke the Wath Brow line and made a good forty metres before a cross field kick from Danny Jones allowed the move to continue and Lewis Graham to cross the line.

Wath Brow had very little scoring opportunities but had two tries, one in either half, ruled out by the Australian match official.

On both occasions, winger Scott Pink thought he had got his side on the scoreboard¬ however he had his efforts ruled out for a knock on in the first forty and a forward pass in the second.

The Cougars will be hoping to avoid Warrington in this Tuesday afternoon’s fourth round draw which will take place at 15:45 live on BBC Radio Leeds.

YORKSHIRE TIMES MAN OF THE MATCH – Jack Lee – One of six candidates, the substitute hooker replaced Luke Haigh in the first half and didn’t depart the field put in an impressive display in both attack and defence, grabbing a try in the process.

COUGARS: Craven, Barnett, Lawton, Williams, White, Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Lindsay. Interchanges (All Used): Jode Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Graham, Lee.

HORNETS: Devine, Davison, Caddy, King, Pink, K Dixon, Watson, J Dixon, Doran, R Huby, Ramsden, M Huby, Tomlinson. Interchanges (All Used): Agnew, J Martin, McCarron, L Martin.

Attendance: 488.

Keighley Cougars 26-28 Leigh Centurions

Standard

The bravest performance in defeat in many a year by the Cougars was no consolation for a controversial heart breaking defeat to league leaders Leigh Centurions.

Adam Higson crossed in the corner ninety seconds from the hooter after the referee awarded a controversial penalty for a ball steal in the tackle.

After winning the game on the controversial call by the official, Leigh came into the game expected to win with ease but didn’t have it all their own way.

This was shown by Paul Rowley post match: “There was no surprises, we’re not arrogant enough to think we deserve wins and for us, it’s done us good to be in a true contest and we kept going right until the last minute, which has done us the world of good.”

Leigh threatened to run away early on with Bob Beswick proving the beneficiary of a Tom Spencer break and Tom Armstrong crossed through a massive gap in the defensive line.

These efforts came either side of the Rocketman, Richie Barnett, going over in the corner for his first try of the season and Cougars first of the afternoon.

Leigh opened up a twelve point when a wild Danny Jones pass was kicked eighty metres down field by Stuart Littler to allow Ryan Brierley to touch down.

Cougars came back into the game however when Jack Lee, on for Luke Haigh who departed concussed, threw a fantastic offload to James Craven to touch down under the posts.

Leigh went into the half time interval with an eight point lead when Martyn Ridyard converted a penalty on the hooter after Brendon Rawlins was penalised by the match official.

Paul March’s stooges turned the style on in a dominant second half performance which left the stunned Centurions outfit looking for answers.

Keighley narrowed the margin of difference to two points when Daley Williams took yet another beautiful Tiger pass before dummying through two defenders to touch down.

The home side then drew level when Jack Lee collected a wonderful pass from Neil Cherryholme before weaving his way through three Leigh challenges to touch down at full strength.

But, Jack Lee’s efforts came after the visitors took a six point lead when Higson grabbed his first of the match touching down in the corner despite a last ditch tackle attempt by Williams.

Danny Jones gave the Cougars a deserved lead when he converted a penalty when Leigh were penalised back to back for interference in the ruck.

But Higson scored on the back of the controversial penalty to win the game for Leigh, leaving Paul March with this to say: “I’m massively disappointed, we didn’t start quite well yet again and they scored an early try but we dug in deep. We played for each other today and probably deserved all three points.”

The side will be looking to bounce back next Saturday when they step into an unknown quantity at Cougar Park when NCL outfit Wath Brow Hornets visit in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.

Yorkshire Times Man of the Match – Daley Williams – In a team full of heroes on this afternoon, Daley put himself out from the rest with his superb individual effort. As well as scoring a try, he forced numerous errors from Leigh whilst making a variety of fantastic tackles in defence across the park.

Cougars: Craven, Barnett, Lawton, Williams, White, Jones, Handforth, Shickell, Haigh, Hesketh, Lynam, Rawlins, Lindsay. Interchanges (All Used): Jode Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Graham, Lee.

Centurions: McNally, Higson, Littler, Armstrong, Kay, Ridyard, Brierley, Spencer, Beswick, Aspinwall, Sarsfield, Goulden, Barlow. Interchanges (All Used): Wilkes, Penkywicz, Emmitt, Haggerty.

Attendance: 1309.