Bradford Park Avenue manager Mark Bower says his side showed an extra bit of quality as they picked up their second win in a row with a comprehensive victory against Gainsborough.
Bradford were handed a great chance to win the game when visiting goalkeeper George Willis was sent off on 20 minutes and Nicky Wroe converted the resulting spot-kick.
However it wasn’t all plain sailing for the home side as Trinity levelled through Gavin Rothery, but eventual goals from Danny Boshell, Oli Johnson, Chris Sharp and a second penalty from Wroe gave Avenue their most convincing league win in over two years.
“We’ll certainly take the win,” Bower said. “5-1 is a good result and we’d have been happy with any kind of win before kick-off, but I didn’t think we played very well.
“They were difficult conditions to play in and then it becomes a bit of a strange game when their ‘keeper gets sent off.
“When you’re playing against 10 men sometimes there’s that feeling that you need to score straight away and you don’t, because it’s not easy.
“It’s never easy to score when teams are camped around their own area which they were, and especially playing against a strong wind which made it difficult for us in the first half.
“We started the second half poorly but after that we showed an extra bit of quality, and showed that we do look like scoring goals even when we aren’t playing well.
“We created some good chances, showed some good quality and scored some good goals to put the game to bed.
“Certainly our performance needs to improve next week if we are going to get anything at Nuneaton but it’s not a bad sign when you don’t play very well and win, so I’m pleased from that point of view.”
Of Avenue’s seven other league wins this season, all have been by a single goal, and Bower was pleased to be able to watch the latter stages of the match in comfort.
“It’s the first time I’ve been able to sit down in a dug out and half-enjoy the last five minutes,” the Avenue manager said.
“But we have been threatening to do that I think to a few teams.
“Last week we could have definitely done that to Curzon, I think we had more chances in that game but were a little more clinical this time around.
“I do think a scoreline like that has been coming but we probably didn’t expect it to come with a performance like that.
“Things went for us on Saturday with the red card, but you’ve seen it before with teams not getting a result against 10 men, so credit to the players that they did get the job done and get the win.”
The main talking point in the match was evidently the sending off, former Avenue loanee Willis receiving his marching orders as he collected the ball before swinging his arm in the direction of Boshell having been prevented from distributing early.
“I actually missed it,” Bower explained.
“I’d turned around to say something to one of the lads on the bench and then they all jumped up saying he’s just elbowed him, so I don’t know what the ‘keeper was thinking.
“Maybe Danny has used his experience a little bit in going down but he’s certainly been elbowed in the head.
“It’s a definite penalty and a red card, so we didn’t get lucky on that front but we were fortunate that their goalkeeper has made a mistake and we punished that.”
Following an excellent display at Curzon Ashton last week, Johnson started his second game as a permanent Avenue player, netting his first goal for the club with a clever lob over makeshift stopper Bradley Beatson.
“It probably wasn’t Oli’s best performance today but it’s good for him to get off the mark,” Bower said.
“You need forwards to pop up with goals, and it’s good that Sharpy got one for us as well.
“Goals obviously give strikers confidence and for a couple of them to get on the scoresheet today can only be good for us.
“But a couple of the midfielders scored for us as well, and we talked about getting players in the box, and we managed to do that and always looked like scoring.
“We’ve hit the woodwork a couple of times too so all in all, with not a great performance we’ve still looked threatening, creating chances and scoring goals, which is probably something we weren’t doing a few weeks ago.”
With the scores at one-a-piece, Gainsborough had a great chance to go in front as former Bradford man Chib Chilaka looked set to score with a close range effort, only to be denied by a brilliant reaction save from Jon Worsnop.
“Spider (Worsnop) has made a great save for us and if they go 2-1 up it could have been completely different,” the Avenue boss stated.
“That’s what he’s there to do and he’s certainly saved us on more than one occasion this season and that’s why we brought him to the club.
“We’re down at the bottom of the league and we know teams are going to have chances against us, so you need a good goalkeeper.
“So thankfully he was there when we needed him, pulling out a big save and it was a big turning point for us because we went up the other end and scored soon after.
“And now we can go into next week’s game full of confidence off the back of two wins on the bounce.
“We’re not quite out of that bottom three yet but after being in some good away form of late, hopefully we can go down to Nuneaton, pick up a result and start moving in the right direction.”