Bradford Park Avenue made if four games unbeaten with a second successive goalless draw, this time away at Stockport County.
Avenue drew 0-0 the last time out at home to Chorley, after successive victories over FC United of Manchester and AFC Telford United, and travelled to Stockport as the last side to have defeated the hosts in a competitive league game at Edgeley Park, over nine months ago.
The play was largely in Avenue’s half early on and only long range efforts allowed Avenue to attack.
The first five minutes saw Bradford goalkeeper Steven Drench called into action on two occasions, first to deny Sam Minihan’s overhead kick attempt before his cross was easily gathered.
Bradford’s first real attempt came courtesy of winger Nicky Clee, he picked the ball up 40 yards from goal before taking a few strides forward and firing high over Ben Hinchliffe’s crossbar.
The next real event of note was the injury sustained by Luca Havern, the central defender going down unchallenged and eventually was forced off due to a slight hamstring strain.
His replacement, James Knowles, was immediately called into action, with a terrific block as Stockport looked to break the deadlock before half time.
Slightly against the run of play it was Avenue who almost opened the scoring, as terrific work by Adam Boyes saw him find Oli Johnson, who scuffed his shot wide from 10 yards.
Avenue looked to make their mark on the game, and minutes later, good work from the ever willing Boyes led to Clee’s rasping effort which was palmed over by Hinchliffe.
Then, on the stroke of half time came the biggest chance of the game. Ryan Toulson laid on a terrific ball for Boyes whose header was magnificently saved by Hinchliffe.
Stockport came flying out of the blocks at the start of the second half and found Drench alert and off his line to clear away when they looked set to get in behind.
Then, a comical effort from Wayne Brooksby seemed to catch everyone out as he looked to have ran into the ball and it trickled wide of the post, before Johnson again came close as the game carried on its end to end feel.
The game continued it’s ebb-and-flow feel as both Javan Vidal and Ryan Toulson came close yet the score remained goalless.
As we entered the final 10 minutes, both teams went searching in hope of getting a winner.
First, County substitute Darren Stephenson fired over when it looked easier to score, before Bradford replacement Jamie Spencer saw two efforts just miss the mark
Johnson then forced Hinchliffe into another fine save before the resulting corner saw Avenue hit the crossbar in an agonisingly tense final few moments.
It is another short turnaround for Mark Bower’s Bradford, who travel to Gainsborough Trinity on Tuesday evening.
Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Cowan (Stopforth 70), Hampson, Ball, Clarke, Smalley, Minihan (Walker 86), Winter (c), Oswell, Warburton, Walker (Stephenson 70)
Subs not used: Duxbury, Smith
Booking: Walker (45)
Bradford Park Avenue: Drench, Ross, Hill, Wroe (c), Havern (Knowles 20), Toulson, Brooksby (Spencer 56), Vidal, Boyes, Johnson, Clee (Nowakowski 77)
Subs not used: Hall, Knight
Bookings: Johnson (58), Nowakowski (79), Hill (84)
Referee: Scott Simpson