Thursday, September 09, 2010

Greaves hat-trick decisive to delight of packed Horsfall

Source: Bradford Telegraph and Argus

11:13pm Wednesday 8th September 2010

    * By Ian Whitin

Bradford Park Avenue 4, FC United of Manchester 1

Striker Tom Greaves was a hat-trick hero as Bradford Park Avenue earned a significant win against rivals FC United of Manchester in front of an almost 1,000-strong crowd at Horsfall Stadium.

Avenue have endured a stuttering start to their season in the renamed Evo-Stik Premier Division but turned out their best performance of the campaign against a side who were riding high in the table.

They even had to come from a goal down to get the victory as one of their former players threatened to spoil the day. A defensive error by Nathan Hay provided an opening for Chris Ovington and the former Leeds United youth player slotted in.

Just over a minute later the home side got a cross into the United area and as keeper Sam Ashton collided with one of his own men, Dominic Riordan fired the loose ball in.

The game was held up for eight minutes while Ashton received treatment. He had almost lost consciousness but recovered to play the rest of the game.

Greaves beat him with a lob but a covering defender just cleared the effort off the line, while a later James Knowles header nestled in the back of Ashton’s net but the strike was ruled out for a foul by the Avenue man.

Those two close calls ensured the first half ended all square but the hosts finished strongly and from Greaves putting them back in front with quarter of an hour remaining, they coasted to an emphatic victory.

Greaves stabbed a low Danny Facey centre into the roof of the net for his first and chased down a defender before stealing possession and shooting in his second.

The hat-trick came in the last few minutes, following a flick on from substitute Marc Smith, to put the gloss on the win.

Meanwhile, there was a second successive draw for Farsley AFC in the Kool Sport Northern Counties East League Premier Division as they were held 1-1 at basement outfit Hall Road Rangers.

Farsley had not had a stalemate this season until Saturday’s 2-2 at Armthorpe Welfare but they were frustrated again despite having the better of the game.

The home side set themselves up not to be beaten and became even harder to break down after they had taken a first-half lead. Mark Jackson headed Farsley’s late equaliser, converting a Roy Stamer free-kick.

It was a similar story for ECCLESHILL UNITED in Division One of the NCE League.

The Eagles were early-season leaders and appear to be up against brick walls, even away from home, because of that.

Marcus Edwards got their only goal in the 1-1 draw at Shirebrook Town.