Hard work pays off for victorious Blues

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Gainsborough Trinity manager Steve Housham says that his side’s hard work on the training pitch paid off in their 4-2 defeat of in-form Bradford Park Avenue at the Northolme.

Late goals from Dan Clayton and substitute Darryn Stamp and secured all three points in an impressive second half showing from the Blues, banishing memories of last week’s horror show at Workington.

“It’s very pleasing to see the work that we have put in get rewarded. There were some great goals – some negatives in the ones we conceded, but we could have scored more. ”

“It was the reaction we wanted after last week. We said that it was our worst performance of the season (at Workington) but the way we’ve come back from that stands us in good stead.”

“I’m very pleased for Dan (Clayton) – he’s one that could have come out of last week with a bit of credit, and today I thought he was outstanding. But all the players deserve the applause today – we’ve beaten a very good side.”

The visitors had the best of the early exchanges, with Alex Davidson twice taking advantage of miscommunications in the Blues backline to get his shot off, although his efforts didn’t trouble Phil Barnes in the Trinity goal.

Despite having less of the ball early on, it was Trinity that took the lead on 18 minutes.

A gentle, looping ball into the box was met by Brad Barraclough, who chested, controlled and finished from fifteen yards, firmly placing the ball in John Lamb’s bottom corner.

The goal seemed to galvanise the Blues, and they nearly had a second moments later when debutant Adi Yussuf forced a save from Lamb, which nearly rebounded into the net off the boot of defender James Knowles.

The visitors remained a threat going forward though, and they were level on the half hour mark.

Nicky Boshell broke free of his marker and found Alex Davidson, who distributed the ball neatly to Walker – the left winger making no mistake in flashing the ball inside Barnes’ near post.

Avenue continued to look dangerous – Nathan Hotte firing just wide from a full 30 yards shortly after the equaliser – but it was Yussuf who regained the Blues’ lead.

After goalmouth scramble, the ball rolled out to the edge of the box where it was met by the right boot of the on-loan striker, firing the ball firmly along the ground and into the corner of the net to give the Blues the lead going into the break.

Bradford came out after the interval with renewed purpose, and levelled the scores ten minutes into the second half.

A lofted ball into the box by Adam Clayton was met by the run of the impressive Davidson, who broke free to scoop the ball over Barnes and into the net to equalise.

With the game well and truly in the balance, Gainsborough had their share of chances to regain the lead – Alistair Taylor firing just over the bar after a strong run, and Yussuf sliding the ball just wide of the post through a sea of legs.

The introduction of Stamp signalled Steve Housham’s intent to go for the jugular, and the veteran very nearly scored with his first touch, but his touch on Clayton’s cross was too firm and never troubled the Bradford goal.

Simon Russell produced some long-range magic to draw an athletic save from Lamb, but it was from the resulting corner that the lead was regained.

Ciaran Toner’s set-piece seemed to hang in the air before dropping at the back post, and through a mess of bodies Stamp poked the ball into the back of the net.

Any nerves from the Trinity faithful were quelled five minutes later after a swift counter-attack saw Dan Clayton net a game-sealing fourth.

Substitute Liam Davis found space for a cross that was initially scuffed by Stamp, only to fall into the path of Clayton who fired the ball into the top corner and seal all three points.

Trinity: Barnes, Roma, Young, Ward, Wilde, Taylor (Davis, 72), Russell, Toner, Clayton, Yussuf (Stamp, 74), Barraclough

Subs not used: Williams, Batty, Lacey

Bradford: Lamb, Howarth, Drury (Maxfield, 45), Marshall, Knowles (Lenigitan, 85), Clayton, Boshell (Chilaka, 68), Hotte, Davidson, Deacey, Walker

Subs not used: Corner, Mallory

Yellow: Knowles (handball, 53)

Goals: Barraclough (18), Walker (30), Yussuf (39), Davidson (55), Stamp (83), Clayton (88)

Referee: Mr M Ackerman

Attendance: 436