Three minutes before the interval a lapse of concentration in the Mossley team allowed Bradford to take the lead. Picking up the ball deep in his own half Tom Baker (no, not that one) moved forward and the white shirts in front of him broke apart like an Antarctic ice shelf, allowing him to advance on goal unchallenged. Reaching the edge of the box he slipped the ball under Ashley Connor and put his side ahead.
It was the cue for a frenetic close to the half. Gareth Hamlet narrowly failed to get on the end of a Lee Blackshaw cross which rolled along the face of the goal and Hamlet then turned provider only to see Garvey to come just as agonisingly close to converting his ball across the six yard box. Avenue responded with a couple of efforts from distance before Mossley worked an opening that should have seen them go into the break on a deserved level footing. A combination of a Martin Allison through ball and Kitson Gayle's pace split the Bradford defence wide open and left the Gayle one-on-one with Worsnop. As the Bradford custodian narrowed the angle the burly Mossley forward unleashed a shot that not only beat the keeper but also the left hand post as well.
The second half was an altogether duller affair with chances few and very far between. Bradford looked the side most likely to score but that was primarily through Mossley presenting them with opportunities rather than from any industry on their own part. An example being a loose pass a minute before the hour mark that forced Ashley Connor into diving low to his left to keep out a powerful shot from Ross Clegg, the former Mossley midfielder taking a rare moment off from performing niggling fouls to try and increase his sides lead.
By this stage Mossley were making little to no progress in finding a way back into the game. The long ball up the centre of the field was playing straight into the hands (or rather heads) of Avenue's giant central defenders and with no variation in approach the forwards were virtually spectators.
The home sides best, and only, chance of finding a way back into the game appeared to be from corners and free-kicks and it was from the former that Mossley finally caused the visitors to sweat a bit. Lee Connor beat everyone to a cross only for the slightest of deflections to carry the ball off its trajectory towards the net and off for another corner. They couldn't build on it though and with eight minutes left the game would have been put out of Mossley's reach were it not for another great stop by Ashley Connor, stretching low to his left to prevent Kevin Sanasay's dipping shot from crossing the line.
With the game slowly slipping away Bradford's predilection for committing unnecessary fouls was about to give Mossley their first point of the season. A needless free-kick conceded just inside the Avenue half and a few yards from the touchline was launched towards the box by Darryl Weston. Jamie Miller pulled the ball down with his back to goal, wrong footed his marker, turned inside and hit an inch perfect shot that found the gap between the outstretched arm of Worsnop and the right hand post.
The goal unsurprisingly gave Mossley a bit of belief and for the first time in the half they showed a bit more invention than just hoofing the ball up the middle of the pitch; passes were to feet and off-the-ball movement started to give the Bradford defenders something to worry about. A winning goal wasn't to be forthcoming though and the referee's whistle signalled a result that was probably the fairest one to both teams.
It also brought a few cries of derision in his direction from a couple of Bradford fans stood next to us as they blamed him for the fact their team had picked up only a point. But as we've learnt over the last few years, when you've spent a not insubstantial amount of money of a team, it's easier for some people to blame peripheral factors for a sides failings rather than how wisely that money has been spent.
Man of the Match James Riordan
Champagne Moment: Jamie Miller