Adam Yates reports from the Marine Travel Arena as Bradford Park Avenue’s relegation battle suffered a severe setback at the hands of high-flying Marine, who secured their fifth consecutive home win and reclaimed second spot in the NPL table with a commanding 4-0 victory.

With just four home games left in the regular season, securing maximum points in front of the home crowd was imperative.

Neil Young made several adjustments to his squad after their defeat to Radcliffe seven days ago. Luke Hutchinson was recalled to Bolton, making way for loanee Bobby Jones, while Owen Windsor earned his first start after an impressive debut the previous week. Louis White, unable to maintain his consistent presence in the starting lineup, was named on the bench.

Marine has often capitalized on early goals this season, but none were as swift as Owen Windsor’s, slotting away his first goal for the club within 60 seconds. It caught everyone off guard as Owen chested the ball in the box, ran into space, and found the net.

Ten minutes later, Bobby Grant showcased a burst of pace in a lone attack down the left, doubling Marine’s lead at the Crosender end as Bradford keeper Kieran Flavell couldn’t thwart the effort.

Bradford shifted gears as the first half progressed, improving their attacking play and creating several golden opportunities.

Edy Maieco had a one-on-one with new Marine goalkeeper Bobby Jones, but his shot lacked precision and went straight at Jones, who stood his ground.

At halftime, Marine led 2-0 but had weathered a solid 20-minute assault from a determined Park Avenue side, demonstrating possession quality but lacking finishing finesse.

Owen Robinson extended Marine’s lead early in the second half, capitalizing on a fantastic opportunistic pass from Fin Sinclair-Smith and delivering a stunning curling effort inside the area.

In the 77th minute, Bobby Grant added a fourth. Sol Solomon backpassed to Grant, who surprised Flavell (and the 1323 in attendance) with a quick, low volley from well outside the area, securing his eighth goal since joining from neighbouring Litherland REMYCA last month.

Fortuitously, other results favoured Marine, giving them a foothold in the playoffs with nine games remaining.

Next Up…can Marine exact revenge on Macclesfield who curtailed Marine’s 11 game unbeaten run back in October? Find out this Saturday with limited seats left on the supporters coach. Book via

Marine: 1 Bobby Jones, 2 Scott Butler, 3 Freddie Sass, 4 Harvey Gregson, 5 Chris Doyle (Matty Waters 81′),
6 Josh Wardle, 7 Finlay Sinclair-Smith (Sol Solomon 71′), 8 Liam Nolan (Jon Routledge 59′), 9 Bobby Grant, 10 Owen Windsor, 11 Owen Robinson

Subs: 12 Jon Routledge, 13 Richard Cowderoy, 14 Matty Waters, 15 Sol Solomon, 16 Louis White

Bradford (Park Avenue): 1 Kieran Flavell, 2 Lucas Odunston, 3 Mason O’Malley, 4 Will Lancaster (Lewis Hey 81′), 5 Jak Whiting, 6 Ryley D’Sena, 7 Edy Maieco (Harry Colville 78′), 8 Harrison Hopper, 9 Chinedu Osadebe (Leon Johnson 66′), 10 Jordan Preston, 11 Jake Daniels

Subs: 12 Leon Johnson, 14 Myles La Bastide, 15 Harry Colville, 16 Lewis Hey, 17 Ted Lavelle

Man of the Match – Bobby Grant
Attendance 1323

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