CLINICAL finishing and another top class goalkeeping display gave Gainsborough Trinity their seventh successive win on Monday night.
Steve Housham’s men beat Bradford Park Avenue 2-0 away from home, to leapfrog their rivals and move into fourth place in the Blue Square Bet North table.
Goals from Terry Hawkridge and Brad Barraclough, against Avenue’s stand-in stopper, sealed victory with 16 minutes remaining.
It was Bradford Park Avenue who had the chances in the first half, but outstanding efforts from Trinity goalkeeper Jan Budtz kept the score even.
Early on Budtz parried striker Alex Davidson’s low shot with his feet, before Gainsborough responded with some pressure which culminated in a fine individual effort from Josh Wilde, but having ran from the half-way line his shot flew over.
Avenue’s Danny Holland had a 10-yard shot deflected by Budtz, firing wide from a tight angle at his second attempt, Matty James also testing the stopper in the 25th minute
Gainsborough often struggled to put balls forward and regularly fell foul of Bradford’s offside trap.
Housham’s half-time team talk had an immediate effect, as Trinity came straight out fromt he break an created a chance.
Paul Connor’s one-on-one was well saved by Tim Deasy at point blank range, however the ‘keeper landed badly, and was stretchered off with a knee injury.
With no reserve goalkeeper, Avenue gave defender James Knowles the gloves.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Danny Hone was hurt soon after, the centre-back also carried off.
Three Gainsborough substitutions changed the game and gave Trinity the advantage in the 68th minute.
Hawkridge, on as a replacement, beat the defence and makeshift keeper for the opener.
Six minutes later Barraclough won it for Trinity, sprinting past his man and burying a fine left-footer from outside the box to make it 2–0.
Budtz prevented any late comeback from Davidson’s free header, the veteran ‘keeper diving spectacularly to tip the threat away.
Six minutes into injury time Hawkridge nearly made it three, running from 30 yards out with Knowles catching his close-range effort.
The Blues host Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday, before a trip to FC Halifax Town on Boxing Day.
Bradford Park Avenue: Deasy, Duckworth, Price, Marshall (booked 89), J. Knowles (C) (booked 32), Hotte, James (booked 45+1) (Greaves 76) (O’Brien 81), Davidson, Holland, Deacey, Walker. Not used: Daly, Clayton.
Gainsborough Trinity: Budtz, Roma (booked), Wilde, Waterfall, Hone (Young 63), Wilson, D’Laryea, Nelthorpe (Hawkridge 63), Barraclough, Connor (C) (booked) (D. Knowles 68), Yates. Not used: Stamp, Leary.
Yellows: Marshall, J. Knowles, James; Roma, Connor.
Goals: Hawkridge 68, Barraclough 74.
Referee: Ryan Johnson
Assistants: Robert Goodwin-Davey, Thomas Kirk.