ANDY BOOTH bagged a trademark headed goal as Town kept their winning pre-season run going and lifted the White Rose Challenge Trophy for a third successive year.
Town’s talismanic striker pounced on 22 minutes to seal a 1-0 win against Bradford Park Avenue at the Horsfall Stadium last night and reward a large travelling contingent in a crowd of 533.
While Booth’s goal came after excellent work by Chris Brandon – who raided smartly down the left all game – it was Danny Cadamarteri up front and Frank Sinclair at the back who really caught the eye.
Sinclair barely put a foot wrong, winning the man-of-the-match award in a back line featuring experimental full-backs James Berrett (on the right) and Shane Killock, who eventually went off to give Tom Clarke a run-out.
Young Clarke duly impressed – brother Nathan also looked solid – and was a constant source of support to an attack in which Cadamarteri was always too bright for his UniBond League markers.
In fairness to Avenue, who worked hard and played plenty of attractive football, they started much the brighter and were desperately unlucky not to score first when Ross Clegg drove a crisp left-foot shot against Simon Eastwood’s right-hand post with only 12 minutes on the clock.
Indeed, Tom Baker – the former Ashton midfielder who played under Town boss Andy Ritchie at Barnsley – showed pace and ingenuity to keep Avenue ticking, but it didn’t take Town skipper Jon Worthington long to react with a string of strong tackles and some astute use of the ball.
One such tackle and pass gave Brandon the opportunity to skip past right-back Ally Brown and cross for Booth’s goal, which was expertly finished from a pocket of space about eight yards out.
Cadamarteri’s crossing created chances for Brandon and Worthington while Malvin Kamara fired another effort high and Michael Collins overran a clear shooting chance, allowing keeper Jon Worsnop to smother.
While Avenue occasionally threatened on the break against a Town side which did not feature trialists Danny Lowe and Richard Marshall from Harrogate Railway, Town stayed pretty much in control during a second half in which Michael Collins had their best effort on goal.
Shaping to pass to the speeding Kamara, Collins instead unleased a 25-yard drive which keeper Worsnop did well to turn away, Cadamarteri and Brandon in turn failing to make the most of the rebound.
Town – Eastwood, Berrett, Killock (Clarke T 54 mins), Collins, Sinclair, Clarke (N), Brandon, Worthington, Booth, Cadamarteri, Kamara. Subs not used: Malcher, Smithies, Bailey, Akins.
Avenue – Worsnop, Brown, Hockenhull, Baker (Wilson HT), Meadowcroft, Daley (Lee 71), Clegg (Sanasy 78), Connors, Moseley, Jones (M), Gahgan (Jones G 71).