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By Tim Clarke Sunday 16 December 2012 Updated: 17/12 11:37
Worcester City 2 Bradford Park Avenue 0
Tim Clarke reports from St George’s Lane
GOALS from Jacob Rowe and Greg Mills in either half ended Worcester City’s three month wait for a league victory at St George’s Lane with a 2-0 win over nine-man Bradford Park Avenue.
Rowe’s tenth minute header gave City the ideal start against their play-off rivals before Mills pounced in the 73rd minute to end the Yorkshire side’s resistance and propel Worcester back into the top five of Blue Square Bet North.
The visitors fought hard to try and salvage something from the game but were left with a mountain to climb once Jordan Deacey picked up two quick yellow cards soon after the break.
Nathan Hotte was also given his marching orders in the 90th minute for a reckless lunge on Mills to complete a miserable afternoon for Avenue.
The victory was City’s first in six games and provides a timely boost to their play off challenge as they head into the busy festive period.
Carl Heeley's side were still not at their fluent best but there were encouraging signs, not least in defence where City's first clean sheet since November 3 was built around a commanding performance from loan signing Graham Hutchison and goalscorer Rowe.
City made just one change from the side which lost to FC Halifax the previous weekend with Charlie Reece returning to midfield at the expense of Matt Breeze.
And City were quickly out of the blocks as they grabbed a tenth minute lead with Rowe producing the faintest of headers to glance home Mills' free kick which was brilliantly delivered from the left flank.
The goal roused Avenue into life and Danny Holland had City keeper Matt Sargeant back-peddling to tip over his looping header.
Sargeant had to be alert again to keep out James Knowles’ cheeky back-heeled effort from close range as the visitors pressed for an early equaliser.
Mills continued to pose the biggest threat for the hosts and the winger almost capitalised on a speculative ball upfield but his lobbed effort cleared the cross bar as keeper Tim Deasy came racing off his line.
Avenue wasted a glorious chance to draw level seven minutes before the break as City's back-line was cut open but Alex Davidson slid his effort the wrong side of the post with just Sargeant to beat.
It proved a costly mistake as seven minutes after the break Deacey was given his marching orders for two petulant bookings.
Firstly he shoved Ellis Deeney as they clashed off the ball and then barely two minutes later he was shown a second yellow for impeding Tom Thorley as he tried to take a quick free kick.
Undeterred Avenue continued to try and muster an equaliser with Davidson seeing a driven effort blocked by the legs of Sargeant before Holland somehow missed his kick with the goal at his mercy after the City keeper had palmed away Knowles' header.
The miss was ruthlessly punished by City in the 73rd minute as substitute Danny Glover broke down the right and his cross was pounced on by Mills who rounded Deasy before slotting home neatly from a tight angle.
That finally broke Avenue's resolve and their misery was complete in the 90th minutes when a frustrated Hotte was shown a straight red for an ugly lunge on Mills.
STANDARD STAR MAN: Hutchison.
City line-up: Sargeant; Weir; Deeney; Thorley; Hutchison; Rowe; Reece; Elvins (Breeze 76); Symons; Patterson (Glover 68); Mills. Subs not used: Ayres; Taylor; Thompson
Referee: Simon Bennett
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