Bradford Park Avenue 3, Histon 0
Avenue cruised to victory in their penultimate home game of the season as they brushed aside relegation-threatened Histon.
The Cambridgeshire outfit are fighting for their Conference North lives but John Deacey’s men were simply too strong for them.
In contrast, mid-table Avenue did not need the points but they were not yet thinking of their summer holidays, with Deacey summing up his side’s performance in one word – professional.
The Horsfall boss said: “I said in the build-up to this game that we would be going into it just like any other because it’s only fair on every other side in the division. I thought we were very professional in the way we went about it.
“We were superb from one to 14. All the boys were very good. I thought Paul Walker was outstanding, James Knowles has come back in from a two-match ban and defended really well and the midfield worked hard.
“Histon are a good young side and they came here needing points, so to restrict them to no shots on target at all we’ve done our jobs. In fact, they had no attempts on our goal all game.”
The hosts had a strong penalty claim in the tenth minute when Paul Beesley appeared to be tugged back as he attempted to latch on to Chib Chilaka’s lay-off but the referee, who was well placed, was unmoved.
The closest Histon came to finding the net was from keeper Charlie Grainger. The England under-18s player, on loan from Leyton Orient, launched a long kick out that carried on the strong breeze and almost caught out opposite number John Lamb.
But Avenue were serene in their progress to a 2-0 interval lead from then on, with both goals coming from Chilaka.
The deadlock was broken just after the half-hour point when a quick free-kick from Chris Howarth found space in front of Walker.
The left winger raced onto it and delivered a low ball into the area, where Chilaka simply opened his body to let the ball run across him before steering it into the far corner of the net.
Chilaka and Walker combined well and the striker had more chances but his second goal came courtesy of Richard Marshall.
Walker was inevitably involved in the build-up and he played Marshall in and although his shot across Grainger came back off the far post, it sat up for Chilaka to stab home from close range.
The second half was largely forgettable but it was illuminated by Avenue’s third goal. A Grant Black cross was not dealt with and when it dropped for Walker he rifled a shot from the corner of the six-yard box in off the inside of the far post.