Barrow 0 Bradford Park Avenue 1
Bradford Park Avenue go into tomorrow’s final home game of the season defending their place in the top ten of the Conference North after hauling themselves above Barrow on Saturday.
Avenue’s victory at Barrow, combined with Guiseley’s home win over Colwyn Bay, meant John Deacey’s men climbed above both the Bluebirds and the Welshmen with just two games remaining.
Paul Beesley scored the only goal of the game in the 16th minute.
Once again, Paul Walker was instrumental in the build-up. Walker found Chib Chilaka, who threaded a pass for Beesley to net from close range.
It was a relief for Beesley, who had fired over from an earlier chance. Gareth Arneson had the best first-half opportunity for Barrow but Avenue keeper John Lamb had two good saves to make leading up to the break.
Richard Marshall forced Barrow keeper Tony McMillan into a good block early in the second half and Avenue had to defend well at times against a strong Barrow outfit.
A Guiseley player almost cost Bradford two points as substitute Phil Marsh, on loan from the Lions, hit a shot that took a hefty deflection but trickled wide as the stranded Lamb tried to make ground up along his goal-line.
Bradford boss Deacey was pleased with the points and the effort of his players.
He said: “We played well. We started positively and took it to them from the first whistle.
“I wanted us to play on the front foot and nobody did that better than James Knowles – he was outstanding.
“We have had the occasional slip but it has been a good end to the season. There are players playing for contracts to stay at the club and they are playing with a great attitude.
“The fans travelled a long way to get behind us and we had to be professional for them.
“It always helps when we get good results and I hope they continue to support us against Stalybridge Celtic tomorrow.”
Avenue will be looking for a fourth win on the trot when they host the Celts but Deacey will be wary of the opposition.
Stalybridge are in the relegation zone but are third from bottom and only the bottom two are likely to drop down, with Vauxhall Motors resigning from the Conference League.