Bradford Park Avenue 2, Leamington 1
TWO stunning strikes in a two-minute spell deep into the second half put Bradford Park Avenue in a winning position from being a goal down.
John Deacey's battling side protected that slender lead through to the final whistle, despite some nervous moments in the five minutes of stoppage time.
The victory stretched Avenue's unbeaten Vanarama Conference North start to three games.
The comeback started midway through the second half, around ten minutes after Deacey had changed things with a double substitution. The fresh approach had seen a shift of momentum and a goal was coming after a concerted spell of pressure from the home side.
A crisp passing move ended when Grant Blank delivered a deep cross that Paul Walker converted with a flicked header back across the face of goal.
It was a goal that would have featured on any goal of the month shortlist had it been scored in the Football League and captured on camera.
Yet it may not have even been the goal of the game because just two minutes later Scott Kerr, who Deacey had sent on in the double change, hit an equally spectacular effort.
Teams are at their most vulnerable after scoring and the home fans must have feared the worst when Leamington forced a corner after Walker's goal.
The flag-kick was whipped in but Black's long clearance picked out Joe Colbeck and he skipped forward before delivering a pin-point pass to Kerr, who netted a fierce dipping shot from the corner of the area.
Avenue had chances to extend their lead but Colbeck and Matty James both squandered good openings. Walker also sent in a good lob but visiting keeper Neil Collett recovered his position just in time to pluck the ball out of the air.
Leamington went in search of a late equaliser and were boosted when the amount of time added on were signalled. But they failed to add to Jordan Goddard's first-half goal, which was also a well-struck shot from the edge of the area.
Horsfall boss Deacey said: "We responded well but we keep digging ourselves into a hole before we start playing. That is the fourth time this season we have gone a goal down and had to come back.
"I think Scott made all the difference when he came on. He got a hold of the midfield and changed the game.
"I had to make changes because they (Leamington) were having the better of the three across the middle.
"The conditions were difficult and we were against a very blustery wind in the first half – but it's the same for both sides."