Deacey keen to tighten up Bradford Park Avenue defence for challenge ahead

Ryan Qualter celebrates scoring Avenue's winning goal in their 3-2 victory against Hyde - Picture: John Rhodes

Ryan Qualter celebrates scoring Avenue's winning goal in their 3-2 victory against Hyde - Picture: John Rhodes

First published in Sport by

IT WAS an eventful Bank Holiday weekend for Bradford Park Avenue but they remain in the leading pack in the early Vanarama Conference North table.

They are currently in fifth place as they head to Gainsborough Trinity tomorrow but the Lincolnshire outfit would overtake their visitors with a win at the Northolme.

Avenue were humbled 3-1 at Stockport County last Saturday andJohn Deacey was angry with the performance of his team.

Yet even though the manager was unhappy, his side could still have come away from Edgeley Park with some reward as County only sealed their victory in the last of six added minutes.

Avenue bounced back on Monday when they beat basement outfit Hyde but again it was far from straightforward.

The visitors had lost all four of their previous games this season but went 2-1 up around the hour mark before Avenue eventually won 3-2.

While it was eventful on the pitch, it was also a busy week off it with two new signings coming in. Not surprisingly, both are defenders. Julian Banton was recruited on loan from Sheffield United in time to be included among the substitutes at Stockport, with Billy Priestley joining days later.

Avenue signed Priestley from Ramsbottom United, the 25-year-old having begun his career at Accrington Stanley before moving to Silsden's rivals Barnoldswick Town.

He moved on to Ramsbottom and was part of their success last year as they pipped Farsley to an Evo-Stik League play-off place in Division One North and then won promotion.

Deacey is working on tightening up his defence after his side continually find themselves behind in games.

"Against Hyde, that was the seventh time we have gone behind and we have only played five matches," he said.

"It is simple – it can't go on. I have said since the first game at Gloucester that we keep digging ourselves into a hole before we start playing.

"On the plus side, we are showing great character to keep turning things around.

"But we can't just let things slide because 11 goals for and ten against is mid-table form and we want to finish higher than we did last year. We have got to cut out the individual errors.

"It has still been a promising start though, and we want to keep that going."

It will be difficult at Gainsborough, who will be brimming with confidence after Monday's 3-1 win at Guiseley.

That was the Lions' first defeat of the season and sees them level on points with Avenue going into tomorrow's games.

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