BRADFORD Park Avenue make the short trip over the Pennine peaks into Lancashire for their reverse National League North fixture against Curzon Ashton.

The sides met at Horsfall Stadium on Boxing Day and with no games in the division taking place on the last Saturday of December, the New Year's Day clash is the first run-out since for either club.

Mark Bower's men will be in good spirits after their 3-1 victory on home soil but the 'Nash' will be keen to avenge the result of a tight and strange game.

The first half was a battle of attrition and although the contest opened up after the interval, the deadlock was not broken until the 83rd minute.

The biggest down side for Avenue was seeing Nicky Clee carried off midway through the first half. The midfielder was felled by a rash challenge from Joe Guest, with the referee controversially issuing only a yellow card.

Bower said: "It looked like a bad tackle but the referee was right there and we have to go with the decision he made.

"Fortunately Nicky returned from hospital after a scan with the good news that there was no fracture. He got back just at the end of the game, so he was with his team-mates in the dressing room to celebrate the win.

"He's unlikely to be fit for this game but he's responding well and he's got a good chance for next Saturday (against Spennymoor Town)."

Avenue host Spennymoor in another early kick-off, with the game scheduled for a 1.30pm start.

Bower's heart must have been in his mouth when he saw the tackle as Clee is so influential to the side and the Avenue boss has such a small squad. Assistant manager Danny Boshell replaced Clee on the pitch.

Avenue remained in fifth place while Curzon held on to 12th spot, so it is as you were as the clubs prepare for their rematch.

Bower's men now have a four-point cushion on the clubs outside the play-off places but the three immediately below them have played fewer games, so they need to remain focused.

Curzon's defeat at Avenue was their first in five games, although they only won one of those so they have taken just six points from the last 15 available.

Nash boss John Flanagan, when asked what his side could do differently in the return fixture, said: "We need to defend better. It's about concentrating, being dogged and being on the right side of attacking players.

"It was a disappointing way to lose the game after getting back into it. We left big spaces on the pitch – players were still celebrating the goal in their heads. It was their second goal that did it. The third was irrelevant really."