AFTER flirting with relegation for most of Martin Drury’s first season at the helm the club turned to Darren Edmondson in mid March and the former Terrier ultimately secured Bradford’s status in the sixth tier of English football.

Avenue suffered back-to-back home defeats to end the campaign on a sour note but they were already safe by then and finished 14th in the 22-strong division. The mood was good and expectations were artificially high when former crowd favourite Drury and ex-team-mate Jamie Price were installed before pre-season.

The friendly fixtures went well but the supporters had to wait until the eighth game to see their side win a competitive game. Four of those first seven games brought defeat and it was clear that Bradford were in for a tough season.

The board’s patience with the management duo finally wore out following a 2-0 home defeat to promotion-chasing Tamworth on March 19. Edmondson was approached but the former Barrow manager was still on gardening leave from his former club who were a division higher after he had led them into the National League.

Edmondson’s right-hand man Alex Meechan oversaw the first two games while the Bradford directors negotiated a deal with Barrow that would allow him to be Avenue’s interim manager.

While the politics of the situation were being dealt with, Avenue began the post-Drury era with a home win over high-flying Chorley in their first game after his exit but they suffered a 34th-minute abandonment at AFC Fylde on the following Saturday.

They enjoyed a morale-boosting 3-1 home win over neighbouring rivals Harrogate Town two days later. However, fixture chaos caused by one of the wettest winters on record meant Edmondson’s squad faced five games in a 12-day spell at the start of April – the first four of which were against clubs in the top six.

They lost all four but then won at home against Corby Town, who were one of the three clubs eventually relegated. Just three days later they also beat Worcester City at Horsfall and the draw that followed at Hednesford Town meant that the last two games were dead rubbers.

The club’s supporters were happy to steer clear of relegation, having seen their team 17th at the end of January following three straight defeats in the league and then enduring a humiliating exit from the FA Trophy with a 5-0 defeat to lower-ranked Nantwich Town.

The board of directors were also relieved but they are considering their options over the close season and are yet to confirm who will be in the hot seat for the coming season.

Vanarama National North 2015-16 record: Pos:14th P42 W13 D11 L18 F51 A59 Pts 50