Vanarama National League North: Stalybridge Celtic 4 Bradford Park Avenue 3

BRADFORD Park Avenue remain just one point above the Vanarama National League North drop zone after slipping to a narrow but costly defeat at basement outfit Stalybridge Celtic.

The Celts hauled themselves off the foot of the table with a maximum from a seven-goal game that could not be described as a thriller or, for that matter, a classic.

Avenue were looking to steer themselves further away from danger but ended with a third consecutive league defeat.

The hosts broke the deadlock from an early set-piece as Danny Pilkington’s 13th-minute free-kick dipped over the wall and past Avenue keeper Jon Worsnop.

In-form striker Oli Johnson threatened for the visitors but it was goals from centre back Shane Killock and midfielder Wayne Brooksby that put Avenue in front.

Killock headed the equaliser from a 33rd-minute corner, and Brooksby bagged his first Avenue goal just minutes later.

Stalybridge were level at the break though after James Roberts converted a low cross.

Avenue boss Mark Bower made a change at the interval as defender Matt Hill came on for recent signing Gavin Rothery, but the momentum soon swung back in favour of the home side.

Brooksby forced the home keeper into a fine save but a minute later Aaron Chalmers put the Celts back in front with a stunning volley.

Avenue responded on the hour when Nicky Wroe struck with another splendid volley.

The home side had the last word, however, when substitute Porya Ahmadi netted the winner with his first touch.

Worsnop was beaten for the fourth time as Ahmadi converted Danny Wisdom’s 74th-minute cross.