Vanarama National League North: Bradford Park Avenue 1 Southport 2

AFTER opening their Vanarama National League North season with an uplifting win thanks to a late goal, Park Avenue were on the wrong end of a sucker punch last night.

They played for more than half an hour with ten men after defender Vavan Vidal was shown a straight red card just after the hour.

Vidal walked after a two-footed tackle in the 61st minute and, despite Avenue having a penalty appeal in the five minutes of time added on, they slipped to a narrow defeat.

For Southport it was a second consecutive victory as the relegated side continued their 100 per cent start to life in the sixth tier.

Gary Roberts was their man of the match in the Yellows’ first game, when they won 4-0 at home against Boston United, and he was their match-winner last night as lashed home the visitors’ penultimate-minute winner.

It had been a good start for the home side as Mark Bower’s men broke the deadlock in the tenth minute – thanks to a Vidal assist.

The right back sent in a low cross after a great move by the home side and striker Adam Boyes, who had hit Avenue’s late winner at Tamworth on Saturday, converted it,

Avenue's keeper Steve Drench made fine saves in the first half to deny Dominic Smith and Roberts, but in between those stops he mishandled a cross, and when his defence failed to clear the ball effectively, Andy White pounced to net the Yellows’ equaliser.

After the break, Drench did well to tip a Liam Martin header over the bar but Vidal was dismissed soon after.

Bower tried to minimise the damage by sending on experienced duo Ryan Toulson and Danny Boshell, Jamie Spencer and Nicky Boshell making way – the latter for his elder brother – but the changes didn’t prevent Southport from snatching all three points.

A good move by the visitors ended with Roberts drilling an effort past Drench after being picked out by a cross.