The Emirates FA Cup second qualifying round: Southport 0 Bradford Park Avenue 3

BRADFORD Park Avenue gained revenge for their home defeat to Southport in Vanarama National League North last month and will be in the draw for the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup after a convincing win at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.

Two goals in three minutes early in the first half put the skids under the Sandgrounders, who nicked the points from the league meeting with a winning goal in the penultimate minute with Avenue down to ten men after Javan Vidal had been sent off just after the hour.

Vidal was the man who effectively cemented Avenue’s progress in the cup as he scored the third goal and, although there were still 39 minutes remaining when he steered Adam Boyes’ through ball in, the home side were effectively broken.

Southport had enjoyed a very good start, and Avenue keeper Steve Drench had to be lively early on.

He parried Jack Sampson’s seventh-minute shot and was relieved to see Nathan Lowe’s shot from outside the area strike a post minutes later.

Avenue broke the deadlock in the 16th minute and it was Boyes who notched the opener.

He drilled in a low shot to complete a good move involving Wayne Brooksby and Oli Johnson, a one-two between Boyes and Johnson leaving the striker with just home keeper Mark Halstead to beat.

And Avenue had a second just two minutes later as great play from Graham Kelly ended up with him crossing for Johnson, who finished well on the half-volley.

Avenue centre back James Knowles was involved at both ends in the latter stages of the first half.

He headed a Brooksby free-kick just over Halstead’s bar, but a later attempted clearance from the defender fell to Alex Fletcher, who shot wide of Drench’s goal.

Avenue were under some pressure in the last five minutes of the first half but almost took a three-goal lead into the break as a Boyes shot in stoppage time was deflected for a corner by Jacques Kpohmouh.

Johnson had a header cleared off the line, with Avenue claiming a penalty as they felt Dominic Smith had used a hand to ensure that the ball stayed out, and on-loan Port Vale man Graham Kelly sent a dipping volley just over as Avenue created chances in the second half.

But Drench and his defence still had work to do to keep their sheet clean as Avenue stretched their unbeaten run to eight games and put themselves in the hat for the next round.

Meanwhile, ALBION SPORTS’ journey in the FA Cup was ended as they lost 4-0 at home to Hallmark Security League Premier Division side Ashton Athletic.

The visitors snatched the lead just before the break when Josh Nicholson netted after a final ball from Joel Brownhill.

The tie was over just before the hour mark as Brownhill provided another assist for Nicholson before scoring Ashton’s third goal himself. Nicholson went on to complete his hat-trick soon after.