BRADFORD Park Avenue exited the West Riding County Cup in midweek but manager Mark Bower was pleased with the way his makeshift side performed.

Bower has guided his team back into the Vanarama National League North top ten but he has a lot of injury concerns in his squad, so he elected to rest many first-team players against Selby.

An experimental side almost booked the club a quarter-final tie against FC Halifax Town as five Academy players made the starting line-up and another five made up the bench.

There was a great start for young striker Bradley Oliver as he scored the opening goal just ten minutes in. It looked as though it might be enough to win the tie but the Robins netted an 89th minute equaliser and went on to win 7-6 on penalties.

Bower said: "We have had a lot of big games in the league recently and, although we respect the competition, we had to make changes and I thought that the Academy lads did really well.

"It was a tough game for them against a strong, well organised and very, very experienced Selby side but they will have gained a lot from it.

"The lads who represented us are all regular players and have all played in competitive games for the club so they were all eligible for the tie and, although they're only 16 or 17-year-olds, they stood up to the test.

"I felt gutted for them when that late equaliser went in."

Ross Boyle, Devon Ridley, Jack Carter and Jordan Botwood all started along with Oliver. They were in a side captained by former Premier League defender Matt Hill.

Goalkeeper Ed Hall, who has had a run of games recently following Steve Drench's back injury caused by a car crash on his way to training, was another first team member to play with Adam Nowakowski, Jamie Spencer, Cameron Lyn and Avenue's assistant manager Danny Boshell.

Bower added: "I felt sorry for the young lads because Selby had chances but Ed made some great saves and they almost saw it out.

"Even when it went to penalties the lads did well and didn't shirk responsibility. I'm sure the whole experience will do them all a world of good."