Vanarama National League North: Southport 0 Bradford Park Avenue 4

BRADFORD Park Avenue bounced back from their home defeat against Tamworth in some style with a handsome away win that dumped Kevin Davies’ Sandgrounders into the relegation places in Vanarama National League North.

Avenue held onto their place in the play-off zone despite the 4-3 home reverse against the Bucks on December 16.

They improved on that as the climbed one place to fifth ahead of the Boxing Day home game against Curzon Ashton.

That was helped by former striker Tom Greaves, who is now player- manager of FC United of Manchester, leading his side to a 4-4 draw at Spennymoor Town, which saw Avenue climb above the north-eastern side on goal difference.

The Nash head to Horsfall Stadium on Boxing Day after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Stockport County yesterday.

Ashton are in 12th place and trail Avenue by six points, having played the same number of games.

A second-half penalty by Niall Cummins earned them their point against the Hatters.

Mark Bower’s men marched convincingly to victory at the Merseyrail Community Stadium after blasting their opponents with three goals in the first half, so they will be in good spirits for the visit of Curzon.

Following their win, Avenue boss Mark Bower said: “It was important to come back after last week and we cut out the errors of that game in this one.

“It was good to get a clean sheet and we were all pleased for Drenchy (keeper Steve Drench) after last week.

"We were clinical when chances came in this game, and scoring first is really important to us because of the way we play.

“It can be disappointing when you lose (against Tamworth) but overall we’ve won five of our last six league games and the lads definitely deserved this one.”

Adam Boyes opened the scoring midway through the first half when he tucked a shot past former team-mate Jon Worsnop, the Port’s keeper.

Boyes doubled Avenue’s lead minutes later when a through ball from Nicky Clee sent him clear.

Oli Johnson had claimed the assist for the first goal and he contributed again just before half-time as his ball through the area was converted by Clee to make it 3-0.

Avenue substitute Lee Knight, who came on for Boyes five minutes from time, wrapped up the scoring in the penultimate minute when he charged down a kick from the home keeper Worsnop and the ball rebounded in.

With a small squad, the holiday period is a tough time for Avenue but Bower is happy to report no new injuries or suspensions.

Following the win, he said: “All of the players are fit and should be fine for Tuesday.”