Bradford Park Avenue 3 Curzon Ashton 1

AVENUE stormed to their sixth win in seven Vanarama National North games after a whirlwind finish made their Boxing Day home fixture a real Christmas cracker.

It was 0-0 going into the 83rd minute and the biggest talking point at that stage was Avenue losing Nicky Clee to a first-half injury following a late over-the-ball lunge from Jordan Wright, who was only yellow carded.

Several of the home players questioned the referee and the crowd vented their anger at the official and Wright as they left the pitch at half time.

Avenue kept knocking on the door throughout the second half and they were eventually rewarded when substitute Wayne Brooksby cut in from the right flank and raced into the area before drilling a low shot past diving keeper Cameron Mason.

The visitors had created chances, but Avenue had defended well until the 88th minute when Curzon snatched a dramatic leveller. A

Another concerted attack led to Wright, who was getting the pantomime villain treatment from the crowd, crossing the ball for centre forward Niall Cummins to score as the defence failed to clear.

In the last minute, Adam Boyes burst through. His first effort was blocked by a combination of the keeper and a defender, his second came back off the bar and Brooksby reacted quickly to lash the rebound home.

Oli Johnson capped the win with a fine goal two minutes into stoppage time when he got into the area and jinked this way and that before firing past Mason.

Avenue manager Mark Bower was pleased with his side's finish. He said, “I thought it was a good goal to get us in front, it was a great run and finish, but we gave that lead away too easily.

"Wayne did even better with his second because that was a difficult strike, yet he took it really well. That was what pleased me most – the way we didn’t let the equaliser affect us and we went back down the other end to get the second goal." that one won the game. Oli has chipped in with a fine goal at the end and that just put the icing on it for us.

“Nicky got back to the ground just after the end of the game with the news that there was no fracture. His ankle swelled up really quickly, so we feared the worst before he went to hospital, but it looks like he won’t be out for too long.”