Vanarama National League North: Bradford Park Avenue 1 Spennymoor Town 2

A DISAPPOINTING first-half display by the home side laid the foundations for a home defeat to promotion rivals Spennymoor Town as Bradford Park Avenue slipped down to seventh in Vanarama National League North.

Mark Bower’s men are still in the play-off places while the Moors remain fourth and, although they are four points adrift of the top three, they now have a five-point cushion over Avenue, and also have a game in hand on them.

Bower said: “The first half was very frustrating but, having said that, I thought it was a nothing game until half-time.

“Drenchy (keeper Steve Drench) didn’t have many saves to make throughout but we conceded two really poor goals, and you can’t give a side as good as Spennymoor that much of a start.

“We did play a lot better in the second half and put them under pressure but that’s not enough to expect something out of the game.”

There was more than a suggestion of offside as the Moors took a 14th- minute lead.

A good run and cross by right back Matt Dixon created a chance for Mark Anderson but his shot came back off Drench’s post, and David Foley slotted the rebound in from point-blank range.

Before wheeling away to celebrate, he nervously glanced at the assistant referee, but there was no flag.

Avenue created a lot of pressure after the break, and another good spell for the home side followed later in the half.

However, the visitors forced a corner from a 74th breakaway and as the flag kick was whipped in, Moors’ centre back Chris Mason stooped at the far post to nod in.

Bower’s men responded as substitute Nicky Clee netted a with a superb drive on the follow up after a Jamie Spencer shot was blocked 11 minutes from time.

The Moors did what they could to run the clock down from there on as they attempted to see the game out.

They managed that, and when asked if he could see Spennymoor gaining promotion, Bower said: “I can see ten clubs going up - they are all capable.

"Spennymoor are one of them and so are we. We’ve put ourselves in a very good position and won’t ease off in the second half of the season.”