Vanarama National League North: Nuneaton Town 0 Bradford Park Avenue 0

BRADFORD Park Avenue’s battling qualities were to the fore as they earned a point from a very tough encounter in the Vanarama National League, despite finishing with ten men.

They had chances at Nuneaton’s LDJ Solicitors Stadium and worked home keeper Dean Lyness but it was Boro who pressed the most.

The home side had Avenue camped in their own half for the last 20 minutes after Danny Boshell was dismissed.

Avenue’s assistant player-manager picked up a second yellow card that boss Mark Bower described as ‘bizarre’ in his post-match debriefing.

The hosts failed to make the most of their numerical advantage, however, as Bradford defended for their lives to end a two-match losing run.

By contrast, lowly Boro went into the game after back-to-back victories.

However, the draw did Avenue more favours than the home side as Bower’s men remain outside just the play-off places but, as the two clubs immediately above both lost, they are again now just three points adrift.

Bower said it was a strange game for a 0-0 as both sides had plenty of chances.

“A brilliant goalkeeping performance from Denchy (Steve Drench) keeps our clean sheet and we’re disappointed that we weren’t creative enough in the final third.

"After Danny was bizarrely sent off, I thought the lads did really well and, at the end of the day, it’s a good point.

“You’ve got to remember that they beat Harrogate Town 2-1 two games earlier.”

Avenue had an early penalty shout as Lyness collected a third-minute cross right on the edge of his area, and the home keeper was in action again soon after as he blocked an Oli Johnson shot from an acute angle.

The home side settled after a rocky start but the woodwork and an inspired Drench conspired to keep them at bay as on-loan Peterborough United striker Jordan Nicholson, Tom Elliott and Daniel Nti all threatened to break the deadlock.

Into the second half, Avenue’s defence were sporadically under pressure but Adam Boyes had two chances to open the scoring, and Lyness pulled off a top-drawer save just after the hour to prevent Nicky Clee’s free-kick from nestling in the top corner.

Boshell’s second yellow card was apparently given on the totting-up process for persistent offending - a decision that perplexed Bower.

Boro boss Dino Maamria made an appearance for Park Avenue in a pre-season friendly when Trevor Storton was manager but he chose not to sign for Bradford.

He felt that his side should have banked all three points, adding: "I thought we deserved to win it. I do not think anybody in the ground today would argue that. We dominated from start to finish.

“But you cannot criticise the players because the effort was there for everybody to see against a good Bradford Park Avenue side. They played the pitch pretty well and slowed the game at vital times.

“Our lads gave everything. It just did not happen for us in that final touch. You cannot really criticise. The disappointment comes from that we dominated and should have won the game.”