BRADFORD Park Avenue were reduced to nine men before half-time at FC United of Manchester’s Broadhurst Park in a 4-0 defeat National League North defeat.

Left back Matt Hill was the first to be dismissed, the former Wolves defender seeing red in the 44th minute following an innocuous-looking foul and the home side took the lead when Jeff King fired the resulting free-kick into the top corner.

Three minutes into first-half stoppage time, Avenue striker Oli Johnson was the second player heading for an early bath. The two red cards stunned the visitors and left boss Mark Bower fuming.

Bower said: “The game was completely ruined by two appalling decisions.

“Our supporters deserve an apology from the referee. It’s an easy target for us managers when we’ve lost a game but his performance was simply unacceptable and made it impossible for us to get a result.

“I’m not happy. In over 20 years in the game it’s rare that you have such bad decisions go against you but to be on the wrong end of two in the space of five minutes is something I’ve never known.”

The nine men had no chance in the second half and their hosts doubled their lead 13 minutes into the second period with King's second, this time with a deflected free-kick.

Gerard Garner lashed in their third and King completed his hat-trick with a 71st-minute penalty after Shane Killock was adjudged to have handled the ball.

Avenue will have no time to lick their wounds from the defeat or to regroup as they face the re-arranged visit of AFC Telford United tomorrow night.

They will want to get the defeat against FC United, a certainly unlucky 13th of the season, out of their system and make a statement.

Avenue are now just one point better off than the Manchester club and are seven points adrift of the play-off places. They will hope to improve that placing with a home win against third-from-bottom Telford.

The Bucks have found a run of form though and are looking for the point that will lift them out of the relegation zone after taking four points from their last two games. A 1-0 away win at Alfreton Town was followed by a goalless draw against Darlington at the New Bucks Head.

An Avenue victory over the Bucks would see Bower’s men go back above the Quakers and level on points with ninth-placed Chorley.