Vanarama National League North: Bradford Park Avenue 2 AFC Telford United 1

BRADFORD Park Avenue banked their first win since the 5-0 Monday night hammering of Gainsborough Trinity at the start of last month with a comeback victory over relegation-threatened Telford United at Horsfall Stadium last night.

Frank Mulhern was the hero as a second-half brace from the substitute completed Avenue’s comeback after a late first-half penalty for the visitors.

A foul by home centre back Shane Killock on the edge of the area was adjudged to have been just inside the box and the Bucks’ Marcus Dinanga fired the resulting spot kick past Steve Drench.

Drench had made a good save early in the game to keep out Telford skipper Shane Sutton’s header following a set-piece, but Avenue had gone even closer midway through the first period when midfielder Danny Boshell’s firm header clattered the bar.

Mulhern replaced assistant player-manager Boshell during the interval and it didn’t take the former Guiseley man long to make his mark.

He guided a header past Bucks keeper Ben Wilson just nine minutes into the second period.

Telford’s scorer Dinanga was a constant threat but Avenue claimed a long overdue maximum when Mulhern headed in his, and the home side’s second goal, three minutes from time.

The winner came from a free-kick by Matt Hill, one of the two players Avenue felt were harshly sent off in Saturday’s defeat at FC United of Manchester.

Former Wolves defender Hill and former Norwich City forward Oli Johnson were both dismissed in controversial circumstances at Broadhurst Park.

Mark Bower’s men put those disappointments behind them to climb back up to ninth place in the Vanarama National North, above promotion rivals Chorley on alphabetical order and just four points outside the play-off places.

The Avenue boss said: “We’re pleased to win – it’s a little while since we’ve won a game because we haven’t been getting the rub of the green.

“We’ve had a few decisions going against us, and even tonight we’ve had two cleared off the line, hit the bar and then they go down the other end and get a bit of a dodgy penalty decision.

“It’s the way it’s been going for us and it was a very quiet dressing room at half-time.

“Because of the run we’ve been on, even though we weren’t at our fluent best, I think this win is one of our best of the season.

"I couldn’t be more proud of the players and everyone at the club to come back as we have after Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Liversedge reached the quarter-finals of the Toolstation Northern Counties East League Cup with a 3-2 win at Dronfield Town in the fourth round.

Premier Division Sedge have a backlog of league games but they showed their desire to win a re-arranged knockout tie against their Division One hosts.

Rhys Davies broke the deadlock in the third minute and Aaron Fell added a second three minutes later.

Davies netted his second to give Jonathon Rimmington’s men a 3-0 lead after just 17 minutes but the home side hit back before the break when Mark Farriday netted a 31st-minute penalty.

It was a ding-dong cup tie in the second period, and Farriday netted his second late on to ensure a nervy ending but Sedge held on.