Vanarama National League North: Kidderminster Harriers 1 Bradford Park Avenue 2

ADAM Boyes’ dramatic stoppage-time winner gave Bradford Park Avenue  a place in the Vanarama National League North play-offs after they have came from a goal behind at Kidderminster Harriers.

All the odds had been stacked against Mark Bower’s Avenue over recent weeks but they ended the regular season in some style with five straight wins, including maximums over Brackley Town, Harrogate Town and Kidderminster, the third, second and fourth-placed clubs respectively.

If that was not outstanding enough, they now have to outperform these sides again if they are to win promotion to England’s fifth division.

Avenue’s superb recent form has a dubious reward as they return to Aggborough to take on Kidderminster in the first play-off game on Wednesday when Stockport County host Chorley.

Avenue’s manager Mark Bower, the former Bradford City centre back, skipper and T&A columnist (The Bower and the Glory) said: “I can’t put it into words.

“The way it all finished – to get that moment for any team, for any footballer, any group of fans or anyone associated with any club. That feeling when that goal goes in right at the end, that’s what football is all about.

“I guess it sums up a lot of our season really and great credit to all the lads. We’re a part-time team and again we’ve scored goals in the last ten minutes. It shows the character of the lads to come to a place like this and get the win when the pressure is on.

“We had heard that Spennymoor had gone in front in the second half and we were just pleading with the players to stay in the game, and we did that without playing too well.

“We had plenty of chances and should have been more comfortable in the game. It was a strange game when they (Kidderminster) had nothing to play for but we’re ever so proud of the players and pleased for everyone at the football club.

“Everyone writes us off. Even in the last few weeks we’ve had two managers of teams in the play-offs, one of them saying we wouldn’t make the play-offs and even that we’d finish in the bottom half, while the other said we wouldn’t be top seven and were a mid-table side at best.

“But the table doesn’t lie over a season and we’re seventh because we’ve deserved it.”

Avenue skipper Nicky Wroe sent in an early effort that hit a post but the visitors were a goal down inside the opening quarter-hour, with Dan Bradley steering an excellent cross past keeper Steve Drench from close range.

Drench’s opposite number Brandon Hall was troubled twice just after the half-hour.

The first clear opening fell to Jamie Spencer, but the young midfielder lashed a shot wide before Hall made a fine save to deny Oli Johnson minutes later.

The second half was end to end as both sides played their part in a nail- biting game, made all the more tense by news constantly filtering in from Spennymoor United, who were at home against Kevin Davies’ Southport.

Avenue were losing at half-time but were still in a play-off place as Spenny were a goal down, with former Bantams striker Ross Hannah netting for Southport.

The Moors came back at Brewery Field but their 2-1 win was irrelevant after the late drama at Aggborough.

Frank Mulhern drilled in a low shot after an 81st-minute corner and Boyes stabbed home into the third minute of stoppage time after Johnson had driven a low ball into the danger zone.