BRADFORD Park Avenue failed to hold onto a two-goal lead as they conceded an injury-time penalty to draw 2-2 with FC United of Manchester at Broadhurst Park.

The hosts had banked just three points from their first six games and manager Tom Greaves had stepped down in midweek.

The former Bradford Park Avenue crowd favourite took to the pitch at half-time to address the home fans, but was also warmly applauded by the visiting faithful in the 1,814 strong crowd.

When the match re-started for the second half, Avenue were in a strong position and going into the last half hour were looking set for another three-point maximum but their sixth win of the season will have to wait.

Ben McKenna returned to Avenue’s starting line-up following a niggling groin injury, which meant Lewis Knight made way in the only change to the squad following the Bank Holiday Monday home win over Boston United.

The visitors began well but Jake Beesley – on loan from FC United’s neighbours Salford City – was let down by his first touch as an early chance went wide. FC keeper Billy Crellin was soon in action as Park Avenue continued to keep the pressure on.

The breakthrough came midway through the first half from a set-piece. Avenue had forced a free-kick just wide of the area, the ball was driven in low and Shane Killock converted it – the Avenue skipper turning the ball in from close range at the far post.

FC United, under caretaker boss Dave Chadwick following Greaves’ resignation, came back into the game but it was Avenue who almost doubled their lead before the break with a shot from distance that hit the post.

Luca Havern picked up a yellow card for a foul on FC United centre forward Kurt Willoughby early in the second half but the visitors were two goals to the good before the hour mark.

Some poor defending by the home side allowed Beesley to use his presence in the area to good effect and net from close range.

McKenna, who was short of match fitness, made way for Knight just after the hour mark and two minutes later FC United halved the deficit.

With the Avenue defence stunned after the ball had come back off Steve Drench’s post, Brodie Litchfield pounced to poke the loose ball home.

Beesley rounded Crellin but shot wide from a tight angle before FC substitute Jack Bannister sent in a decent effort that went just wide. It was end-to-end as the home side’s keeper was put to work again before Willoughby was denied by Drench.

Avenue had two more half chances – the second coming from a quick counter-attack following a corner for the home side – before they conceded a stoppage-time penalty which Willoughby slotted past Drench.