A THUMPING win took Bradford (Park Avenue) back up to third in the Vanarama National League North as they won 6-0 at struggling Nuneaton Borough, who ended the game with nine men.

The 'Boro lost goalkeeper and captain Cameron Belford to a second half red card after using all three substitutes and Jack Blackham, who came on from the bench, picked up a bad injury with five minutes remaining.

The Warwickshire club is in a perilous financial position and they sit third from bottom, but the players continue to give their all.

Their opponents Avenue had dropped to sixth after a 2-1 defeat to second-placed Kidderminster Harriers the previous Saturday.

The visitors were suffering from injuries with Ben McKenna and Chris Dawson both missing, while Nicky Clee was back on the bench following a strain.

Nuneaton started well and Enoch Andoh had seen an early effort thwarted by the woodwork and a penalty claim turned down before Avenue had produced a serious effort on Belford’s goal.

The home keeper saved Lewis Knight's effort but he was left stranded when Conor Branson broke the deadlock midway through the first half.

The Bradford midfielder had only the keeper to beat and having been forced wide, he lobbed the ball over Belford from an acute angle.

Ten minutes later, Nicky Wroe doubled the lead with an audacious effort from the halfway line that caught Belford out and Jamie Spencer made it 3-0 before the break with a shot through a crowd of players after a corner was only half-cleared.

Belford was dismissed after kicking out at Jake Beesley and the referee pulled out a straight red card before pointing to the spot.

Boro boss Nicky Eaden had made a double change at half-time and his third substitution came when Ash Carter limped off just after the hour mark.

That meant defender Mike Calveley had to don the gloves after Belford's dismissal and Beesley drilled his penalty high into the net.

New signing Alex Hurst marked his Avenue debut with a goal as he slotted into the bottom corner just five minutes after coming on.

Fellow substitute Adam Nowakowski inadvertently set up the sixth goal when his effort was blocked, only for Beesley to steer the rebound home.

Bradford manager Bower said: “It was a difficult one for us because we didn’t know if there was going to be any electricity or hot water in the dressing rooms, what state the pitch was going to be in and who we would be coming up against on the pitch.

“But we talked at training on Thursday about the need to be professional because they (Nuneaton) had beaten a strong Burton Albion side in midweek and have had some good recent results in the league.

“Coming down here was never going to be a ‘gimme’ so we just wanted to maintain professionalism and keep performance levels up.

"It was a bright opening from both sides to be fair but we gradually took control and looked the more streetwise team.

“Things happened in the second half – they had a lad sent off and an injury late on so it became a bit of a farce really, but we did our job.

"It’s not nice to see a club going through what they are and I just hope they can sort themselves out and recover from it.”