Vanarama National League North: Altrincham 1 Bradford (Park Avenue) 1

DANNY East came off the bench to rescue a point for Bradford (Park Avenue) as they went head to head with play off rivals Altrincham in the Vanarama National North.

East missed the first half of the season after picking up a serious knee ligament injury in pre-season and manager Mark Bower heralded East’s return to fitness as being like a new signing.

The versatile full-back, who can also operate in midfield, joined actual new signings Macauley Langstaff and Romaney Critchlow-Noble on the bench, while Charlie Andrew made his Avenue debut in goal.

All three newcomers are on loan deals, young keeper Andrew from Hull City, 19 year old Critchlow-Noble from Huddersfield Town and 22-year-old striker Langstaff from National North rivals York City.

Andrew was always likely to start, after Avenue's former keeper Steve Drench left in January.

Coincidentally, Drench was between the sticks for Altrincham at the J Davidson Stadium, playing his second game for the Robins after making the switch.

He made his first save of note against his former team mates midway through the first half when he claimed a shot from Oli Johnson.

Drench’s replacement, Andrew, was beaten at the other end less than two minutes later.

The home side, who were wearing a special rainbow kit based on the LGBT colours to raise awareness of the Football v Homophobia month, opened the scoring on the break.

Avenue centre back Luca Havern was beaten to the ball near the halfway line and the Robins poured forward.

A pass was played into the path of Josh Hancock, who took it past Andrew to slot the ball in.

The visitors had been on top and they continued to pile the pressure on through to half time.

Avenue had the Robins cooped up and forced plenty of corners but they were not getting the rewards their play deserved.

There were half chances at both ends after the break and Bower decided to make his first change on the hour mark as loanee Langstaff replaced Johnson.

But it was a double substitution in the 78th minute that paid dividends.

Centre back Shane Killock made way for Critchlow-Noble while East came on for Alex Hurst.

Just six minutes later Lewis Knight and Nicky Clee combined well to get a ball into the danger zone that had the home defence struggling to clear.

Step forward East, who got the final touch as the ball went past Drench into the Altrincham net to make it 1-1.

Not satisfied with merely getting back into the game Avenue went all out for a late winner but it proved elusive and they had to settle for a point.

The Bradford side remain fifth while Altrincham stay just inside the play off places in seventh.