MARK Bower heaped praise on his Bradford (Park Avenue) side for their spirited away-day comeback which could provide a platform going into the business end of the season.

Avenue travelled to play-off rivals Altrincham and hoped to dispel their demons, having lost to their hosts three times already this season.

Bower's men went behind in the first half, but the coach was impressed with his side's fantastic character to fight back and grab a late equaliser.

He said: "It was quite a tight game. I thought we shaded it, if any team was going to win it deserved to be us.

"You go away from home, to a team around you in the league, any kind of result there has to be seen as a positive and probably a little bit more pleasingly was the performance.

"We played well, worked hard and showed really good character to comeback from being a goal behind when you consider everything - the defeats we've had against them, the run that we've been on, losing a few players recently.

Bower admitted the match was a frustrating watch for large spells.

The saving grace came courtesy of substitute Danny East, who has just come back from a ruptured Achilles he suffered last summer.

Bower said: "I'm delighted for him, he's worked so hard, not just to come back from this injury but the one previous to that as well. He's been really unfortunate, so great for him to get that moment in a game and the minutes on the pitch again will stand him in good stead.

He added: "Hopefully we can keep building him up and we know he's got undoubted quality. I think he can have a real positive impact for us from now until the end of the season."

As the business end of the season rolls around, Bower said the target is to get back to winning ways and finish as high as possible.

He added: "Realistically, if we finish anywhere in that top seven, we've had an unbelievable season.

"Any team now in that top sort of ten really, any kind of run put together now will really cement their position in those top seven places."

One of those sides is eighth-placed Chester, who Avenue host on Saturday.

Bower said: "The ones where you're playing teams in and around you probably have that little bit more edge to them and it would be nice if we can stretch a gap between us and them. They're the sort of games you want to be involved in aren't they?

"The lads are looking forward to the challenge and hopefully having not played at home for a while there'll be a decent crowd and Chester will bring a few and we'll try get back to winning ways."

He added: "They've got really good players. You look at their strikeforce, the likes of Asante, Dudley, Waring. As a strength in depth strikeforce there's probably nothing better in the division.

"It'll be a really tough game, but one we should thrive on and look to enjoy and hopefully we can come out of it with a result."