BRADFORD (Park Avenue) strengthened their promotion credentials with a spirited away victory on a sloped pitch.

Spennymoor Town's ground is well-known for its vertical challenge, but Avenue will have been just happy the game was on after being postponed twice previously.

Mark Bower said before the match he wouldn't let the slope deter Avenue and they duly delivered with a 2-0 win, against the third-placed side, which sees them move level on points with their hosts.

The match was tense to begin, but it was Spennymoor's Ryan Hall who saw a lot of the ball, on the wing, in the early exchanges.

In the 10th minute, a reverse pass inside released the winger and Nicky Clee back-tracked well to clear it for a corner.

From that set-piece Avenue keeper Charlie Andrew was tested for the first time when the deep cross moved towards goal and he had to tip it over.

Then followed a manic passage of play where the ball was cleared off the Avenue line, before Lewis Knight drove forward up into the Spennymoor half, releasing on-loan forward Jake Beesley who tested Matthew Gould.

The breakthrough came in the 24th minute, and it went Avenue's way.

Conor Branson managed to strike from close range after a dangerous free-kick was cleared to his feet in the box.

The game ebbed and flowed for the rest of the match, with a real tempo between the two promotion rivals.

It took until the 76th minute for the next momentous moment to occur, when Spennymoor's Scott Harrison was sent off for a professional foul on Beesley.

The in-form Avenue striker made no mistake in punishing Spennymoor's lack of discipline, putting the finishing touches on a fine performance just under 10 minutes later with a goal of his own.

Avenue are now unbeaten in six and sit seven points clear of dropping out the play-off zone.

More optimistically, Bower's men are now only outside the advantageous second and third spots - which leads to an automatic place in the play-off semis - by virtue of goal difference.

A win in their game-in-hand on first-placed Chorley will see Avenue creep as close as seven points off the division's current run-away leaders.

But, they still have to navigate a tough three games in quick succession, which includes a tough tie at home to AFC Telford.