A 90TH-minute equaliser denied Bradford (Park Avenue) victory at Southport as the hosts came back from 2-0 down.

The score had also finished 2-2 when the sides met in National League North at Horsfall before Christmas.

And while Avenue stretched their current unbeaten run to seven games, the edge was taken away from a good point at Liam Watson’s Sandgrounders by the feeling of what might have been.

Mark Bower’s men remain fourth and are still on the same points as third-placed Spennymoor Town, who were held to a 1-1 home draw by Alfreton Town.

Brackley Town crept up to within one point as the Saints, who are fifth, won 3-1 at home against Kidderminster Harriers.

Jake Beesley netted a brace at the Merseyrail Community Stadium but he could have had five goals on the day as he proved to be difficult for the Port defence to handle.

His first clear chance came in the 12th minute as he latched onto Jamie Spencer’s excellent through ball and rounded home keeper Dan Hanford, only to see his shot cleared off the line by Matty Platt.

Beesley only had another three minutes to wait before getting the scoreboard ticking as he netted a close-range header.

He was on target again just after the half-hour mark when he was picked out by a long clearance from keeper Charlie Andrew.

He controlled the ball and again rounded Hanford before steering a shot into the unguarded net. It was a just reward for Avenue as they had pressed since breaking the deadlock.

Beesley could not stay out of the action and came very close to a first-half hat-trick after a through ball hit his back. The striker seized possession, swivelled and then sent in a chipped shot that just drifted wide.

It was a game of two halves as the home side came out fired up after the interval and forced Andrew into action. He made a good save to deny Dion Charles early in the second half but was powerless to prevent an excellent shot from Jordan Archer cutting the deficit.

Charles had another effort that was just off target before Andrew was called on again, thwarting Morgan Homson-Smith when the substitute was through on goal with only the keeper to beat.

It was another Port substitute who got the last-gasp equaliser. A long throw in from Regan Ogle in the 90th minute floated over Andrew’s clenched fist before dropping to Jason Gilchrist. His first effort hit the bar but in the ensuing scramble he was able to turn the ball over the line.

Southport piled the pressure on in the four minutes of time added on but Avenue held out for their draw without any further drama.