MARK Bower hopes Bradford (Park Avenue) can claim another rival play-off scalp tonight after claiming a "blatant handball" had cost his side three points last time out.

Avenue host AFC Telford on the back of a 2-2 draw at Southport when a controversial late equaliser saw Bower's side let a two-goal lead slip.

Bradford remain unbeaten in seven in National League North, but the boss wasn't impressed at the manner of the hosts' second goal on Saturday.

He said: "You have mixed emotions about it. We were in a good position to win and that didn't happen, so you're disappointed.

"We were probably a little bit flat in the second half, maybe our really tough game on Tuesday (at Spennymoor) caught up with us, when on Saturday we're playing against a full-time team who've not had a game.

"But, once again if we get the right decision, in terms of their equaliser right at the end - it's a blatant handball, and proven in video and photographs it was a handball - then we go away with the three points.

"We've won four and drawn two in the last six games. If the officials had done their job right it'd be six wins out of six.

"So it's frustrating and hard to to take, but as well we can make life easy for ourselves by playing better than we did in the second half."

Bower admits his side got carried away trying to get forward at every opportunity and added that Southport seemed to address that at half-time by dropping off.

Despite the result, Avenue remain in fourth place and are building momentum as the season enters its final stages.

Bower said: "We've got to be really positive about things. We're just coming off the back of three away games - we've taken seven points from them.

"We've got players that are playing really well at the minute, they're enjoying their football and we've got that bit of momentum behind us that we've got to make sure we can maintain for as long as we can.

"Everyone's really disappointed straight after the game, but in the grand scheme of things, we're pleased with where we are and how we're playing.

"The message is to keep that going."

Avenue have the chance to try stretch the gap to eighth place this evening when they welcome AFC Telford, who sit in the final play-off spot currently.

Bower - whose side won 2-0 at third-placed Spennymoor last week - said that will be a motivating factor.

He added: "Telford are very well organised. They're good going forward and they've got four strikers that would probably get in most teams in this league.

"I don't think people should be surprised by the position they are. They've been in the bottom half of the table for the last couple of years but they've certainly had a bit more of a go this year with the quality players that they've brought in."

The Avenue boss feels his side can get a result if they show the form they've pieced together over the past month.

He added: "It should be a good game and one where I think both teams will look at it and think it will be a good barometer for where they are heading into this last stretch of the season."