Bradford (Park Avenue) 1

York City 3

A HOME defeat to mid-table York City dealt Bradford (Park Avenue)’s hopes of a play-off finish in the Vanarama National League North another huge blow.

It was a second loss in four days over a disastrous Easter period for Avenue. Their 1-0 defeat at lowly Darlington on Good Friday left them in sixth place and today’s home reverse to the Minstermen dropped them down to seventh place, just inside the play-off places on goal difference only with one game to play, away at title chasing Chorley on Saturday.

York are not involved in either promotion or relegation issues but they came to Horsfall Stadium on a sunny Bank Holiday Monday and played with determination as they looked to bounce back from a narrow defeat at fourth-placed Spennymoor Town on Friday.

The scoreline flattered them and Avenue ended with 10 men after skipper Shane Killock picked up a red card in the 82nd minute.

But manager Mark Bower was pleased with the determination of his own players. He said: “It was a tough game in difficult conditions but I’m immensely proud of the players for their effort and commitment throughout the game.

“The pitch was dry and hard, the bounce was unpredictable and the heat was draining but I though we created the better chances.

"York are a good side with some very good players and we knew how they would set up, we knew they would come here and try to dominate possession and we countered that well.

“We came out in the second half with real intensity and we created two or three really good chances, got the goal and should have had a penalty.

"They scored two goals with cracking strikes from the edge of the area and there’s not much you can do about those.”

York had more possession and spent more time in Avenue’s half during the first period, but Avenue ended it well and came out on the front foot at the start of the second half.

They took the lead through a superb free-kick from Lewis Knight, but the Minstermen hit back midway through the second period, Paddy McLaughlin drilling in a low shot, and they edged in front with a little over 10 minutes remaining, Jordan Barlow firing in a half-volley from just inside the area.

Two minutes later Killock was off after hauling Barlow down when the striker got goal side of him as a lofted through ball bounced high, and as Avenue chased the game Macauley Langstaff, who spent time on loan at Avenue recently, broke away to score a third just into stoppage time.

Bower added: “We’re still in there fighting, it’ll be a difficult game at Chorley and there are so many permutations. But we’ve just got to go there and take care of our business.”