Curzon Ashton 5 Bradford (Park Avenue) 0

THE nervous energy and tingling excitement of the first day of a new season under a new manager had gripped the Bradford (Park Avenue) supporters as they made their way to the Tameside Stadium to take on old foes Curzon Ashton.

But after enduring a tough 90 minutes they felt as flat as pancake as their team, a new look line-up after Garry Thompson’s appointment as boss, began the campaign by suffering a heavy defeat.

Former Bantams forward Thompson, one of City's ‘History Makers’ as a member of the team that reached the League Cup final and returned to Wembley for the play-off final, was stunned by the result.

He said: “I’m absolutely gutted for the boys. We have worked hard in pre-season and done our homework and it’s disappointing.

“The game hinged on a couple of incidents for us really. We had a great chance to go 1-0 up but didn’t take it and then we conceded two sloppy goals.

"We started the second half well and had a good chance. There was a good ball in but it’s just gone under Zayn’s (Hakeem) foot and then we’ve conceded three sloppy goals.

“I’m going to have to watch them back but I’m sure the goals came from us giving the ball away in our half. I said to them (the players) after the game that I’ll back them to the hilt but I can’t back a performance like that.

“The work we did, how hard we worked to get the ball back in pre-season, how creative we were going forward, I didn’t see any of it today.

"We had to leave three lads out of the squad and it opens the door for them to come back in because people haven’t gone out and performed.

“We’ve got to use it as fuel because we’ve got another massive game on Tuesday night (at home against neighbours Guiseley) and if we don’t get over it quickly we’ll have a hangover.”

Lewis Knight had the first real chance of the game when he got through with just home keeper Cam Mason to beat but Avenue were a goal down midway through the first half when Nash’s Isaac Sinclair marked his debut with a goal. The new signing might have thought it wasn’t his day after an earlier header had come back off the bar.

Curzon took a two-goal lead into the interval after Luke Wall headed past Avenue keeper Charlie Andrew. It was three just before the hour-mark after Sean Miller was on the end of a good move.

Oliver Thornley tapped in Curzon’s fourth to cap off a fine move and former Guiseley defender Andy Halls was the provider as Nash went nap as his 88th minute low cross was turned in by the home side’s substitute Luke Merrill.