BRADFORD (Park Avenue) are back in the relegation places in the National North after a 1-0 defeat at Gloucester City.

Their hosts are a solid mid-table side and have taken some scalps at their rented home at Evesham United’s Jubilee Stadium.

The defeat wasn’t a return to the old Avenue but it was a reminder of just how much work there is to do for returning management pairing of Mark Bower and Danny Boshell after their second game back in charge.

Bower said: “It was a tight game – a scrappy game in a way but I thought we had more of it in the first half.

“I thought we got in some good areas and got behind them a couple of times but we picked the wrong final ball at times. With a little bit more composure when we were in situations where we were one on one with them we let ourselves down. We could have shown a bit more quality.

“At the start of the second half they came out and started quite well but we were a little bit unfortunate with their goal. The lad has completely mis-kicked it when he’s gone to shoot and it turned into the perfect pass for their lad to tap in from eight yards out.

“We definitely should have had a penalty at the back end of the first half. Dan Sweeney has left one of their lads for dead and he’s been completely taken out, but you find that when you are away from home, you don’t get those decisions.

“It was a stonewall penalty and just before half-time. If that’s given and we score it then it’s a completely different game. But I thought we did well even after their goal and we continued to get in good areas. I thought we deserved to get something out of it.”

Gloucester keeper Josh Bradley-Hurst was the busier of the two stoppers but most of Avenue’s efforts were just off target. The City keeper did make one fine first-half save to deny Sweeney.

Avenue’s Joe Green made one regulation save in the goalless first half during which the home side picked up two yellow cards while Avenue’s Billy Priestley was also booked.

The game’s only goal came five minutes after the interval when a cross into the area was sliced by one of the Gloucester forwards and the ball fell nicely for Joe Hanks to tuck away into the bottom corner.

Avenue continued to force openings with Sweeney and Josh Heaton going close while Alex Hurst was denied by a superb last-ditch challenge.

The Tigers’ manager Mike Cook said: “It’s nice to get a result that we’ve had to grind out. The whole team did well, working hard and digging in.

“We’re still being talked about as one of the favourites to go down and let them keep saying that. For us to get 20 points by October 19 is a big improvement. I’ll be a lot happier when we get to 40 but we’re halfway there and it’s only the middle of October.”