BRADFORD (Park Avenue) remain rooted to the foot of the table in the National North despite a spirited performance in a 3-2 home defeat against second-placed King's Lynn Town.

The visitors arrived late at the Horsfall Stadium following traffic delays on their six-hour plus bus journey from Norfolk, so the kick-off was 50 minutes later than scheduled.

The delay didn’t appear to have a detrimental effect on either set of players but the high-flying Linnets were below par in the first half. Avenue took a single-goal lead into the break after seizing on one of very few chances for either side.

Lewis Knight broke the deadlock in the 17th minute with an individual goal. He picked the ball up just inside his own half and raced through the inside left channel, outpacing a defender before steering in a low shot across Linnets keeper Alexander Street.

King's Lynn had a good spell of pressure early in the second half and they were level just before the hour mark when a second consecutive corner had the home defence at sixes and sevens.

Home keeper Joe Green came for the ball but missed with an attempted punch and Jordan Richards chipped the ball back into the goalmouth and Adam Marriott adjusted his body position to volley it in from point blank range.

Knight suffered an injury midway through the second half and, despite receiving treatment off the field, he wasn’t able to continue so Oli Johnson replaced him.

The former Norwich City forward is well known to many of the Linnets’ squad after his time with the Canaries.

Johnson had been on the pitch for less than two minutes before he restored Avenue's lead. After winning the ball back just outside the visitors’ area, he rounded a defender before selling the keeper a dummy and rolling the ball in to the net.

The visitors hit back with less than seven minutes remaining when substitute Sam Kelly swung in a cross that Marriott headed in for his brace. There were less than three minutes left when Sonny Carey, another substitute, drilled in a low shot from just inside the area to win it for the Linnets.

In the five minutes of stoppage time Linnets’ centre forward Michael Gash picked up two yellow cards and was sent off.

Avenue manager Mark Bower said: “It’s definitely a difficult defeat to take because I thought everybody at the club deserved to get something from the game.

“It was so far removed from our last league game when we just didn’t show up away at Kettering. You are never pleased with a defeat but there are a lot of positives to take from this one.

“We played with a different system for the first time and the players definitely got behind that and gave us everything. We had to change the system because of the personnel we had available but it worked in the first half.

“We picked up a couple of injuries in the second half and we didn’t have like for like players on the bench, so we had to change the system and that disjointed us. We weren’t as good after that so the lack of depth in the squad has cost us at least a point.

“Every player who pulled a shirt on deserves credit for their effort and application in that game. There were spells in the game where we matched or were better than a team that is second in this division.

“If we maintain that effort and application we will pick a lot of points up when we play the sides that aren’t that high in the table.”