BRADFORD (Park Avenue) manager Mark Bower claims his side had to gain the win against Altrincham if they were to have a chance of escaping relegation.

Although, Avenue remain bottom of the Vanarama National League North after their 2-0 victory over Alty, they now stand only one point away from 21st-placed Blyth Spartans and six points away from the drop zone.

Tom Clare's tap-in and Oli Johnson's break-away goal was enough to give the hosts their first three points in seven league fixtures.

A dogged defensive performance also provided the club with their first clean sheet since their 1-0 victory away at Darlington in August.

Bower believes the result had been coming after weeks of near misses and hails a brilliant performance all around.

He said: "We had to get a win, we have been unfortunate with some decisions going against us and bad luck, today we got that little slice of luck.

"We were unlucky last week at Chester, a good win the week before in the trophy against Gloucester and played really well against King's Lynn who are top of the league.

"We restricted a good team to next to nothing, I can’t really remember Joe (Green) making a save. It was a good solid win for us.

"We looked dangerous when we got into the final third, we got in a few good areas and showed real composure with the final ball and the two finishes.

"Obviously you want to protect what you had got, bottom of the league we were playing against a good team so naturally you are going to sit off a little bit and try catch them on the break."

Bower added: "We couldn’t continue conceding goals the way we were, a clean sheet would look good no matter where you are in the league.

"We have looked solid, at Chester we conceded a goal which was three yards offside which should never have been given, the week before we got a clean sheet.

"We adapted to the conditions better and worked better openings and chances, which ultimately gets you the win."

It was Clare's first goal since joining on a free from Boston United last month and Bower was full of praise for his debut-making striker.

He said: "He has been really good.

"You look at him at 6 foot 5 and think people’s perception is you bang it up to him and win headers but he is a better footballer than that.

"He is good with his feet and worked ever so well today as he had to do the way they played.

"His all round play even without his goal was good.

"He played an 8/10 and his goal was a nice way to top it off."