Altrincham 2 Bradford (Park Avenue) 0

AVENUE fans arrived in Altrincham hoping that a repeat of the 2-0 win they recorded last month over the Robins could be a possibility, however it was the complete reverse of that scoreline on so many levels.

The contest, attended by 1,266, was essentially over at the break as Alty built a two-goal advantage against a severely out of form visiting team who had only scored more than once on four occasions all season.

It is now seven defeats in Bradford's last eight Vanarama National League North games, their longest winless streak in this miserable campaign.

The bottom-placed side look a shadow of the team that reached the playoffs last term, not only in terms of personnel but in character too.

Mark Bower made three changes to the starting 11 that were defeated last week by Brackley Town.

Tom Nicholson replaced Joe Green between the sticks while Cyprus international Stelios Demetriou, who had only arrived on loan in the morning, was handed his debut in place of Mitch Lund.

Lewis Knight also came in as Bower reshuffled his pack moving Nicky Clee to a much deeper role previously held by benched Adam Nowakowski in his 4-2-3-1.

The hosts were in front, thanks to their two frontmen combining perfectly, with less than 60 seconds on the clock, the third time in four matches that Avenue have conceded inside the first five minutes.

Jordan Hulme did all the hard work crossing from the right to allow Josh Hancock to finish, meaning the pair now both have nine league goals this season.

Altrincham's quality in keeping the ball was for all to see as they frustrated the away side keeping the ball at the back.

Park Avenue should have levelled 20 minutes in though as left back Demetriou delivered a glorious ball to a free Alex Hurst at the back post but the number 10 failed to control, handling the ball in the process.

Neither side created any more decisive opportunities until the 40th minute mark when Alty converted an identical chance to that of Hurst's.

Hulme, again the supplier, floated in for James Jones to double his team's lead with an easy header past Nicholson.

Clee threatened to end the period on a high with an audacious effort from 30 yards flying past the post.

It would be the last action for the skipper as he was replaced at half time for Nowakowski after Bower confirmed post-match that he had been struggling with illness.

The Robins almost added a third after the break when Luke Wall should have netted his wide strike.

Hurst had Bradford's best chance to halve the deficit on the hour mark, forcing Tony Thompson into a good save before substitute Tom Clare struggled with a rebounded header.

Billy Priestley was on hand to prevent further embarrassment for his 22nd-placed side with a great sliding challenge to deny Hulme getting into double figures.

Hulme was denied a hat-trick of assists when Hancock was met with an excellent save from Nicholson.

In the final five minutes, Bradford's number one made his second stop of the afternoon, tipping an effort over from Alty captain Jake Moult.

There were no last-minute heroics from the visitors as the match petered out under the floodlights.

The ball just didn't fall for Avenue in attacking positions once again on an afternoon where Altrincham cruised to the three points.

Matters on the pitch took an irrelevance when the final whistle was met with the announcement that Bradford-born former Altrincham player Jordan Sinnott had sadly passed away at the young age of 25.

And although it transpired that the announcement was based on inaccurate information, Sinnott's current club - Matlock Town FC, with whom he was on loan from Alfreton - issued a statement at around 8pm on Saturday confirming he had died just before 7pm that night.