Bradford (Park Avenue) 1-2 Gloucester City

IT was supposed to be the calm before the storm for Bradford (Park Avenue) with Storm Ciara hitting the UK hours after the final whistle. However it was Mark Bower's men who were the ones blown away as relegation now looms even larger.

The 2-1 defeat to Gloucester City, witnessed by a crowd of 296, means 15 points stand between Avenue and the visitors who more importantly are the team to catch to avoid the drop.

The hosts simply could not find that finishing blow to gain the desired victory as errors at the opposing end of the pitch were apparent once again.

Bower was forced into making one change to his side who fought their way to a 3-3 draw at Southport. Mitch Lund came in for the suspended Stelios Demetriou at left back.

City were able to recall midfielder Joe Hanks who is into double digits for goals this season despite missing the last few games through injury.

Nicky Clee started brightly for Avenue, spraying the ball about in a role he has made his own in recent weeks, sitting in front of the defence acting as a deep playmaker.

Billy Priestley had the contrasting beginning to that of Clee's. Firstly getting outpaced by forward Marlon Jackson. The centre half collected a booking after his late challenge.

Then the Tigers took the lead after a poor headed clearance from Priestley, the ball falling to Bernard Mensah whose sliced finish found the bottom corner.

Gloucester should have had another when wretched defending allowed Jackson a one-on-one opportunity with Tom Nicholson. The Avenue number one stood tall and denied the striker.

Despite having the lion's share of possession, Bradford struggling to create much in the first period.

Calamity struck again after a scuppered Lund clearance went into the air but Matthew McClare was unable to find the empty net after Nicholson had missed with his punch.

It got a bit messy with Ryan Toulson and Jake Hibbs collecting a booking each. It was the latter's tackle which sparked a mini coming together between the two teams.

Hibbs nearly made a mends before the break, his leaned back effort flew over though.

Tom Clare's frustrating afternoon lead to him getting booked for committing a foul on the edge of the box.

However, it was not the only ramification to hit Avenue as Lewis Brunt produced a superb finish from the free kick.

Jack James did well to waltz into the area before producing an excellent save from Nicholson.

The launched ball forward from the back was a constant source of success for the Tigers. Jackson again used his speed to capitalise on some poor defending from Liam Hughes, although he could not apply the finishing touch, instead shooting at the side netting.

Hughes responded by halving the deficit connecting at the back stick with Clee's sublime corner.

Hughes played a pivotal role in Avenue almost finding an equaliser. The centre half produced a marauding run into the Gloucester box before Alex Hurst crossed low to Lewis Knight.

Bradford's top scorer kept his effort low with it rolling onto the woodwork before luckily finding Niall Maher's grasp.

The home side smacked the opposing post soon after. Toulson's flat cross suffered a huge bobble to fly over Maher's head and somehow nearly threaten the Yellows lead.

The fourth official announced six additional minutes but there was no late heroics for Bower's side who now need a miracle to complete the seemingly impossible task of staying in this league.

Player ratings

BPA: Nicholson 6, Toulson 6, Priestley 4, Hughes 5, Lund 5, Nowakowski 5 (Johnson 6), Clee 7, Hibbs 5, Hall 6 (Hurst 6), Knight 6, Clare 5 (Lyons N/A)

Gloucester: Maher 6, Pennell 6, James 7, Thomas 6, Daly 6, Brunt 7, Robert 6 (Kotwica 6), Hanks 7 (Hainault N/A), Jackson 8, McClure 7 (Johnstone 6), Mensah 7