BRADFORD (Park Avenue) are on the board in the National League North after a 2-1 win at Darlington last time out, and they had talented young stopper Johnny Saltmer to thank.

He made a fine late double save to keep Avenue in front, and he will have to be on top form again when Mark Bower's side host league leaders Fylde tomorrow.

Bower said: "Johnny plays in such a vital position so we need him to do well.

"He didn't have a lot to do in the first couple of games but he made some good saves in the defeat to Boston and then that superb double stop at Darlington.

"His kicking has been good too, so the challenge for him now is just to keep that level of consistency.

"He has some work to do, but we're confident he can do the job.

"He's become a real asset for us and with him only being 22, there's a lot more to come from him."

He should be kept busy tomorrow at Horsfall, with Fylde the league's top scorers.

Asked about them, Bower said: "I think Fylde are the team to beat.

"People will be looking at York and Boston too, but I think anyone finishing above Fylde will win the league.

"They've got a load of Football League experience running through their team, and they're a full-time outfit who just play excellent football.

"They dropped their first points on a tough pitch at Kettering last weekend, but our 3G surface should suit their style of play a lot more.

"It's going to be a tough test for us this weekend."

But Avenue will be confident after beating Darlington, with Bower saying: "We had an idea of where we could target them, and knew we could cause them problems at centre-half, as that's where they're weak.

"We took a risk by starting two up front, but it worked and in that first half, we had by far the better chances and were 2-0 up at the break.

"They changed in the second half to match us, and we were a bit nervous, just trying to hold on for that first win, but other than Johnny's double save and their goal, I don't think they created too much."

Bower added: "I was pleased for everyone involved with the club, because it's been a difficult start.

"The performances have been there but the results haven't, we lost Jake Hibbs to that broken leg, and (club secretary) Colin Barker died just before pre-season.

"Hopefully this win will see us go in the right direction now, despite the fact we've got some tough games coming up, and it was good because it's given everyone a lift.

"That goes for the players too, because you had the likes of Luke Rawson, who'd started the season well, but hadn't found the net until he got his goal at Darlington.

"We've ticked that box of our first win, so let's get our first home one at the weekend."

Hibbs is likely to miss the rest of the season with that broken leg, but Bower is hopeful key players Mark Ross and Brad Dockerty will return from injury to feature against Fylde.