ON paper, Bradford (Park Avenue) were clear second-favourites against York in midweek, but as their neighbours found out, Mark Bower's side have the perfect blend.

Non-league veterans Adam Nowakowski and Nicky Clee both scored, ex-Bantams duo Dylan Mottley-Henry and George Sykes-Kenworthy excelled at opposite ends of the pitch as they look to return to the Football League, and teen loanee Frankie Maguire shone in midfield.

Bower thinks that kind of togetherness is why Avenue keep punching above their weight, with the relegation favourites now nine points clear of the National League North drop zone ahead of today's clash at rock-bottom AFC Telford United.

He said: "People are here for the right reasons.

"Our older players would probably get more money elsewhere, but they love the club and their team-mates and want to help us move forward.

"We've got those who are a bit younger trying to move up the pyramid, and in general we've got everyone pulling in the same direction.

"That can often mean you pull off those surprise results, like we did against York.

"We're delighted with the win, and that's two in a row now.

"But it is only two games, there's a long way to go in the season, and we've got to follow those victories up at Telford."

Today's hosts still occupy the sole relegation spot in the National League North, but snapped a three-month winless streak by hammering Darlington 5-0 last Saturday to move just two points behind floundering Farsley Celtic.

Bower said: "Telford will see it as a massive game, us at home.

"A lot of people thought we'd finish bottom, and some probably still do, but it's them at the foot of the table right now.

"They've had a lot of transition with them bringing in a new manager (Paul Carden), who's trying to stamp his authority and bring them off the bottom.

"I don't think they'll end the season at the bottom personally and they've just won 5-0, which could be the first sign that it's coming right for them.

"It could be a bad time for us to play them in that regard, but if we do our jobs like we did at York, we know we can get a result anywhere in this league."

The side for Telford is likely to show a few changes from the one that beat York.

Jake Hibbs, Jordan Windass (both leg) and Lucas Odunston (knee) are still out with injury, and the suspended Simon Richman will be missing too after his red card against Kettering.

But Mitch Lund returns in defence from his ban, Harrison Hopper and Sam Fielding both come into contention, having missed out at York due to a gentleman's agreement between the two clubs, and Lewis Knight could be in line for his first start since returning to the club on loan from Notts County.

When he arrived back at the club on Monday, Knight said he saw no reason why Avenue couldn't challenge for the play-offs this season.

If results go their way, Avenue could finish this weekend just six points off that top seven, but Bower warned: "Our main objective is to stay up and we have to ensure that's the case first.

"We've brought in players recently to improve the squad, but let's get safety first and then think about aiming higher.

"I still think we'd be talking miracles when it comes to making the play-offs though."