BRADFORD (Park Avenue) survived a nervy second half to beat Leamington 2-1 in National League North last night, a result that surely banishes any lingering fears of relegation.

Brad Dockerty and Luca Havern put hosts Avenue 2-0 up inside the opening 15 minutes, but Leamington slowly clawed their way back into the game.

They got a goal back through Jack Edwards with 20 minutes left, but Avenue held on to move 12 points clear of the drop zone.

After Lewis Knight headed wide for the hosts in the first 30 seconds, they took the lead after three minutes when Oli Johnson produced some good footwork before feeding Brad Dockerty.

The prolific forward kept his cool, and slid the ball past Jake Weaver to put his side in front.

A series of corners put Leamington under real pressure and from the final one of those, Weaver made an error, allowing Avenue skipper Havern to gleefully net his side’s second.

But the influential Johnson was forced off after only 20 minutes, and that coincided with the visitors starting to get a foothold in the contest.

They failed to make the most of a number of set-pieces though, and Weaver had to make a good save from Knight to stop Avenue going 3-0 up.

Kelsey Mooney should have done better on a couple of occasions early in the second half for Leamington, but both times he shot straight at home stopper George Sykes-Kenworthy.

Leamington skipper Jack Edwards finally got one right for the visitors, and he headed home a cross in the 73rd minute to halve the deficit.

He almost grabbed his second with 10 minutes to go, but headed the ball just over.

Sam Wilding had one last good chance to equalise for Leamington, but Sykes-Kenworthy made a good save from his effort to ensure victory for the hosts.

After the match, Avenue manager Mark Bower said: “In those opening stages, where we went two in front, I thought we controlled the game and caused them all sorts of problems.

“At half-time, we spoke about trying to keep the ball and dominate possession, but we never really did that in the second half.

“It’s always a precarious scoreline, 2-0, because that next goal becomes crucial, and we looked a bit nervous and half a yard short at times.

“They picked up a lot of loose balls and controlled the game, so it was no surprise when their goal came.

“Our performance on the ball wasn’t great, but I’ve got to credit our lads for how they defended.

“They just about kept Leamington out and it’s a vital three points for us.”

Meanwhile, Avenue have quickly re-arranged their home derby with Farsley Celtic, which was postponed on Saturday due to snow at Horsfall.

That league encounter will now take place next week, on Wednesday, March 2.

Bradford City Women were due to play their first game at Horsfall since moving from Eccleshill United’s Mitton Group Stadium this Sunday, against Norton & Stockton Ancients in the FA Women’s National League Division One North.

But they will instead try to play their West Riding County Cup semi-final at Leeds United Women’s Tadcaster Albion base.

The initial game was postponed the other day, as was Brighouse Town Women’s County Cup semi at Altofts Ladies, with that last-four clash now due to take place on Sunday, March 6.