BRADFORD (Park Avenue) were sunk 3-0 away to Brackley Town on Saturday, with all of the goals coming in the final 15 minutes.

The scoreline belied a skilful and determined performance by Avenue, who gave the second-placed team in National League North a real run for their money.

Brackley came out determined to claim the three points and, at times, Avenue rode their luck.

Saints had three excellent first half chances but could not convert any of them.

First, Jimmy Armson’s fierce shot struck team-mate Wes York on the line, then Glenn Walker’s effort was well saved by George Sykes-Kenworthy, before Matt Lowe hit the crossbar.

But it wasn’t all one-way traffic, and with 60 minutes gone, Brad Dockerty brought a fine save from Danny Lewis in Bradford’s clearest chance of the game.

The tide turned on 74 minutes when Armson struck to put the home side ahead, tucking the ball home following York’s driving run and subsequent low ball across.

Minutes later, Avenue were caught out again, as Gareth Dean won an aerial battle to find the net with a looping header from an Armson free-kick.

Lowe’s long range shot brought out the best in Sykes-Kenworthy at full stretch before loanee Max Dyche grabbed the third, heading home from a corner in added-time.

Avenue manager Mark Bower said afterwards: “I don’t think we deserved to lose the game 3-0.

“I think first half we rode our luck but there wasn’t much in it.

“It’s a difficult pitch to play on - bobbly and it was a bit windy - but I think we started the second half really well and put them under a bit of pressure.

“We had a couple of half chances; their goalkeeper made a brilliant save.

“But we just got caught out. That (first) goal shows you why they are where they are in the league.”

Bower was unhappy with some of the refereeing decisions, saying: “We knew it would be very difficult after they got the first goal, but they scored the second from a free-kick that should have been our free-kick.

“Then we went back to playing 1920s rules; it was just free reign on our goalkeeper.

“The third goal came from a blatant foul but the referee allowed it.”