IT MAY have been necessitated by injury, but Mark Bower's half-time double substitution worked wonders for Bradford (Park Avenue) in their 1-0 home win over Farsley Celtic on Wednesday night.

Avenue were under the cosh before the break against the National League North's rock-bottom side Farsley, and with Mitch Lund and Oli Johnson carrying little knocks, Bower replaced them at the interval with experienced player/coach Ryan Toulson and ex-Bradford City winger Dylan Mottley-Henry.

That seemed to do the trick, and in a far more sedate second half, Avenue won this West Yorkshire derby with a glorious chipped effort from Lewis Knight in the 49th minute.

That victory now puts them 12 points clear of the relegation zone ahead of a tricky trip to fourth-placed Fylde tomorrow.

Discussing the derby success, Bower said: "We were a bit all over the place in the first half, and the longer it went on, we were desperate to get in at the interval to reset.

"We were causing our own problems, and gifting Farsley chances, and we were indebted to George Sykes-Kenworthy for a couple of great saves.

"We showed great character in the second half, as our fans showed they were unhappy at the break, and it would have been easy to go under after that.

"But we did well off the ball after the break, even if we still could have done better on it.

"It wasn't our best game, but we'll learn our lessons from it and see it as a blip, and at the end of the day, we still won to go 12 points clear of the drop."

The influence of the half-time substitutes was not lost on Bower, who said: "Dylan gave us really good energy up the field after the break and Tully (Toulson) is a calming influence.

"He helped get people in the right areas defensively and he was a big part of our improvement in the second half.

"We can rely on Tully in a few positions, and he did well for us in a similar vein at York a few weeks ago."

Bower does not feel the injuries to Lund or Johnson are serious, but he expects them both to miss tomorrow's game as a result.

That could mean Toulson plays an important role at high-flying Fylde, who have stumbled of late, losing three of their last four league games.

Bower said: "We played Fylde early in the season at our place when they were winning games and confident, and they comfortably beat us then.

"But we go there this weekend and face them when they've just had a couple of bad home results (a 2-1 defeat to Darlington and a 2-0 loss to York City).

"The plan for us is to frustrate Fylde, because their fans will be expecting them to turn us over.

"The longer we can keep them out, it'll frustrate them, and give us more chance of getting a result.

"It'll be a tough one, because they're a full-time outfit who haven't played since Tuesday, whereas we're part-time and played on Wednesday.

"My lads put in a lot of work against Farsley, so there'll be a few tired legs, so we'll assess things and maybe look to make a few changes and freshen the side up for Fylde."