MARK Bower’s Bradford (Park Avenue) side are inching ever closer to safety in National League North, as they look to continue their decent Tuesday night away form.

Avenue defended stoically to earn a 0-0 draw with promotion-chasing Kidderminster Harriers at Horsfall on Saturday, and now face a stern test at heavy recruiters Spennymoor Town tonight.

But Bradford have already scored three in Tuesday away wins at York and Blyth Spartans in 2022 and Bower would not mind making it a hat-trick.

He said: “They’re at home, and it will be difficult with the travel, but we’ve shaped up well since New Year on Tuesday nights.

“We’ve got to try and keep their players quiet to stand a chance, but we expect it to be challenging.

“Look at their strike force and they’ve got Glen Taylor, who’s probably the best centre forward in the league.

“They’ve brought in Jordan Preston and Jordan Thewlis, who are both technical forwards that have goals in them, and then they have Rob Ramshaw, who scores plenty from midfield.”

Preston and Thewlis are two of several new signings brought in by Town of late, which is why Bower won’t be harking back much to the reverse fixture, a 1-1 draw in November.

He said: “They’ve brought a new management team in since and made a fair few signings, so they’re a different proposition.

“They’re at the stage where if they can string a few good results together, the play-offs are still on for them, and they’ll hope to make progress with this game in hand they’ve got on a Tuesday night against us.

“They’ve got that target and they’ve invested, so they expect to be challenging up there.”

As for his own team, Bower was proud of how they restricted Kiddy on Saturday.

He said: “George (Sykes-Kenworthy) made a couple of really good saves for us, but they didn’t have loads of chances.

“Our full backs Lucas (Odunston) and Akeem (Hinds) kept their wide men quiet, and our two centre halves, Rossy (Mark Ross) and Luca (Havern) did a solid job.

“Everyone worked hard and we could have won, but we didn’t take our chances on the counter attack, especially second half, where the last pass just let us down.

“When you’re not scoring up top, but you know you can keep clean sheets, that can at least get you nice results.”

On those counter-attacking tactics, Bower said: “I don’t like it as such, as you’d prefer to dominate.

“But we’ve played four full-time teams in our last six, as well as (second-placed) Brackley away, and you know against some of the best teams in the division, they’ll dominate.

“Counter-attacking is one way for us to play, and we’ve got an abundance of pace with Lewis (Knight), Brad (Dockerty) and Dylan (Mottley-Henry) up top.

“We know we can cause problems with those tactics, but we can play in other ways.”

Bower has a strong squad currently and he said: “Other than Jake Hibbs (broken leg), we’ve just got Dylan struggling with his knee, which is taking longer than we thought to heal.

“But everyone came through Saturday and we had strength on the bench.

“To be in this decent shape at this stage of the season is testament to our lads for looking after themselves and Tally (Clayton), the club physio, and it gives me decent options to choose from.”