BRADFORD (Park Avenue) took advantage of an early Spennymoor red card to win 2-0 last night up in the North-East, and all but secure their status in National League North for another season.

Moors captain James Curtis was sent off after only 25 minutes, and Mark Bower's Avenue side took full advantage, Sam Fielding and Lewis Knight scoring second-half goals.

The game started slowly, and the first real chance did not come until midway through the first half, when George Sykes-Kenworthy made a good save from Jordan Thewlis, who had been put through nicely by Jude Oyibo.

But moments later, Curtis was dismissed.

The defender had the ball nicked off his toes by Knight, and in a panicked effort to make amends, he hauled the Avenue man down, who was racing through on goal, and was red carded.

The visitors dominated until the break, with Knight forcing Harry Flatters into a save from close range after Brad Dockerty played him in.

Dockerty then drove forward and cracked an effort off the crossbar from just inside the box after half an hour.

The hosts briefly threatened after the break, with Ethan Brierley's effort saved by Sykes-Kenworthy, before Fielding enlivened proceedings with a stunning goal.

With just over 20 minutes left, he crashed a stunning long-range effort into the top corner, leaving Flatters with no chance.

Rob Ramshaw fired just wide for Spennymoor after Joe Tait picked him out in the middle and that proved costly, as Avenue doubled their lead two minutes later.

They counter-attacked nicely, and a ball over the top found Knight, who fired a superb half-volley beyond Flatters from inside the box.

Ryan Hall dragged a late shot wide as Spennymoor failed to hit back, and the win takes Avenue a massive 14 points clear of Guiseley in the sole relegation spot.

The Lions are now four points adrift at the foot of the table, having suffered the hammer blow of losing 1-0 at West Yorkshire rivals Farsley Celtic last night, with the hosts moving up to third-bottom as a result of their victory.

As for Avenue, Bower was ecstatic to take the three points, saying: "I'm delighted to win.

"You come away from home on a Tuesday night to Spennymoor when they're pushing for the play-offs, you know you're in for a tough game.

"I thought we started quite well, were solid, looked comfortable out of possession and carried a threat going the other way.

"Their red card was a blatant one, Lewis has turned through on goal and he got rugby tackled, and it changes the game."

He added: "Spennymoor came out after the break and showed no ambition.

"They camped in and tried to make it as difficult as they could.

"We were a bit slow in our play but it's a bit of a football cliche, that playing against 10 men is always difficult.

"We needed something special to open them up and Sam stepped in with an unbelievable strike, a brilliant goal, then Lewis sealed it with a great finish.

"We probably got a bit sloppy towards the end, and they had a couple of half-chances, so I was a bit disappointed as I felt we could have controlled it better.

"But ultimately it's another three points and gets us just about where we need to be in terms of staying in the division.

"The last seven games now we can look to push on and try and get as high up as we possibly can."