BRADFORD (Park Avenue) lost again last night, going down 2-1 at Ashton United in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

It was an improved performance after Saturday’s insipid 2-1 home loss to Workington, but the result was the same, and it leaves Avenue just two points off the drop zone after a fifth league defeat in nine games.

Mark Bower’s visitors started the game brightly, with Harry Colville firing a long-range strike wide and Luke Simpson making a good save from Chinedu Osadebe after Will Lancaster set him up.

But George Sykes-Kenworthy was called into action to make a good stop with his feet from Luke Burke.

Will Longbottom put an effort just wide for Avenue but it was Ashton who took the lead when Jason Gilchrist tapped home the rebound after Sykes-Kenworthy had made the save from Alex Byrne.

Byrne then hit the post before Mason O’Malley limped off injured for Avenue, to be replaced by the returning Simon Richman.

But some sloppy play from the hosts saw Colville come close, before Lucas Odunston equalised for Avenue with a fine strike from 20 yards out.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Harry Colville was a threat for Avenue, but was unable to finish his chances.Harry Colville was a threat for Avenue, but was unable to finish his chances. (Image: John Rhodes.)

A frantic end to the half saw James Hardy crash a shot just over the crossbar, before Simpson made a superb save to stop Brad Dockerty putting Avenue in front.

But after Dan Cowan turned Byrne’s corner just wide, Ashton retook the lead on the stroke of half-time, Hardy netting on his debut.

Simpson made another two good saves, including one from the threatening Colville, in what was largely a tame second half.

It sparked back into life in the final 10 minutes, after Brad Abbott was stretchered off with an injury, meaning Ashton were forced to play with 10 men having used up all of their substitutions.

Harrison Hopper struck a shot just wide from 18 yards out, while Colville curled an effort narrowly off-target.

Despite all the huffing and puffing from Avenue, Ashton held on during the seven minutes of added time, meaning they moved up to fourth as a result.

Bower’s side will fancy their chances of bouncing back at fellow strugglers Stafford Rangers on Saturday.