BRADFORD (Park Avenue) have parted company with Mark Bower following their 2-0 defeat at Basford United on Saturday.

His assistant Danny Boshell is also departing Horsfall, with the club floundering down in 18th in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

They are just a point above the drop zone and are currently facing the very real prospect of a second successive relegation, having gone down from National League North on the final day of last season.

In the interim, Luca Havern has agreed to step into the head coach role and will be assisted by his fellow player-coach Oli Johnson.

It is a sad end to Bower and Boshell's time at Avenue, where they have largely been well-received by fans.

Former Bantams defender Bower first joined the club in 2016, following three years in the dugout at Guiseley.

Like at the Lions, Boshell joined him at the club as player/assistant manager.

Working wonders on a limited budget, the duo helped guide Avenue to the National League North play-offs in both 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The club fell short of promotion on both occasions, before the shock news came in May 2019 that both Bower and Boshell had departed the club by mutual consent.

A miserable few months followed under Garry Thompson, who was sacked after two league games and two 5-0 defeats, then Marcus Law and Lee Fowler.

The interim pair could not halt Avenue’s struggles, and they made way at the end of September 2019 for Bower and Boshell to return.

Nearly all of Bower’s players from the previous play-off season had left the club, and Avenue looked odds on to be relegated in the 2019/20 season, only for the coronavirus outbreak to cause the season to be declared null and void.

Avenue made the most of that unprecedented reprieve, and Bower and Boshell ensured they sat mid-table in 2020-21 when that campaign was cut short due to a three-month lockdown being instigated by the pandemic.

The club struggled under the pair’s leadership in 2021-22, and looked certain to go down as the season moved into the New Year.

But Avenue looked a different side defensively in the second half of the season, finishing nine points clear of the relegation zone.

Bower and Boshell’s side made a poor start last season too, but a fine run of results just before Christmas moved them clear of danger.

A bad hamstring injury to star striker Jordan Preston at the end of January derailed their campaign though, and despite taking the survival battle into the final day, a 2-0 defeat to AFC Fylde ensured they went down.

Anyone expecting Avenue to bounce straight back to National League North, where they had spent the previous decade, was given a rude awakening when they lost their opening two league games this season.

They seemed to have found their feet towards the end of August, when they beat Morpeth Town 2-0 and Ilkeston Town 4-1, but those two victories proved to be Avenue’s last ones in the league until the end of October, when they edged out Marske United 1-0.

But any goodwill from that success was undone by that poor defeat at fellow strugglers Basford, and the board have decided to act by removing Bower and Boshell ahead of a decisive double header at Horsfall.

Avenue host Matlock Town this Saturday, then welcome Marine next Monday, where only two wins from two will guarantee they remain outside of the relegation zone.

A new permanent manager is set to be announced by Avenue in due course, but paying tribute to the departed duo, the club's director of football Martin Knight said: "I hope that everyone associated with the club wishes them both the very best in the future.

"It has been my absolute pleasure to learn from, and work with, both Mark and Danny.

"I am sure they will soon be back in the dugout, a place they both truly love to be."

You can register your interest in the vacant position by emailing Knight on