GIVEN the teams' respective league positions, and given the upheaval over the last six weeks in BD6, Bradford (Park Avenue) produced arguably the shock result of the season on Saturday.

They were on the road at high-flying phoenix club Macclesfield FC in the Northern Premier League Premier Division and with the likes of Jordan Preston and Lewis Hey producing performances for the ages, the visitors secured a sensational 4-3 away win.

Avenue had won once in the league since August, and were yet to taste victory on the road, meaning they began the weekend one point from safety.

Macclesfield, meanwhile, began the day in the play-off places, having won their last two league games 6-0 and 5-1, against Atherton Collieries and Guiseley respectively.

Avenue had suffered a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to rock-bottom Atherton in their previous encounter, and were adjusting to life under temporary boss Tom McStravick.

The Northern Irishman has been the one constant at Horsfall over the last few weeks, after a tumultuous period which has seen manager Mark Bower, assistant Danny Boshell, former captain Luca Havern and director of football Martin Knight all depart.

McStravick is now the club’s new sporting director, having previously been academy technical director.

He is currently leading all the football operations at the club, from the juniors through to the academy to the senior side, though Avenue have confirmed they are actively looking for a new first-team boss.

Yet anyone doubting whether McStravick could get a tune out of the first team, given how much he has taken on, was left suspiciously quiet at around 5pm on Saturday afternoon.

Things looked bleak early on for Avenue, as Kane Drummond put Macclesfield in front after only three minutes, taking the ball around keeper Tom Scott to score.

Scott, on his Avenue debut on loan from neighbours FC Halifax Town, kept Alex Curran out impressively soon after as the away side found themselves under the cosh.

But the visitors levelled on the quarter-hour mark when Preston, who has had a nightmare year with injuries, netted against the run of play.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jordan Preston fires home an early equaliser for Avenue on a remarkable afternoon at Macclesfield.Jordan Preston fires home an early equaliser for Avenue on a remarkable afternoon at Macclesfield. (Image: John Rhodes.)

The striker looked like a man on a mission thereafter, forcing a fine save out of home keeper Dylan Berry midway through the first half.

A shellshocked Macclesfield, managed by former Hull centre-half Alex Bruce, with ex-Sunderland full-back Phil Bardsley as his assistant, were struggling to cope with the sudden onslaught.

Chinedu Osadebe should have put Avenue in front after 28 minutes, but he put a gilt-edged chance wide of the mark.

But the scale of the away side’s mission was highlighted by the presence of former Everton striker Oumar Niasse playing up front for Macclesfield.

The big man won his side a penalty 10 minutes before the break after he was wiped out in the box, Curran netting from the spot to put the hosts back in front.

After that came one of the most remarkable periods of first-half injury-time you could ever wish to see.

Hey equalised for Avenue with a brilliant free-kick, before the young midfielder played in Osadebe, who netted to give the visitors a shock lead.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Chinedu Osadebe (second right) slots the ball past Dylan Berry to give Avenue a 3-2 lead.Chinedu Osadebe (second right) slots the ball past Dylan Berry to give Avenue a 3-2 lead. (Image: John Rhodes.)

Yet seconds after going in front, the visitors conceded again when Drummond smashed home for Macclesfield.

After those three goals in five injury-time minutes, the second half was a far more sedate affair.

But Preston grabbed the winner just before the hour mark, turning the ball home from around 12 yards out.

Macclesfield fought hard to equalise, Luke Duffy slipping at the vital moment and Scott producing late heroics to deny Niasse.

There were eight agonising minutes of second-half stoppage-time for Avenue to see out, but they did just that, moving a point clear of the relegation zone in the process.

They will hope to back that sensational performance up with another three points at home to mid-table Bamber Bridge this coming Saturday.