BRADFORD (Park Avenue) were unable to claim a vital three points at home to neighbours Guiseley yesterday afternoon, falling to a 1-0 defeat.

It was not the greatest New Year derby between the pair, but Reece Kendall’s stunning strike midway through the first half was a goal worthy of winning any game.

The result does the BD6 side no favours whatsoever, and they remain four points off safety in the Northern Premier League Premier Division.

Meanwhile, a jubilant Guiseley are now just two points off the play-off places.

Avenue and new boss Danny Whitaker were feeling positive heading into the contest, having announced the month-long loan signings of Ethen Vaughan and Justin Iwobi in the hours leading up to kick-off.

Full-back Vaughan, who has joined from Bootle, started yesterday’s derby, while young forward Iwobi, brought in from FC Halifax Town, began on the bench.

But Guiseley had a made a couple of New Year’s Day signings themselves, bringing in a pair of exciting young wingers.

Teenager Kofi Moore has re-joined the Lions on loan until the end of the season, having been briefly recalled by his parent club Oldham Athletic, while Abimbola Obasoto has come in permanently after a brief spell at NPL Premier Division leaders Radcliffe.

And the pair combined to almost give Guiseley the dream start, only for Moore to shoot narrowly off target two minutes into the contest after being set up by Obasoto.

Lewis Hey, who came through the Lions’ academy, had Avenue’s first chance, but fired a strike just wide of the post following a defensive error by the away side.

Tom Scott, on from Halifax like Iwobi, then made a brilliant save in the Avenue goal to stop the visitors from taking the lead with a free header from a corner, but he was powerless to prevent Kendall’s goal a few moments later.

The left-back produced an absolute rocket of a shot to beat the Avenue keeper all ends up and give his side a deserved lead.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The excellent Tom Scott was only beaten once all afternoon, by this piledriver from Guiseley left-back Reece Kendall.The excellent Tom Scott was only beaten once all afternoon, by this piledriver from Guiseley left-back Reece Kendall. (Image: Martin Taylor.)

Guiseley nearly scored a goal directly from a corner, before a stunning Scott save saw him tip the ball on to the crossbar and out of play, just about keeping his side in touch with their rivals.

Scott had a much simpler save to make early in the second half, as he held on to Liam Tongue’s low free kick.

With 20 minutes to go, Avenue made a welcome double substitution, as Iwobi was handed his debut off the bench and Mason O’Malley came on for just his second appearance since a nasty shoulder injury he suffered at the end of September.

The hosts almost equalised immediately after that shake-up, as Iwobi’s fellow Halifax team-mate and Avenue loan signing Ted Lavelle came close.

He struck a dipping effort that had Guiseley stopper Oliver Battersby worried, but it flew just off target.

The two sides traded late set-pieces, but neither made the most of them, meaning it was Guiseley who took the bragging rights on derby day.

Avenue’s next league game is away to mid-table Morpeth Town this Saturday.