BRADFORD (Park Avenue) remain in major trouble in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, losing 4-2 to FC United of Manchester at Horsfall yesterday in an enthralling encounter.

Jordan Buckley had a couple of early chances for the visitors, but it was the hosts who took the lead in BD6 with their first attack.

Jordan Preston found a gap through the middle of the FC United backline on the quarter-hour mark and he kept his composure to place his shot into the corner beyond the despairing dive of Pat Boyes.

The away side almost hit back immediately, but Tom Scott made a great save with an outstretched foot to deny Buckley.

Teenage debutant Trevon Bryan, on loan at FC United from Bolton Wanderers, came close to levelling too, only to flash a shot narrowly wide of the left-hand post on 25 minutes.

Declan McLoughlin deservedly levelled proceedings for the away side 10 minutes before the break, glancing a header into the far corner from a dangerous cross down the right, and that gave them the boost they needed.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Declan McLoughlin (2) heads home FC United's equaliser.Declan McLoughlin (2) heads home FC United's equaliser. (Image: Martin Taylor.)

Avenue then went behind on the stroke of half-time, with Buckley finally getting the goal his attacking threat warranted.

Bryan flashed a ball into the near post, and Buckley got in to flick it beyond Scott and into the net from a narrow angle.

Avenue were floundering at this point, and after Bryan went close at the start of the second half, Aaron Bennett made it 3-1 by running at goal, cutting inside, beating his man, and drilling the ball across Scott and into the net.

But the hosts refused to give up, and Preston halved the deficit on the hour mark.

Avenue won the ball back in a dangerous position, and after a couple of neat passes, the ball was played into Preston, who finished neatly into the bottom right corner.

Scott made a fine save from Buckley with 20 minutes to go, before Avenue’s Ted Lavelle flashed a shot just over the crossbar.

The home side were looking increasingly likely to equalise, with one shot going just wide and Justin Iwobi coming close with a header from Mason O’Malley’s cross.

But instead FC United finished Avenue off deep into injury-time, with 18-year-old Bryan showing composure beyond his years.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: FC United boss Neil Reynolds had plenty of goals to celebrate.FC United boss Neil Reynolds had plenty of goals to celebrate. (Image: Martin Taylor.)

Controlling a ball on the left-hand edge of the box, he cut inside the retreating defender before whipping a shot into the top corner.

The defeat leaves Avenue eight points off safety with a game in hand, and they will now be even more desperate to win at home to play-off chasing Marine tomorrow.