Bradford (Park Avenue) put their disastrous few weeks behind them with a thrilling 3-2 win at high-flying Warrington Rylands yesterday, and suggested they may well have the stomach for a great escape after all.

Danny Whitaker took charge on December 20, but until this weekend, Avenue’s record under him was played eight, lost eight.

That had left them nine points from safety in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, and looking as if they would require snookers to survive.

But naivety cost them against Morpeth and Lancaster City last month, as they lost those two games having been ahead in both with 10 minutes to go, so the quality within the squad has always been there.

And they held their nerve against third-placed Rylands yesterday, biding their time after the hosts had picked up a red card with the scores level at 2-2, before Chinedu Osadebe headed home a late winner.

In a hectic 24 hours before the match, Avenue confirmed that academy trio Jody Tiffany, Harry Varley and Brady Coldwell had all signed first-team deals.

Their presence bolstered the ranks ahead of the trip to Warrington, as did the loan signing of Blackpool’s Jake Daniels, with the 19-year-old striker already a household name for all the right reasons, as the only openly gay male professional footballer in England.

Daniels, Varley and Coldwell all made the bench for yesterday’s game, though there were first Avenue starts for on-loan duo Kieren Flavell and Jacob Lara.

It looked as if it might be another long afternoon for Avenue when Djavan Pedro went through one-on-one with visiting keeper Flavell and slotted it past him to put Rylands 1-0 up after 17 minutes.

But crucially Avenue hit back quickly through Harrison Hopper, who equalised on the stretch just moments later after a Warrington defender made a mess of trying to clear a Mason O'Malley cross in from the left.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Harrison Hopper prods home Avenue's first-half equaliser.Harrison Hopper prods home Avenue's first-half equaliser. (Image: John Rhodes.)

Warrington looked menacing on the counter-attack, but Avenue carried their own threat up top, and went in front just after the half-hour mark with a superb finish from Edy Maieco.

The Avenue number seven picked up the ball on the right hand edge of the box from Jordan Preston's pass, drove past his full-back and drilled a low strike into the net.

Avenue were dealt a blow seconds before the interval when James Neild equalised for Warrington, and the visitors had to defend well to stop the hosts from taking the lead early in the second half.

But Rylands had James Butler dismissed after an hour following an off the ball incident, handing the initiative back to the away side.

Avenue still had to defend well to keep out a Rylands free-kick with 15 minutes to go, but they went up the other end and claimed all three points late on.

The clock read 87 minutes when Osadebe scored the winner, as he produced a towering header to convert a superb cross in from the left by Daniels, with the former sinking to the floor with pure emotion during his celebration.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jake Daniels is left as the last man standing, as Chinedu Osadebe sees the emotion of his late winner become too much.Jake Daniels is left as the last man standing, as Chinedu Osadebe sees the emotion of his late winner become too much. (Image: John Rhodes.)

The visitors held out to claim a victory which moved them up to third-bottom, and they now sit just six points from safety ahead of their next league game, which is this coming Saturday at Workington AFC.

Avenue's next home game is in just under a fortnight, when they entertain play-off chasing Ashton United.