Bradford (Park Avenue) drew 1-1 at Whitby Town in the Northern Premier League Premier Division at the weekend, but the result now leaves them two points off safety.

Both goals were scored before half-time and at around 4:30pm on Saturday, a draw looked like it would be enough to move Avenue above Basford United and out of the relegation zone.

But Basford, who were 1-0 down at home to Matlock Town with 15 minutes, to go, turned things around late on in Nottinghamshire, scoring twice to secure a win which could be vital to their own survival hopes.

Avenue took the lead after half-an-hour in North Yorkshire on Saturday through Jordan Preston, but were unable to keep hold of all three points, as Nathan Thomas grabbed the equaliser just before the break.

With Bradford captain Lucas Odunston returning to the side at right back following his recovery from injury, the visitors showed some early positive signs.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lucas Odunston (right) is still only 23, but Avenue sorely miss their skipper's presence whenever he is out of the side. Lucas Odunston (right) is still only 23, but Avenue sorely miss their skipper's presence whenever he is out of the side. (Image: John Rhodes.)

The first action of the game saw Harrison Beedon go into the referee’s book for hacking down tricky Avenue striker Adrian Thibaut on the halfway line with only six minutes of the game gone.

Whitby’s first effort came just after 10 minutes, when Thomas had a curling shot which went just wide.

Avenue’s Harrison Hopper then received a yellow card for stopping Jacob Gratton when he was on the counter-attack, his second booking this season.

With 20 minutes of the game gone, Thomas had a fantastic chance, however he stuck it wide with a left-footed effort, somehow failing to test visiting stopper Kieran Flavell.

But Flavell had to be on hand to make a fantastic save after 25 minutes to deny Thomas, who had managed to get on the end of a fantastic long ball from home keeper Shane Bland.

But with Thomas proving wasteful, it was Avenue who took the lead.

After 31 minutes, Preston scored his ninth goal of the season after taking advantage of a Whitby error.

Jake Daniels cut in on his left foot and swung in a low cross-shot, which the defender could only half-clear towards the penalty spot.

Preston reacted to the loose ball first and planted a side-footed effort into the top corner.  

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jordan Preston (right) wheels away with his delighted team-mates after putting Avenue in front on Saturday.Jordan Preston (right) wheels away with his delighted team-mates after putting Avenue in front on Saturday. (Image: John Rhodes.)

Thomas tried his luck from distance as Whitby looked for an instant response but once again, Flavell was equal to his effort.

However, with five minutes left of the first half, Thomas finally found the back of the net.

The Whitby goal came from a superb bit of the play down the wing from Max Howells, who then played a menacing low ball across the face of goal which Thomas smashed home to equalise.

The first action of the second half came when Edy Maeico came close to scoring Bradford’s second goal and restoring their lead.

He shot brilliantly, however it was perfectly saved by Shane Bland in the Whitby goal.

Just before the hour mark, Thibaut hit the target with another brilliant Avenue attempt, however Bland was equal to his effort and made another brilliant save.

Whitby then produced an excellent counter attack, only for Thomas to be denied his second goal of the game by the excellent Flavell.

With an hour gone, Whitby tried their luck again after Gratton carried the ball forward impressively, but he could only fire his strike wide.

Bradford’s second yellow card of the game came soon after, when Daniels was penalised for a foul on Gratton.

Whitby's last big chance of the game came 10 minutes before the final whistle, but Flavell made another superb save.

And Avenue almost turned one point into three, as Thibaut turned home Daniels' low ball across goal, only for a tight offside call to curtail the dramatic late celebrations.

With only six games of the season left, Avenue face a real battle for survival, though four of those matches are on their familiar artificial surface at Horsfall.

This coming Saturday, they are back in BD6, where they will face play-off chasing Worksop Town.

In the reverse fixture, Bradford lost 3-1, with their only goal of the game coming courtesy of Will Lancaster.