Bradford (Park Avenue) lost 2-1 at home to Worksop Town in the Northern Premier League Premier Division on Saturday, and are running out of time to try and avoid relegation.

Avenue were two goals behind at the break, and though Edy Maieco halved the deficit early in the second half, Danny Whitaker’s side were unable to find that all-important equaliser, leaving them two points off safety with only five games of their season left.

There was some positive news  before the game, with defender Jake Young coming in on a work experience loan from Accrington Stanley.

The youngster was immediately put into the starting line up, but was powerless to prevent the first chance on Saturday, which came after only four minutes for Worksop.

Will Lancaster had a slip up in midfield which allowed Terry Hawkridge to go one on one with Kieran Flavell, goal, however the Avenue keeper was not tested as the Worksop man sent his shot wide.

A minute later, Vaughan Redford went close with a header across the goal for Worksop, only for it to bounce wide.

Avenue had their first chance of the game when Adrian Thibaut produced some great play down the right-hand side, only for his eventual shot to be blocked.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Adrien Thibaut put himself about all game up front for Avenue.Adrien Thibaut put himself about all game up front for Avenue. (Image: Martin Taylor.)

The hosts soon found themselves back under pressure as Worksop kept coming, and it increasingly felt like a first goal for the visitors was coming.

With 15 minutes gone, Aleks Starcenko won the ball high up the pitch and linked up with Worksop team-mate Jay Rollins, only for the latter to miss the target with his effort.

Josh Wilde finally secured Worksop’s first goal on 20 minutes by turning home a corner, which was hard on Flavell, who had just denied Liam Hughes with a fine save.

Avenue had a dangerous free kick a few minutes before half-time, but they failed to make the most of it, as it was collected by Tigers keeper Sebastian Malkowski with ease.

Hughes then had a shot deflected out for a corner, before Worksop struck the killer blow in first-half stoppage-time, as Wilde doubled his side’s lead.

A frustrated Avenue lost their heads somewhat after conceding, earning three yellow cards in the final few moments before the interval, with Maieco, Thibaut and Lucas Odunston all going in the book.

But a calmer Bradford emerged for the second half, and they scored a gorgeous goal through Maeico on 55 minutes.

Jordan Preston played a superb through ball and Maieco outpaced his full-back before clipping the ball over the onrushing Malkowski and into the net.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Avenue's Edy Maieco clipped this effort into the net to halve the deficit against Worksop Town, giving the hosts some real hope.Avenue's Edy Maieco clipped this effort into the net to halve the deficit against Worksop Town, giving the hosts some real hope. (Image: Martin Taylor.)

That goal had been coming, with a couple of chances beforehand clearing the crossbar due to the windy conditions, one of those particularly gilt-edged for Jake Daniels.

With just over an hour of the game gone, Flavell made another brilliant save, this time to deny former Guiseley man Starcenko, and from then on, Worksop dominated the game.

Minutes after that Starcenko chance, Hawkridge delivered a ball into Hughes, who laid it off to another former Lion in Hamza Bencherif, but the danger was well dealt with by the home defence.  

The pressure for Avenue was not over yet as, on 77 minutes, Redford hits a defender when shooting which resulted in the ball deflecting just wide of the post.

The final action of the game came two minutes before the final whistle, when the ball arrived at Jordan Barrow’s feet.

However, a miscommunication between the forward and Starcenko saw the chance go to waste.

It proved academic in the end, with Avenue left frustrated after failing to build on that positive start to the second half.

On Saturday, Avenue are away to Ilkeston Town, who they beat 4-1 in the reverse fixture back in August.

It is a quick turnaround thereafter, as Whitaker’s men are back in action 48 hours later, hosting leaders Radcliffe on Easter Monday.