Bradford (Park Avenue) are still alive and kicking in the Northern Premier League Premier Division, beating Basford United 2-1 yesterday when a draw or defeat would have sent them down.

Both Bradford goals came within the first 45 minutes from Adrien Thibaut and Ted Lavelle, with the former netting from the first real attack of the game four minutes in.

Thibaut drove forward down the right, cut in and superbly found the back of the net with a strike across the goalkeeper.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Adrien Thibaut got Avenue off to the dream start yesterday.Adrien Thibaut got Avenue off to the dream start yesterday. (Image: John Rhodes.)

Basford’s first shot of the game came with 10 minutes of the first half gone, when Rev James took a shot that was deflected behind for a corner.

Minutes later, United’s Matt Thornhill tried his luck in front of the goal with a strike from a free kick, but Avenue keeper Craig Ellison was equal to it, and was able to comfortably tip the ball over the bar.

Another dangerous passage of play from Basford came 20 minutes in, when Prince Mancinelli played a dangerous ball in to the area for James, only for young Avenue loanee Jake Young to get there to clear the shot out for a corner.

With half an hour gone, Avenue were having to defend out of their skin in order to keep Basford from equalising.

Jack Walden sent Kane Richards in behind and his cutback found Remaye Campbell, but Craig Ellison was able to keep out the chance.

Despite all the battling defending from Avenue, Basford did equalise with a screamer.

Thornhill was given all the space in the world and thundered in a shot from thirty yards that flew past Ellison into the roof of the net for his seventh goal of the season and will be hoping for three more in the last two games.

Basford came close to a second goal a few minutes later, but Kane Richards’ shot was brilliantly saved by Ellison who managed to get hold of it on the second attempt.

That save looked even more important when Bradford retook the lead just seconds before the half-time whistle is blown.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Craig Ellison was a colossus in the Avenue goal and played a huge part in keeping their season alive yesterday.Craig Ellison was a colossus in the Avenue goal and played a huge part in keeping their season alive yesterday. (Image: John Rhodes.)

Lavelle chose a good time to score his first goal of the season, having been a frequent fixture in the side since arriving on loan from FC Halifax Town in December. 

He got across to the front post from Harry Colville’s corner, and he produced a fine finish, hooking the ball beyond visiting keeper Kieran Preston and into the net.

The first action of the second half came from Basford, but James put too much on to a cross, resulting in it going out for a goal kick instead of being a chance for one of his well positioned team-mates.

Just before the hour mark, Henri Wilder was forced off for the visitors, injuring himself in making a superb tackle to deny a third for Avenue.

Avenue were looking to grab a third to get some breathing space, but Victor Nirennold was able to deflect a strike from recently-introduced substitute James Hanson behind for a corner.

Avenue’s only yellow card of the game came with just 10 minutes left to play for Ryley D’Sena, meaning he had to be careful for the rest of the game, knowing one more misstep could have proved fatal to his side’s chance of survival.

And Basford almost sent Avenue down with the last kick of the game, only for the superb Ellison to tip Tyler Dacres’s header over the bar for a corner.

Nothing coming from the set-piece though, meaning Bradford live to fight another day.

After picking up a valuable victory, Avenue currently sit on 29 points, four points off safety.

However, with only two games left of the season, they realistically have to win both to have any chance of staying up.

Avenue do not play next weekend, and if Basford win at home to play-off contenders Macclesfield, the BD6 side will be down without kicking another ball.

But if the game ends in a draw or an away win, Avenue will return to Horsfall for a massive penultimate game of the season, where they face mid-table Gainsborough Trinity.