Already relegated Bradford (Park Avenue) suffered a heavy 5-2 defeat at Matlock Town on the final day of the Northern Premier League Premier Division season.

Both of the Bradford goals on Saturday came in the final 20 minutes, with one courtesy of Bantams legend James Hanson, who netted for the first time in Avenue colours.

The first chance of the game actually went Avenue’s way, when the ball fell kindly at Ted Lavelle’s feet.

He had scored in both of their last two games, but on this occasion, his shot on the half volley flew over the bar.

Matlock, who secured safety a few weeks ago, were quick to prove they were there to play when, with only 10 minutes gone, they went 2-0 up.

Olly Clarke scored his fourth of the season with a close-range finish, before John Johnston doubled the lead with an amazing finish from a tight angle.

Johnston tried his luck again four minutes later, as his ball found Nathaniel Crofts coming in at the back post, but his left-footed effort was off target.

Bradford had one more chance of their own just before half-time, when Jordan Preston fed Blackpool loanee Jake Daniels through the middle, but the latter’s shot went just wide of the goal.

The first action of the second half came when Johnston fired a shot straight at Avenue keeper Craig Ellison, who had no problem keeping the ball out of his net.

Moments later, Harry Wood received the ball on the edge of the box, but struck his effort over the bar.

Liam Hardy then fired inches wide of the net after he was fed down the inside right channel.

With just over an hour of the game gone, Matlock looked far more likely to score than Avenue, and they finally made their dominance pay when Hardy netted their third goal of the day.

The move started with great work down the left-hand side, before Clark’s lovely ball into the box gifted Hardy a simple finish.

Minutes later, Johnston added another as he scored his second of the game.

Ellison raced out of his goal to try and intercept a ball through, but Johnston got their first and lobbed it over him and into the net from 40 yards out.

Avenue finally got on the scoresheet with 20 minutes left, as Adrien Thibaut scored from close range.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Adrien Thibaut (9) kicked off a very brief Avenue revival on Saturday.Adrien Thibaut (9) kicked off a very brief Avenue revival on Saturday. (Image: John Rhodes.)

That goal buoyed Bradford, and Hanson quickly added a second for the visitors, heading home from a well-delivered corner.

But any hopes of a remarkable comeback were quickly extinguished when Johnston secured his hat-trick through an 80th-minute penalty.

That came about following a great run by Matlock substitute Curtis Durose, which only ended when he was caught by an Avenue defender.

The hosts almost added a late sixth goal, but Finlay Armond’s could only strike the post with his neat little flick.

Avenue finished the season fourth-bottom with 30 points, just above Stafford Rangers on goal difference.

That means that in the, admittedly unlikely, event that any team is unable to be promoted for financial or stadium reasons, Avenue will be first in line for a relegation reprieve.