Bradford Park Avenue 3, Matlock Town 2

There were nervous moments in the three minutes of stoppage time tonight but Avenue held on to a lead they snatched late in the game to earn three points and lift themselves back into the play off places in the UniBond League Premier Division.

Avenue boss Dave Cameron made several changes to the starting line-up - some enforced and some to pep up his flagging side.

With assistant manager Carl Ruffer sitting out the last game of his three-match ban and skipper Mark Haran carrying an injury from Saturday’s home defeat to Cammell Laird, there was a debut at centre back for Andy Salm.

There was also a first start for new signing Steve Bushell - he was preferred to Steve Connors in central midfield.

Avenue opened well and created early chances.

However, it was an own goal from Matlock’s Rob Pacey that broke the deadlock in the 14th minute. Avenue forced a corner on the left flank, Chris Bettney swung it in and it went in off the defender.

The visitors hit back in the second half with two goals in quick time.

A sweeping passing move ended with Ross Hannah slotting past Avenue keeper Jon Worsnop.

Minutes later, Worsnop punched a free-kick upwards and Dean Cropper headed in.

There was still more than half-an-hour remaining but an out-of-sorts Avenue did not look like mounting a comeback.

However, they managed it with two goals in the last nine minutes.

Rory Patterson levelled matters when he slotted home from the edge of the six-yard box following a cross.

In the final minute of normal time, Chris Hall, who had come off the bench to replace Mike Moseley, raced onto a long ball and netted a shot under Matlock’s advancing keeper.