The Avenue board could be forced to move on from the club’s top target as their search for a new manager continues.

It was understood that former Port Vale boss Lee Sinnott, who cut his teeth in coaching with the Leeds United Academy and honed his management skills at Farsley Celtic, headed the shortlist.

But with contractual obligations regarding his days as Port Vale chief still unresolved, Sinnott may not be free to take charge at Horsfall Stadium.

The Avenue board are remaining tight-lipped about the situation, which all points to the likelihood that goalkeeping coach Gary Stokes will be in temporary charge for a second match.

The former Thackley keeper joined Farsley to enhance his coaching qualifications and spent several years with them before switching to Avenue just two months ago.

Stokes ran the side from the dugout at Selby Town in midweek and will go into tomorrow’s game with a 100 per cent record after Avenue were 4-0 winners in the West Riding County Cup tie.

This weekend’s UniBond League fixture will bring a different pressure, with Avenue needing points to get their promotion push from the Premier Division back on track.

They travel to Cheshire to take on Nantwich Town and Avenue have the slender advantage of being a point better off, although their hosts have played two games less and took a point off second-placed Guiseley last week with a 2-2 draw at Nethermoor.

Stokes will have some selection headaches, for all the right reasons. The side he put out at Selby did well, with fringe player Roy Stamer opening the scoring and young reserve Luke Gibson adding the second goal.

Luke Holden scored the other two with a quickfire brace late on. Holden had started as a winger but filled in as a striker after Mark Bett limped off with a pulled hamstring in the last home league game.

That ended with a disappointing defeat to basement outfit Witton Albion and it convinced then manager Dave Cameron that his time was up as he resigned the following Monday.

Avenue chief executive Bob Blackburn explained the board’s stance when he said: “We would love to give our fans some information but we will have to see some candidates and make some decisions before that is possible.

“Our manager has left, we are looking for a replacement and when we find one they will be the first to know.”

Blackburn has bitter experience of searching for a new manager. The last time he held interviews, former Bantams boss Nicky Law applied – even though he was contracted to another club at the time.