Park Avenue 0 Eastwood Town 2

There was no winning start to Lee Sinnott’s reign as Bradford boss as he watched his new charges create – and miss – a host of chances against a very good Eastwood side.

Avenue could have gone third with a win but dropped to ninth as Eastwood – who reached the second round of the FA Cup this year and beat Wycombe Wanderers on the way – went top.

It will have to be a very good team or a very lucky team that inflicts Eastwood’s next defeat.

Avenue certainly had no luck in this game, with the frame of the goal and desperate defending ensuring they got nothing from the match.

Sinnott said: “It was one of those games when the proverbial cliché ‘we could have played until midnight and not scored’ had to be trotted out.

“The only statistic that was not in our favour was the crucial one – they scored twice and we didn’t even get one.

“We forced a lot of corners, they conceded more free-kicks, we probably had more possession and I’m sure we spent more time in their half.

“We hit the post, the bar, had a shot headed off the line and their keeper has made some very fine saves.

“We did everything we could but we couldn’t break them down. I couldn’t ask for any more effort or commitment, it just went against us.”

Town broke the deadlock against the run of play midway through the first half after making a swift break following an Avenue corner.

Debutant midfielder James Knowles was denied a goal by former Guiseley skipper Richard Dunning’s goal-line clearance. The counter-attack produced two blocked efforts before the loose ball fell to Ross Gardner and he tucked it in from eight yards.

The visitors continued to pose a threat, and the speed of their counter-attacking was breathtaking. However, it was still Avenue that were carving out the more genuine chances.

The best move Town put together ended with their second goal in the 37th minute. A series of passes culminated in Lindon Meikle netting a superb chip shot from the edge of the area that dipped into the top corner.

Just two minutes before the interval Mark Bett hit a fierce angled drive that hit the post.

At times in the second period Avenue laid siege to Town’s goal but failed to break through.

New signing Andy Campbell, the former Middlesbrough and Cardiff striker captured from Farsley Celtic, came on after the break and worked as hard as any but, like Knowles, could not mark his debut with a goal.

Mark Bett had a free-kick tipped onto the bar, Mark Haran’s header was cleared off the line and Town went down to ten men after Mark Hulme was handed a second yellow card for hauling Chris Hall down when he was on the edge of the area.