BRADFORD Park Avenue’s tilt for promotion to the Vanarama National League was ended in heart-breaking circumstances when they went down 1-0 to an extra-time goal at Brackley Town.

Avenue have been superb in the latter stages of matches towards the end of their campaign as they ended the regular season with five straight victories before winning away at Kidderminster Harriers in the play-off elimination round.

But their charge was halted in the 110th minutes of their semi-final which was played in punishing heat.

Saints’ Aaron Williams slotted the deciding goal from inside the area at the second attempt after his initial shot had been blocked.

With almost ten minutes remaining Bradford Park Avenue went for the equaliser and both Adam Boyes and skipper Nicky Wroe went close.

Wroe saw his shot superbly saved late in a game that had entertained and enthralled the 923 strong crowd.

The hosts started well with Lee Ndlovu lively, but despite having a lot of the early possession the Saints didn’t create many chances.

They had a forlorn penalty appeal rejected after Avenue keeper Steve Drench had won a tussle for the ball with Williams in the area.

The home side finally carved out a glorious opening in the 25th minute when Matt Lowe’s cross picked out Jimmy Armson on the edge of the six-yard box but the midfielder headed over.

Avenue’s best opportunity came ten minutes later from a quick break and neat passing in the final third.

Rob Atkinson’s long ball sent Adam Boyes away and he found Frank Mulhern who in turn laid it off for Jamie Spencer whose shot was deflected for a corner by Gaz Dean.

Mark Bower’s men ended the goalless first half on the front foot with three good chances in the last three minutes.

Boyes put a through ball into the path of fellow forward Oli Johnson but the former Norwich City man was forced wide.

Mulhern was also shepherded wide and his effort from an acute angle was easy for home keeper Danny Lewis to save.

The keeper was pleased to see a fierce shot from Spencer fly just wide soon after.

The second half was just as thrilling and just five minutes in Avenue Wroe did exceptionally well to hook Dean’s header off the line after he had connected with Glen Walker’s corner.

Drench dived low to parry a Shane Byrne free kick around his post a minute later.

But Lewis was the busier of the two keepers as he foiled Mulhern, twice, Wayne Brooksby and Johnson

Ndlovu and Armson went close for the home side before Avenue almost snatched a goal in stoppage time Luca Havern chipped over the home defence for Boyes to run onto but he shot at Lewis.

Extra-time was equally tense until Brackley snatched the goal which broke brave Avenue's hearts.