Avenue twice drop points and suffered late heartbreak against AFC Telford in a highly entertaining game at the Horsfall Stadium on Saturday.
Two goals from Brenon Daniels and Adam Walker undid the good work that the side had shown in the previous game. The final outcome, a 3-2 home defeat adding fresh concerns to Marcus Law about his side’s defensive frailty that harshly saw Park Avenue leave home with nothing.
Looking to build on their first win of the season against Darlington on Monday, Park Avenue started the brighter of the two sides with two chances in quick succession falling to Lewis Knight in the Telford six yard box.
Knight continues to impress at the club and showed early glimpses of why Law is keen to play him in the middle rather than out wide, busting a gut to chase numerous attempted through balls.
Nelson Digbeu had another hugely impressive opening at the back. Tall, quick, combative and comfortable on the ball under the pressure, he ticks a lot of boxes for Marcus Law at the back.
Whilst Park Avenue where playing with the confidence and relentless drive carried over from the Darlington game in the opening quarter, the games first goal came in the 28th minute from Daniels, who had a simple tap in at the far post after a lapse in defence had seen Avenue fail to deal with a cross into the box.
The goal which came against the run of play, seemed to immediately stir Avenue into fightback mode and less than ten minutes later, they had drawn level at 1-1.
Park Avenue’s first goal at home this season and of the game came from an exciting passage of play. Lewis Knight controlled a superb 60-yard ball in space from Riccard Calder to advance inside the Telford box and slip the ball inch perfect past Telford goalkeeper, Andrew Wycherley, who was caught in a one on one situation.
Knight had read the cross, broken free and could not miss. It was a moment of brilliance from the young Bradford forward, who continue to come of age at the Horsfall Stadium.
Seconds after Knight had equalised for Park Avenue, Marcus Dinanga had for forced a corner for the visitors, but Taylor was on hand to deal with a mad scramble to recover the ball in the Avenue box.
However, moments before the break Telford punished Bradford again, this time from Walker, who had the space and time to strike the ball past Taylor from 20 yards out into the Aveneue net to give the visitors a 2-1 lead at the interval.
The second half began with Bradford in the ascendecey, wrestling the momentum back and Knight saw a chance float inches over the Telford bar.
Bradford continued to push hard with Isaac Marriot, Brad Dockerty, Jaheim Headley and Alex Hurst all continuing to shine.
A defence-splitting past from Marcus Wood had put Dockerty through and the young forward took the ball on the right foot and fired a shot that Wycherley fumbled but recovered.
Bradford could then sense the game was there for the taking, adopting a gung-ho attitude as they went for the jugular trying to draw level.
To their credit and endeavour, they did just that for the second time in the match after they broke at pace from deep with Calder mirroring the earlier effort from Edwards, sending a 20-yard rocket past a static Wycherley into the roof of the net to send the Horsfall Stadium into wild celebration.
Bradford sensed three points were on the horizon but just couldn’t find much joy after that moment of magic from Calder as the game entered the final ten minutes.
Queue more defensive chaos in the Park Avenue box, a frustrating feature of Park Avenue’s campaign so far this season as Telford snatched victory with only minutes remaining through Daniels’s second goal of the game.
Avenue undone by a curling cross from Aaron Williams which connected with Daniels, who had somehow beaten six defenders in the 18-yard box.
Rhys Taylor had no time to react as he and the rest of the Park Avenue players on the pitch could only watch in disappointment as the ball rolled painfully over the line to give Telford three points in a thoroughly entertaining advert for the National League North.
Photo credit: John Rhodes
Match Report: Mick Gledhill