Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Entertaining stalemate for Avenue

By Ian Whiting

Bradford Park Avenue 0, FC United of Manchester 0

The tension is mounting in the race to be crowned UniBond Division One North champions and Avenue stay third, despite picking up a point from tonight's goalless draw with FC United of Manchester.

It was a thoroughly entertaining game, although there were signs that the players of both sides were jaded.

The two clubs have more of a fixture backlog than leaders Curzon Ashton and second-placed Skelmersdale United.

A crowd of 1,262 enjoyed the contest, the numbers being swelled by the travelling fans of the well- supported FC United.

The visitors had more to cheer in the first half. Jerome White shot over early on, and midway through the half Avenue centre back Mark Hotte gave keeper Jon Worsnop a scare with a weak back- pass.

It was, however, a game in which good chances were very much at a premium and the sides were quite evenly matched.

Avenue did most of the pressing in the second half as they sought a winner.

Just before the hour, a Mark Bett shot from 20 yards flew just wide.

Avenue did come agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock in the 68th minute.

Gareth Morris, starting in midfield in the absence of injured skipper Steve Connors, worked his way behind United's defence but his cut-back was inches behind the on-rushing Tristram Whitman with the visitors' keeper out of position.

10:31pm Monday 7th April 2008