Avenue manager Mark Bower said his side were ruthless in both boxes as they gained an opening day victory at Tamworth.

Adam Boyes scored in the 97th minute to give the away side all three points, after fellow debutant Steven Drench made an incredible save to keep out Darryl Knights who was through on goal.

“If you’d offered us a clean sheet and three points before the game we’d have obviously taken it,” Bower said.

“Even if we’d have come away with 0-0, I think I’d be pretty pleased with an away performance like that.

“I thought we looked solid, a little bit of a threat on the break when we had the ball ourselves, but we got it right in key areas at both ends of the pitch.

“Drenchy makes an outstanding save in the first half then Wayne Brooksby chases the ball down in the 97th minute, we probably get a little bit lucky with the way it goes in but you’ve got to buy the ticket to win the raffle.

“I thought we grew into the game and looked quite strong at the end, and that’s testament to the lads’ fitness levels how they kept going and got the goal.”

Bower worked hard to bring in Boyes this summer, fighting off stiff competition to tie the front man down for the next two years, and the Avenue boss was more than happy with his performance.

“We know what we are getting with Boyesy and that’s why we brought him in,” he said.

“Not only does he get you the goals but he works hard for the team and I thought he played his side of the game really well.

“The only couple of sniffs he gets he goes and hits the post from long range and obviously the one at the end he manages to squeeze it in.

“But we have a squad full of players who can all make an impact which was great to see.

“Jamie Spencer came on and added some much-needed legs to our midfield when the game was getting a little bit stretched.

“Adam Nowakowski came off the bench and added a physical presence for us then Lee Knight managed to cause their left back problems when he came on as well.

“We’re obviously pleased with it and we’ve got to take it into Monday night now.”

The second half saw a number of melees as tensions bubbled between the two sides, but Avenue’s manager wasn’t concerned about them.

“There were one or two incidents that I think the referee gave in the wrong direction,” Bower said.

“Nicky Boshell goes to close one of their players down, one of their lads has blocked him off and somehow the end result is a free kick to them.

“But the emotions are a good thing, it shows that people care and want to win.

“Thankfully we came through in the end but I’m not too fussed about all that carrying on as long as the players don’t do anything daft.

“I saw clearly the incidents with Nick and Jamie and they should never have been booked.

“If we’ve got players who are doing daft things getting themselves booked and sent off then I will come down hard on them but I can’t blame a player when they are the innocent party.”

Bradford face Southport on Monday evening and after all three substitutes made an impact having come on, Bower may have some tough calls to make.

“It certainly makes my job a little bit harder now,” he stated.

“I’ve got a squad here that I trust and I know that if we call on players and change things around, then they will come in and do a job for us.

“There’s a quick turnaround, and having played on 3G it’s never the same as grass so we will have to see how people are feeling but everyone seems to have come through OK.

“We now have to pick a team to do a job against Southport.

“The game certainly wasn’t pretty, and it might not be totally pretty on Monday, but we’ve got to be effective and ruthless, and we were that in both boxes, which is something we have to carry on now.”